Urban Ripples by Tim Elwin
I start each day in the ocean, in the dark. Nothing but camera and flippers, 50-100m off Manly Beach. You see, I'm waiting for the sun to pop its head over the horizon, to capture it’s warming rays reflecting off the ocean’s ripples at dawn. It's a small window each morning, lasting only a few minutes before the sun becomes too bright in the sky. It’s then that my focus turns to those who brave the often cold waters to start their day in such an invigorating way.
Every morning I’m in awe, as my sense of self is transformed. Rain, hail or shine, in the middle of summer or winter. Nothing was going to take me away from this. Until August 2018, when my world crashed, literally. I was knocked off my motorbike causing massive injuries, including an almost severed left leg.
I was about to spend two months in hospital unable to use either arms or leg, eight months with metal scaffolding drilled literally through my leg and at least 18 months if not forever in a wheelchair. Yet no matter what the surgeons told me about my gloomy future I said fuck that!
The imprint on my brain of those few minutes each morning drove me so hard to recover that after just 10 months I kicked the wheelchair away. By month 12 I was back in the water shooting the sunrises, by month 15, surfing again…
I now know that none of this was a fluke. Research consistently shows that calming and inspirational images, especially those with calming biophilic and colour psychology elements, greatly assist patient rehabilitation. So late last year I launched printforprint.co, a social initiative donating calming art into Australian Public Hospitals.
If I can give one person a window into my dawns and put them even slightly upon the same path, my job is done.