“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” — Robert Wyland
The world is filled with majesty. Nature gives us so many wondrous things of beauty to ponder at, and ferocious forces to awe in front of.
The ocean is one of these wondrous places people go to look at and purify their spirits, to refresh their hearts and souls.
However, the ocean is an unpredictable force on its own. It can be the calmest place in the world and it can be an unstoppable force of destruction.
Its waves are something to observe, immerse, and be left in awe in front of their majestic beauty and untamable force.
Rey Collins, a former Australian coal miner, decided to make a drastic career change and trade his job for his real passion, photography. And it was all because of this immersing beauty of waves.
Fascinated by the ocean and its majestic powers he decided to embark on a journey of photographing this beauty that his colorblind eyes were seeing.
So ten years in the making, this colorblind photographer has just issued his third book titled “Water & Light” that shows us an unseen perspective of the powerful and unpredictable force of waves.
Ray’s renowned style ties the tremendous force and fury of an agitated sea to a blink of light in a single water droplet seamlessly, and often on the same page.
To make this book, Ray has hung harnessed out of a doorless helicopter in Hawaii, swam amongst the below freezing north Atlantic seas of Iceland, sailed through the remote and uninhabited island chains of the Indonesian archipelago, documented a once in a decade Tahitian mega swell, and driven for days on end to the desolate reefs and bomboras of Australia’s raw southern and eastern coastlines.
He did all this because of his passion to bring this ferocious beauty of waves to the public eye. Let this be an inspiration of the beauty that surrounds us waiting for you to see it.
How did growing up in Australia form your relationship with the sea?
“It’s really all I’ve ever known. We’ve always lived near the coastline, most Australians do, and as a child, you tend to explore your immediate surroundings.
For me, this was beaches, cliffs, and coves that dot the landscape of where I live.
The Ocean has been the one single constant in my life. At any stage of life, at any time, during any emotion, it is there for me.”
You bought your first camera to document friends surfing. How did this evolve into just focusing on the waves?
“Looking back it was the entry point to waves. Even in my earliest work, the “human” element was only to give the wave scale and composure.
The more I evolved in my work the more I concentrated on just how delicate and beautiful water can be.
The shape it takes on, the textures, the “feeling” of it.”
What is it that inspires you about waves?
“They are literal waves of energy that move through water and they never repeat themselves!
There’s no re shoot, ever!
No rewinding or second chances. All of this, along with its sheer beauty inspire me every day.”
How does your colorblindness help, or hinder, your work as a photographer?
“I think it helps by removing the “distraction” of color, allowing me to focus on contrast, tones, textures, and compositions. If I’d always seen the same way as everyone else, maybe my work wouldn’t be as unique.”
Interview and Images from: https://mymodernmet.com/ray-collins-wave-photography/;
All photographs belong to Rey Collins;