Australian Oceanscape photographer, Trent Mitchell, has won the 2018 Nikon Surf Photo of the Year award for a photo taken from his Tessellated Seas project.
‘Tessellated Seas is an ongoing body of work exploring human connection with nature. Intrigued by the reasons why people are drawn magnetically to the sea, I set out to discover how this connection may develop through time,’ Trent said. ‘I worked systematically at (a) location that makes me feel connected and grounded to nature during the creative practice.
‘Simplifying the variables and working without judgement of the conditions was critical in building a cohesive body of work over a long period of time. To find variations in light, colour and energy I worked at very specific times of day and positioned myself in the same location to take every photograph over the course of the project, much like traditional landscape artists.’
Trent began the project in 2013.
The Awards, open only to local photographers, aims to find the best single surfing-themed image taken during 2017 by an Aussie. While the locals only rule is strictly enforced, the photos can be captured anywhere in the world.
The judge panel was made up of 13 high-profiled surf industry professionals, including Nikon Australia’s award partner, Surfing Australia.
‘Surfing is one of those sports that photography just enhances beyond words. Partnering with Nikon is a natural step for Surfing Australia and the finalists from this year’s competition show just how stunning and visual our sport is,’ said Jake White, Surfing Australia general manager for Partnerships, Digital & Events.
Judges were looking for photos that tick the following criteria boxes: dramatic effect, sensory impact, composition, innovation and creativity.
Interestingly, it wasn’t a prerequisite for the photos to show surfers surfing, opening the awards up to broader concepts than a person sliding across a wave. Just 10 of the 20 finalist photos showed people interacting with the ocean – including cars parked on beach, and a view of waves from within a boat – and several images were abstract ocean shots.
Last year 15 of the finalists showed surfers.
Big wave cinematographer, Tim Bonython, won the Nikon Surf Video of the Year Award for his film The Big Wave Project – A Band Of Brothers.
Tim is an award-winning ocean cinematographer whose video follows the raw and uncensored journey into one of the world’s most exciting challenges: riding the world’s biggest wave.