Busiest time of the year and I'm procrastinating trying to headbutt a GoPro.
Road : Bondi Dayze
There's something about my semi transient sense of life that's stoking me out. I'm back in Sydney in between shoots, literally lurking on the beach or a carpark working on another Ocean film and sauntering out during sunrise and sunsets; never have felt more alive in the past while.
Vague? You betcha.
I see numerous vanlife members on their way up the coast or hanging around but the difference is I can't sit still. Bondi is full of them, if you've been, you know, the Police were hard on the case of an abandoned (suspected) campervan today, it's owners upped and left for somewhere else, the mentality of 'meh' is actually hard to adopt with the amount of buzz around the place. The Shades of Morning series was a reflection of that, and one I'm most stoked on, although winter is here and the numbers have dropped the hype remains.
I've shifted from sunrise to sunset, there's more people around after the 'heat' of the day (it reached 24 degrees and it's the middle of winter). Even still, some people-less scenes reflect my current hype reel levels. Or maybe that's the sugar, winning yet again.
I have a few friends who confuse me at times. It could be the incessant need to hunt and kill fish, or the incessant need to hunt, kill, and attack each other in the process with offal from said catch, or all of the above when the weather is less than ideal.
But, I had a few things to test with a new camera setup, so I donned an old wetsuit and went along for the ride.
I Shoot People
Tourism North Queensland's 'One Day In Paradise' campaign
Shooting underwater is weird.
After four years of working on the underwater series I thought I had dealt with a fair few problems, from infections to reef cuts to White Sharks, so when Tourism North Queensland approached me to make a short film doing what I do on the Great Barrier Reef I said 'No problem'.
Add a late season tropical storm and an Irukandji (Box jellyfish) restriction; I was stumped.
The showcase film we went to make wasn't going to happen, and while reflecting on this in the interview we decided to focus on the challenges we tend to go through while pursuing our chosen career paths.
Even with the problems and copious amounts of stress I'm more stoked on this film than one I pitched, huge thanks goes to my crew for sticking it out.
DOP: Brad Halstead
Model: Holly Alifraco
Stills/Edit: Mark Tipple
Music: Rhian Sheehan
Stills: Canon 5D MkII
Aquatech DC-5 v2
Aquatech LP-3 8" Dome port
Aquatech 50mm extension ring
Video/Audio: GoPro Hero3 (requirement from the client)
Steadicam Smoothie for GoPro
Rode NTG3 & Zoom H4n
Shades of Morning
I spent February on Bondi Beach, working on a series of photographs that capture the essence of the beach culture along Sydney's Eastern Beaches. At sunrise every morning you'll find hundreds of people exercising, swimming, photographing, just enjoying the morning - only to disappear at 9am when the tourist buses roll in. It's a magical time of morning, and I tried a variation of the Thirty Minute technique to find the spirit amongst the morning people.
See the series here - www.marktipple.com/shades
Twelve from Twenty Twelve
2012 was about rolling with the hits and misses, learning and adapting, while staying true to what I believe. No compromise.
See the review here - www.marktipple.com/twelve
Surfers Against Sewage 2013 Calendar
My collaboration calendar with UK based environmental org Surfers Against Sewage has just been launched, featuring 12 photos from the underwater series. I'm stoked to use what I've focused on for the past three years to help organisations who are actively looking after the ocean. Priced at £15 with postage, funds will go towards their Protect our Waves campaign.
Order online here
"I'm done bro, I'm done."
With those few words Mike rose to his feet in ankle deep water and
began the 10 minute walk towards shore, dodging thick black urchins and
sharp reef outcrops while assessing his wounds. Even from behind the
waves I could see a stream of blood run down his arm, and t-shirt turn
red across his shoulders.
This was in the first hour of a 10 day shoot.
both knew the reefs on the island were shallow; we'd been there before
and surfed the waves, but shooting The Underwater Project dictates no
boards and definitely no wetsuits - meaning the danger of losing skin
was increased tenfold.
With a wary eye watching for rogue waves I
watched as Mike left the water, he stumbled on a few urchin spines
adding insult to injury; and I wondered if there was something else that
I could shoot underwater.
After a few technical adjustments
(read : complete confusion with new gear); the
Mare Vida series found me.
See the whole series here - www.marktipple.com/marevida
Kigamboni Community Centre
In June I spent time at the Kigamboni
Community Centre in Tanzania, working to showcase the positive impact
they've had in rising up talents of the local youth.
We held an
exhibition in Sydney last weekend to raise funds for next year's
education programs which went pretty well; I'm super stoked to be
involved in helping people help others.
Jackson is one of the standout stories from the centre, see his story below, and the rest of the stories at www.marktipple.com/risingup
Summer 2012 Gallery.
This summer was tough.
I lost count after 10 consecutive days of rain
earlier in January, then when the clouds finally parted allowing the
sun to shine the water was filled with sediment and muck for the
following week - which would coincide perfectly for the next spell of
rain. Frustrating to say the least.
While Sydney suffered under El Niño's grasp I spent a fair bit of
time in South Australia, wanting to focus on the Ocean films I've been
working on I teamed up with good friends Mike and Luke to produce West
Away, a film about why we do what we do. Personally it was an epic time
as I've been away from that sort of searching trip since moving to
Sydney a few years ago. Even though the Underwater Project was put aside
to focus on pre and post of West Away I'm stoked on the outcome, it
seemed all the more fitting to feature Mike in the film having started
the Underwater Project with him on a dusty trip to the desert almost two
and a half years ago.
As winter creeps a little closer every day, the Summer 2012 Gallery
is somewhat of a reportage of the past 8 months with some good days in
amongst the bad - while also paying homage to some of the selects from
years past. In the coming months I'll be focusing on another Ocean film
and a humanitarian project, until sometime in September when the clouds
disappear giving way to warmer water and sunny skies and the underwater
series will start up again.
In the meantime, I've added an acrylic panel print option along with
the standard matte/gloss/canvas options - acrylics look amazing as the
waves are almost 3D - check the window on the right hand side of each
gallery for more information, and the books are still finding their way
to homes around the world. I'm still humbled on the reception of the