"I just love this shot of Beau Foster and my Land Cruiser."
Meet The Talented @sa_rips And The 5 Frames He's Most Proud Of
"I carry a knife for those long lonely swims over deep, dark waters."
"Fucking hell... no way... really?" wrote @sa_rips in response to the news that he'd just won a trip to Hawaii to shoot with lens legend Brian Bielmann. "Tears of joy, nothing like this has ever happened to me. I’ve never been overseas actually, never really been anywhere." Generally recognised by his @sa_rips Instagram handle, 'Rich', as he likes to refer to himself in his regular exchanges with Stab, was the talented photog who lit up the #stabfullframe feed during our recent competition in cohorts with O'Neill, Mr Bielmann and the Developing Legends photography workshop program.
Rich hails from the southern coast of Australia, where there are equally as many reasons to frown as there are to smile thanks to an abundance of locals of the protective and apex predator kind. While scrolling through the man's work you're met with a cascade of wildlife, canines, throating tubes and classic Aussie landscapes – sometimes all in the same frame. Before sending our mysto lensman on his flight to Honolulu, we thought we'd deepen our acquaintance through five of his fave moments from over the years.
"Everything is big around here. Great big ocean, great big flies, great white sharks and great big death adder snakes that lay motionless, camouflaged into the earth waiting to strike at anything moving past."
What got you into photography? I don't know, it just kind of happened. I bought a camera and away I went.
"I wasn't totally comfortable swimming this place. It took me about three hours to build the courage up to jump overboard and swim over to it. Glad I did."
Outside of photography, how do you spend your days? Running a caravan park with my wife and four kids. Plenty of relaxing, swimming, surfing. It's a pretty mellow lifestyle over here. Heaps of different characters passing through to provide a bit of entertainment.
"Sharks are a constant threat. I carry a knife for those long lonely swims over deep, dark waters. There's always sightings, I'm sure they swim past. I just tuck my knees up to my chest when I'm waiting around."
Tell us about being a surf photographer in a remote area. Most of the time when I trek off on a photoshoot it's just me and my two dogs, sometimes walking for hours along the coastline to find the spot. I'm sure my dogs worry when I put my wetsuit on and climb down the cliff with my camera and flippers and vanish into the blackest, sharkiest waters you could imagine. Yeah, there's risks involved, but I love a good challenge, the rewards and feelings I get from the ocean are amazing....
"I always go back to this shot on my computer and stare at it for ages. I just love the colours and reflection. That's Craig Anderson tucked into that little gem."
How did you feel when you heard you'd won the #stabfullframe competition? How are you going to spend your time in Hawaii? I actually cried tears of joy. When I arrive I'm going to hang, listen and really take in Brian's teachings and when that's finished I'll have a week to be the full rubber-necking Australian dork tourist with boardshorts, camera and flippers.