Matt Shepherd

Sydney Sessions

Posted by Matt Shepherd on 17 April 2013 | 0 Comments



Was this going to be a relaxing food and beverage filled vacation or a trip totally focused on gathering more images for the funnel of social media? I found myself asking this a few days before my beautiful girlfriend and I set off on this under -planned adventure.

Being located so close to the surf in the heart of Manly answered that question quickly. It was going to be a blend of relaxation and photography as there was a seamless connection between the two. I guess not having the hassle of driving to a location but rather a simple stroll to paradise makes the joy of shooting so much easier on a holiday.

The locals seemed to have saltwater running through their veins in Manly, from herds of swimmers heading out before the sun had even kissed the clouds, to grandmas enjoying all the fish life in the shallows. All of this activity was contagious and fueled me to get amongst what was below these chilly waters.


While my other half left the bed at 5.30 am to do a full day of yoga workshops, I usually made my way to the water, however some mornings it may have been a few hours later due to some minor self-inflicted headaches.


The light that pierced through the water on those early sunrise swims was truly brilliant. Though I feel that I could never reproduce what my eyes had seen, I gave it a go to the best of my ability with all my new gear.


The funny thing was that after only a small stint in the ocean each morning I realized that the couch in our apartment never let me leave without a two-hour kip. I guess the coffee there just wasn’t up to the task of keeping me from these mid morning siestas!

Aside from the morning sessions in Manly I was invited on a few dives with my mate Howard from Dive Buzz who I met few years back in Cairns while we ‘worked’ on the reef. He shared some local knowledge with me that often included a sampling from some of the best microbreweries in the area. Needless to say it was great to catch up with him and his partner Janine again!


The weather on our trip was pretty specky to say the least. Only a light drizzle during the first few hours on the day we arrived, and then nothing but brilliant clear blue skies over head for the rest of our stay.


On top of photography and diving, this trip was also about enjoying the finer things in life - great food, wine, people and art. As everyone knows, Sydney has all this and more in massive abundance.

While we were in the city we checked out the 13 Rooms Kaldor Public Art Project in Walsh Bay. It was like nothing I had ever seen before and I totally loved it. 13 rooms constructed in collaboration with 13 artists, each exhibiting varying living sculptures – people! I highly recommend having a look.

Just when I thought we were ready to leave Sydney and head home, the city didn’t seam to want us to go. More accurately, a slow start and a minor miss-judgment on the traffic to the airport caused us to miss our flight home. Ah well.