On Wednesday 17th Nov, 2010 – Eugene Tan launched his beautiful book “A Day at Bondi” @ Aquabumps Gallery in Bondi.
“A Day at Bondi” is 208 pages of photos taken at every hour from sunrise to sunset, capturing the first morning light, the maddening noon crowds and the magic hour of twilight.
“A Day at Bondi” depicts a whole day at Australia’s iconic beach, from sunrise to sunset, from the quiet of 5:30am to the chronic bustle of 2pm on a hot summer’s afternoon. From the morning sunrise glows to the masses in baby oil…shot from helicopters, the water and every other possible angle on 1km of beach. Images have been shot from the beach, from helicopters and from within the surf to cover a unique angle on Bondi.
Stand in the Aquabumps gallery for any length of time and you soon realise that among all those beautiful waves there is also another character. Sometimes it’s just a flash of sandstone, but Bondi is often there someplace in the picture. There’s always something going on in Bondi. You know I rock down here in the morning, the police are doing a raid across the beach, or someone died that night, or there’s guys still partying from the night before. That’s all part of it.
Asked if he had the best job in the world – ( rising with the sun each morning to capture one of the most loved beaches in the world ) – Eugene’s answer was an envious “YES”.
So after only 11 years of shooting pics ( almost daily at Bondi ) , followed by a few more years of procrastination, Eugene released his first coffee table book. It’s 208 pages, big ( A3 closed ) and beautifully crafted on a offset press.
About 250 people came to celebrate it. Eugene was Stoked. He said ” It went well ” and it did !
” A Day at Bondi” launch photos above were taken by Stephen Lead and Sylvie
Uge said that the publishers who he approached wanted to cut back on everything and said ‘the type of paper’s too expensive, the cover’s too thick, there are too many pages’. ” Unwilling to compromise, he opted to publish the book himself with a printing company overseas. “A lot of these decisions weren’t financial ones but I wanted to do something that was really beautiful,” he said. “(The book is) nearly 90cm wide when you open it so that’s about the length of your arm and you get these huge double page spreads that I think will just blow people away.”
About Eugene Tan
Eugene “Uge” Tan knows where the waves live and how to photograph them.
The celebrated Perth born but Sydney-based photographer, designer, surfer and founder of the cult website Aquabumps, has several exhibitions under his belt and his own gallery in North Bondi.
A well known character around the beaches of Sydney, his day begins at dawn, before the arrival of the surf lifesavers, beachgoers and holidaymakers. With just a few surfers, joggers and dog walkers for company, he positions himself in the surf with waterproofed camera at the ready. From fantastic waves, sunrises and surf to local heroes and characters, Tan’s photography captures the essence of beach life and culture.
“I’ve become an early morning addict, says Tan. “Every morning is different down the beach … different surf conditions, different people … different light … there’s always a new perspective”. “I’m completely fascinated by the ocean … I try to make my photos give the impression you’re right there, seeing what I see.”
Eugene Tan, a Tamarama-based water photographer, got his first camera in a garage sale at the age of nine. It was the size of an adult’s palm and tiny compared to some of the equipment he uses for his work these days. Now, the 34-year-old owns a multitude of cameras and lenses. The largest one is about as long as his outstretched arm.
Tan has managed to turn his passion for the beach and photography into a successful career and is the proud owner of two galleries, in Bondi and Bali, to date and another one in planning.
His local exhibition is an aquatic little world with over two-hundred panoramic, surf and underwater pictures hung on white walls, handy in wooden boxes and on draws. Their presentation is modern and meticulous. Blue lights create a true underwater setting in the evenings. According to Tan, he wants to show people something they don’t normally see and aims to show “unique angles” in his shots.
If you’ve always dreamt of taking your own beautiful shot of the ocean or your home break, Tan shares some professional advice. “Tips would be: good light. Light’s everything. It’s actually just waiting for the right moment of light.”
While Tan’s equipment is a cut above anything a hobby photographer could afford, including a lens worth over $15,000, he says good photos can be taken on any camera.
“Good gear helps. It’s not everything though. When I couldn’t afford a real lens, I shot one of my best shots on a two hundred dollar lens,“ Tan said.
“It’s just being out there at the right time. I reckon at the start and the end of the day is the best time to shoot. Middle of the day is boring. Everyone sees it.”
According to Tan, another common mistake is when “people just think they’re gonna go out and take a good picture straight away. Whereas, I really hammered it to get good shots. You don’t get it in one shot. You really gotta be persistent.”
And getting back to his artistic eye and unique angles, he adds. ”The most important thing is: try and show something that people don’t normally see. Otherwise it’s not that interesting… ‘cause everyone sees eye level. So don’t shoot eye level, try and shoot on the ground or on a wall or something like that, where people don’t normally put their head. That’s when you get interesting angles.”
If it is winter – then not everyone would want to join Tan for the sunrise at the beach, sitting on the cold sand for hours, waiting for the perfect shot.
Size: (closed) A3 430mm W x 300mm H
Cover: Hard 3.5 (thick!) debossed cover
Content: 208 pages, mixed stocks 170gsm coated + 70gsm uncoated stock
Weight: 3 kilograms
The book costs $150AUD.
You can buy the book from Aquabumps Gallery in Bondi
Online at http://www.aquabumps.com/book