Our third photographer of our weekly Portfolio Series comes from the South of Vancouver Island, residing in the provincial capital of Victoria. Shayne’s work caught our eye with his fine art approach to shooting waves large and small with blurs and golden light. Learn more about Shayne and his work through his interview and galleries below.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work?
I was born and raised in the Kootenays in the interior of B.C. I grew up skateboarding in the summers and snowboarding in the winters, doing a fair amount of hiking, fishing and camping in between. Photography had always been a passion, kind of sitting on the backburner, but after an overseas trip through Asia and Australia where I learned to stumble to my feet on a surfboard things changed. I moved to Victoria, B.C. to go to a photography school, traded the snow for the waves, and now sometimes it’s both at the same time. I always have a tough time deciding between surfing and shooting, but it’s a balance I am always working on and trying to let the light decide.
2. How did you get into shooting waves?
The honest answer to why I focus mostly on seascapes and empty waves is that it kind of happened by chance. In college I remember skipping every class that I could, driving over an hour to the beach, getting a few waves in and making it back, still salty, just in time for the afternoon class. That is what actually got me into ocean scape photography. I was falling so behind in my classes with projects due that trying to set up shoots and complete assignments weren’t possible. I had to combine my love of surfing along with my love of photography. Instead of using off-camera lighting and trying to get creative with skateboard shoots, I learned to chase the natural light and uncontrollable subject matter such as waves to make it through the year. I made it, surfed a lot too.
3. How has the summer been?
Summer has been amazing, wave wise not so much. It goes pretty flat on the South Island so I try and make as many trips as I can. It’s also a good challenge for the creativity, there is a lot of beauty in and on the ocean even when it’s flat so it’s been fun chasing light and ripples lately. A couple friends have a running inside joke about ripples every time we’re near the water now.
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4. Where is your favourite place to shoot?
That is a very hard question to answer, basically if there’s good light and subject matter, preferably waves, I am completely happy. When the weather is nice and you can feel your fingers and toes after a shoot that’s a huge bonus. I have made a bunch of trips to different tropical locations and taken a lot of photographs, but the ones that are most special to me are the ones from home. There is something special about the West Coast of Canada and I love trying to incorporate that into my work.
5. What’s your go-to set up on a regular day of shooting surf?
Within the last couple of years, I have made the switch over to a lighter more compact Sony mirrorless setup. At the moment my camera bag has two a6000 bodies, an 18-105mm f4 lens and a 70-200 f4 lens, which come with me everywhere. When I’m in the water I use a Salty Surf housing with the 18-105 lens.
6. Top three inspirations?
Inspirations come from so many different places these days. With the easy access to millions of photos with a few swipes, it’s hard to keep up. There are some guys who’re work is always amazing and always stands out: Ray Collins, Lloyd Meudell and Chris Burkard. It’s really cool to see photographers and artists from Canada being recognized on a larger scale too! There is a handful from Tofino gaining recognition, and a bunch of classmates from when I went to school turning their passions into their career. That’s always inspiring.
Shayne Stadnick Portfolio Series
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7. Outside of your website where else can someone view your work?
Aside from my website my work can be seen hanging around Victoria and Sooke B.C. I have photos on display at both HTO Surf shop locations, Brentwood Bay Resort, The McTavish Academy of Art, Craidellona Resort, I have worked with the Grand Pacific Hotel, Sitka, and a few different online publications: Explore Magazine, The Inertia, and some interior design blogs. I participate in art shows when I can and have some pieces that will hopefully make it into the Sidney Fine Art show this October that I am super excited for.
8. Where to next? Any big winter plans?
For the winter I hope to be mostly on Vancouver Island, surfing and shooting the limited waves we get around here. I have a trip planned to Mexico for the end of October where I hope to explore some new areas and new waves, and I hope to keep promoting my work and showcasing the beauty of our coast to anyone who has interest in looking. Thanks a lot for reading!