Five perspectives on the sea


The ocean continues to work as a huge inspiration to many Australian photographers – here are five who have found very different perspectives on the substance that surrounds us.

All prints will be available to purchase from November 28 at the launch of This Time It’s Personal and via the SUNSTUDIOS website until December 15. All proceeds are donated to support the work of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.  

Image by Tim Swallow  

Tim Swallow


HALCYON DAYS (3 prints available)


My friend and I were cave diving off the coast of Greece. The clarity of the water in the limestone caves was incredible, and I was excited to shoot with my underwater housing and capture a different perspective. This image is actually an outtake photographed after I captured the shot I was seeking. 


The images became more mysterious the deeper we swam into the cave so we keep shooting - this allowed for a curtain of light to fall behind and silhouette my friend. I care deeply for the ocean and I love the harmony between human and nature in this photograph. 


Shooting personal work plays a large role in my creative process. It inspires and motivates me as an artist. I can experiment with location, lighting and talent without the external pressure of a client looking over my shoulder.

I like to push the boundaries and take more calculated risks when I shoot for myself. This experimental process is often applied later on in my commercial and editorial work. 


It's inevitable that all of us will be affected by some form of cancer directly or indirectly. If the sale of my print can help someone and support a good cause - I'm all in.    

Image by Michaela Skovranova


Michaela Skovranova

Humpback Whale Dreams (1 print available)



This image was taken of a young humpback whale calf playfully exploring her environment in Tonga Vava’u. 

I am fascinated with exploring and documenting the notion of shared experience of life - between us and all living creatures. 


This photograph is part of an ongoing personal project called Nature Love Stories


My personal work plays an important role in my practice.  It serves as a compass to my life and creates an opportunity for me to decipher my thoughts, feelings and values. It provides me with tools to navigate the world around me. 


In one way or the other we have all been affected by cancer - personally or through our loved ones. A supportive community and expertise such as the Chris O Brien Lifehouse provides is imperative in the journey to recovery. For me it’s a humbling opportunity to be able to contribute to such an important cause. 

Image by Mark Clinton


Mark Clinton

The Intersection (8 prints available)



Photographing the ocean was the entry-point for my career in photography. Not only is it a beautiful, photogenic landscape, it provides discipline in waking up early, chasing the light, and learning how to read the weather. Over time my curiosity took me searching elsewhere, and that craving was filled when working in the mountains. This image captures that crossroads between the ocean and alpine worlds.

I feel like personal and professional work are always informing each other.

I love answering and being challenged by someone else’s brief, but on a selfish level, the freedom and flexibility of pursuing what inspires me means that I’m essentially writing and executing my own brief, which can be very satisfying.


At the end of the day, professional work can sometimes force me out of my comfort zone and inspire new developments in my personal work, and vice versa. They’re really two sides of the same coin for me — and I try to approach each of them with the same level of dedication and enthusiasm.

I lost my dad earlier this year to cancer, so having the opportunity to donate my own art to directly support a charity that targets cancer was probably the easiest decision I’ve had to make this year. 


Image by Paul Blackmore

Paul Blackmore

Untitled (3 prints available)



This image is my recent series and book Heat which looks at Australia’s cultural and spiritual reliance on our beaches. It was taken in January at Bondi when incredible sea fog rolled into the Sydney coast. 

Sea mists are a rare occurrence and cast an almost ethereal light upon the bathers who were clearly affected by the strangeness of the phenomena. 


My personal work is at the centre of my career and drives my commercial work. 


I wanted to donate the prints to help Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in some small way. Like many families my own has been affected by cancer and I think it is a good cause. 


Image by Lawrence Furzey

Lawrence Furzey

Water Colour (3 prints available)



I shoot a lot of surfing and water Photography as a hobby, which after a while was starting to all look the same. 


I wanted to play around with some slow shutter techniques on a day when the light was quite soft and golden to give it that ‘water colour painting look’.


Personal work plays a huge role in my practice as a professional photographer. It not only helps me try new techniques in a low-pressure situation, but more importantly for me, reminds me that my job is first and foremost my hobby!


This is what drives me and keeps me creative on a day to day on the job.


My motivation to be a part of what has been a great initiative for many years is not only a chance to showcase some of my personal work, but to give back to something that is close to my heart. My mother has been battling Pancreatic Cancer for the last six years. The first time around the prognosis wasn’t great, but my mother managed to pull through with amazing doctors and research. 


And a not-for-profit organisations such as Chris O’Brien Lifehouse makes such things like this possible for people like my mother.


All prints will be available to purchase from November 28 at the launch of This Time It’s Personal and via the SUNSTUDIOS website until December 15. All proceeds are donated to support the work of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.