"My aim is to show the ocean as a living, breathing thing. To document it in all of it’s intimidating strengths; and to bring awareness to its delicate fragility."
I'm Ray Collins, an ocean photographer from Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia. My deep passion for the ocean and my desire to showcase its awe-inspiring power and delicate fragility drive my work.
My journey into photography began unexpectedly in 2007 when a tragic underground coal mining accident left me with a knee injury, rendering me immobile for several months. During that challenging time, I discovered photography as a form of therapy. Immersed in the camera manual, I absorbed the intricacies of the craft and learned how to interpret and manipulate light. As I progressed in my rehabilitation, I took a leap and invested in a water housing, blending my newfound passion for photography with my lifelong love for the ocean.
Initially, my goal was to capture my friends' surfing moments in our local area, with the dream of getting a single photograph published. However, within a few months, my fresh perspective and my willingness to take risks to capture the perfect shot grabbed the attention of the surfing world. The front covers of international magazines featured my work, propelling me into the industry.
In 2012, after years of traveling and photographing the biggest names in surfing, I made the decision to put my camera down for a year. During this sabbatical, I focused on self-discovery and ultimately chose to give up alcohol. This pivotal decision opened up a new path for me. With the additional hours of daylight that were previously lost to partying and hangovers, I turned my gaze back to the sea. This time, my focus shifted from the people riding the waves to the waves themselves.
I delved into the complexities of water and light, capturing the final surge of energy as a wave completes its journey to the shore. It was in this exploration that I found my true self as an artist. My signature style of moody seascapes began to resonate with the art world and nature enthusiasts across the globe.
In my relatively short career, I have transitioned from capturing my friends' surfing moments to becoming a global advocate for the ocean. I have partnered with major companies in sectors such as automotive, computer and technology, aviation, and fashion. Simultaneously, I have collaborated closely with NGOs, scientists, activists, and charities to raise awareness about the urgent environmental challenges we face.
My photography serves as a powerful reminder of the ocean's strength, beauty, and vulnerability. Through my lens, I aim to depict the ocean as a living, breathing entity and to inspire contemplation about our responsibility in preserving it for future generations.
"Ray Is able to capture the power and essence of the ocean in a single snapshot..."
"In just eight years Ray has arrived as one of the most distinguished photographers of waves, and the ocean in the world..."
"Rayʼs awe inspiring images have the power to bring the earths primal force to a standstill, heʼs an up-and-coming creative talent set to be the next big name in culture and the arts"