Hello my name is Casey Ripper, I’m a 23 years old photographer from the Sunshine Coast and we’re currently based in Wanaka in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.
In the past couple of years I’ve been lucky enough to shoot with a variety of different Nikon Film & DSLR cameras and with the simplicity of swapping lenses between each other I’ve found myself shooting a lot more 35mm than ever before.
This series of photographs before you, focusses on the 35mm side of our strike mission and were shot with the classic Nikon F5 on Kodak Gold 200 & Agfa Vista 400, the water shots were taken on a cheap, little Fuji Superia 800 disposable camera.
At a crossroads between jobs & moving overseas we found ourselves staring at the series of massive low pressure systems pushing swell North through the Tasman Sea where it was bound to strike the reefs of Fiji.
With my girlfriend Shelby & good mate Hayden Cervi we made the last minute decision to book flights and 5 nights accomodation on the mainland at a little surf camp just 40 minutes drive from Nadi.
The locals around these parts are very skilled boat drivers & know how to navigate the treacherously powerful reef breaks just half an hour off the coast.
The daily routine of a rough 5am wakeup & crawl down to breakfast while they work out who is going on which boats, this should be done first thing as Fiji time is inevitable.
As the sunrise begins, everyone gathers their boards & bags as they load the aboard the small armada of fishing boats then slowly depart through the channel, vibes are high & smiles infect everyone as we watch the rays of light break through the Fijian mountain ranges.
Whitewash appears from over the horizon & we’re greeted with prime conditions & strong South Pacific ground swell, everyone gets into position, surfers into the lineup & photographers either on the tower or deep on the inside laying all their trust in a wooden boat with a Mercury 50hp commandeered by smily Fijian local.
On the water for 4-5 hours per day for 5 days & you’ll know all about sea-legs and weathered skin, getting back to camp for that fresh cooked meal and a beer when the waves are pumping is always a tough call to make.
We were lucky enough to spend time with a motley crew of surfers & lensmen from around the world, sharing wild stories around the kava bowl, dancing like idiots until we couldn’t stay awake any longer, it was surely a melting pot of interesting characters and funny times all round.
You all know who you are,
Cheers for an epic week