Tal Lemmens is an incredibly young and enterprising photographer from the bottom of the southern hemisphere. Amidst the wild surf and large sharks of VIctoria, Australia, Talbot manages to capture the unobstructed beauty of the ocean. We caught up with him to find out more about his work...
1. Who are you?
I am Tal Lemmens, a 24-year-old photographer based along the Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia.
2. Describe your medium & process for your work…
I am a passionate creator. I shoot digital photography and 35mm film on a more personal level. The elements along the Victorian coastline can often be harsh and barren – I try to portray this ferocity of the Southern Ocean in my works. I like to take a minimalistic approach when being creative, focusing on contrasting lighting, a limited colour palette and heavy shadows. Mostly I hope to achieve inquisitiveness and promote emotive feelings through my images, giving viewers a sense of the moment.
3. How did you find your passion? Who/what influences your work?
The ocean has always been something that I have appreciated being in and around from a young age. I am grateful to my father for introducing me to the sea and surf. Seeing old film photos of surf trips he went on to South Australia; intrigued me and showed me that photos from many years ago could still promote a story – a lifestyle, a sense of being there. I feel my photography is influenced by living along a coastline that is subject to calming ocean conditions, huge swells, gale force winds and dramatic lighting.
I also take inspiration from other Australian based ocean photographers and appreciate how their environments shape their photography styles.
4. What excites you about your work? What do you struggle with?
I think a large part of my adversity is confronting the extreme conditions of our southern winters. This means rising early in cold conditions, chasing sunrises and sunsets, swimming alone in murky and deep waters – first in and last out. I often fight with the vulnerability of being alone in the ocean when trying to capture these moments.
The sensation of knowing there is an impending weather front, that will effect swells and wind directions motivate me greatly and often combat any feelings of isolation. The excitement of looking through the sessions images is somewhat of an addictive sensation that I crave. I think what really electrifies me and probably always will, is ‘the chase’ of finding waves and new photo opportunities.
5. What are your goals? Where do you see yourself going?
I started to take photos for myself and it’s a bonus that other people have started finding interest in the work that I produce. No matter what, the ocean will always be a part of me – it is my lifeblood. I look forward to whatever direction my photography takes me in to the future…