A trip to Swell2014

It’s Spring time, it’s September and on the Gold Coast that can only mean one thing, it’s Swell Festival time.

Swell Sculpture Festival is held along the Currumbin Beach Broadwalk and displays over 50 sculptures built by local, national and international artists.  The festival is in it’s 12th year and is a free event held over 10 days each September (see Swell website) I have been going to Swell for 4 years now and each year the creativity and talent of the artists simply stuns me.  It is amazing.  This year I would have to say has been my favourite so far, with varied and imaginative creations.

Thursday morning last week was a typical Gold Coast day, the sky is blue, the sun is shining and the temperature is perfect.  I decided to take the morning off and pack the camera bag and head down to Currumbin to check out and photograph Swell2014.  2 1/2 hours later I was exhausted, my calf muscles crying out in protest but totally exhilarated from a productive yet relaxing morning, I came home with over 200 photos and as they downloaded I did a quick happy dance at how wonderful they looked.  They tell the story of this truly amazing and wonderful event.

I promise I will not show you the 100+ that I have chosen but I would like to share with you my favourites as I relive my blissful morning on Currumbin Beach.

One of the first sculptures I came across was the Instagram frames.  I love my Instagram, actually my daughter jokes that she knows what I have done that day without seeing me just be looking at my Instagram at times 🙂 .  What could I frame with a photo? Will it work on an angle? Will it work while not in focus? Or is it better to show a wide angle of all the frames?  I tried them all and came up with a great little collection.

Instagram Frames - My Collection

Instagram Frames – My Collection

Walking down the beach I came across “Clouds”.  Cool!  I wondered how many clouds are in the sculpture, 2 or 3? Clearly 3.  Again so many choices, how many different ways can I photograph this?  What do I frame in the cloud?  I had so much fun experimenting.

"Clouds" at Currumbin

“Clouds” at Currumbin

OMG! the “Sea Ball”, I stayed at this sculpture for close on half an hour.  I think I looked at every piece of steel (maybe photographed them too), I really wanted to climb all over and into this, as I felt like a child again in the playground, in the end I just sat back and enjoyed the moment.

"Sea Ball" A Playground Memory

“Sea Ball” A Playground Memory

Just a little further down the beach is the horse (Correct nane – “Erebus”).  What a spectacular display, it is not every day you see a horse on the beach, such detail and made in a way that you thought you saw and felt the movement of this horse.  It also seems to be a crowd favourite, so patience was required to ensure I got the photos I wanted, but well worth the wait and I walked away with a smile.



Many sculpture’s later I’ve made my way off the beach and onto the park next to the beach, I am struck by the steel leaves of “Paradise – Girt by Sea” The sun is glinting off the steel and enhancing this metal archway in the most beautiful way.  I could imagine a wedding on the beach with the bride and groom making their way beneath it.  Wow – just imagine it.

"Paradise - Girt by Sea"

“Paradise – Girt by Sea”

I could go on and on about my morning and turn this into a guinness world record blog 🙂 but I promise I won’t.  Do yourself a favour if you are on the Gold Coast during September go down to Currumbin and experience Swell for yourself, it is open 24 hours a day.





Until next week.



Having a Swell Time

The Swell Sculpture Festival at Currumbin Beach began in 2003 however I only discovered this Festival in 2011 and was delighted and amazed at the sculptures, the artists are just so talented and each year it is a must see event on my calendar.

The festival is held on both the beach and broadwalk area of Currumbin during September each year and from a photography point of view each piece can be very challenging to capture with the combination of the elements and amount of people around.

Even knowing this upfront I still wanted to challenge myself this year photographically, to look at the sculptures from all angles and aspects and find the best way to showcase each sculpture using natural light.

Using Natural Light to enhance this cool Sculpture

Using Natural Light to enhance this cool Sculpture

I headed down last Saturday morning around 7.30 thinking that the sun would be in a good position and not too bright or encompassing, I was wrong.  However I was pleased to discover that I could still create some magic shots with the elements I had to work with.

Harsh lighting and People on the Beach made it challenging to capture each ball.

Harsh lighting and People on the Beach made it challenging to capture each ball.


A pair of Pear's in the harsh Sunlight

A pair of Pear’s in the harsh Sunlight

Here are some more of my favourite photos from this year.

A cool thing to have on the Beach

A cool thing to have on the Beach


High Five - The light created some beautiful pattern inside this Sculpture

High Five – The light created some beautiful pattern inside this Sculpture


"Turtle Ball"

“Turtle Ball”

Lastly to finish out this weeks blog my personal favourite was the Blue surfing girl on the Beach.  Here is one of the many angles I photographed her this day.

Surfer Girl

Surfer Girl

Until next week.