#VSMEETS | Matthew O’brien


Field // Photographing

Age // 24

Resides // Sunshine Coast

Inspiration // Light. I’m a huge fan of the contrasts between natural and unnatural light. I love shooting interiors. I’ve been reading a lot of Vogue Living lately. Then there’s Ansel Adams! He’s had a profound influence on my work over the years. His black and white natural landscape photography is amazing.

Years in the game // Two

Equipment Digital/Film // Canon 1dmk3 7d 100-400mm 70-200mm 50mm 15mm. I’ve also got quite a few film cameras sitting around the house. I just bought my self a lil Praktica B100 with a 70-200mm lens and a legit 50mm lens. It was made in 1981. I’ve got some pretty wild film that I’m looking forward to try out with it.

Projects (present) // In the process of doing a Book Of Boobs with my mate/website designer Matt Haynes. It’s going to be a whole book of topless ladies shot on film with the ladies photographs cropped from the neck to the stomach. This is in no way a sexually explicit book, we are looking for women between 18-100+ . The older and more unique the better. A percentage of the proceeds will be going to a breast cancer charity.

Your pictures are always refreshing. We see different angles pulled back and you don’t always use the standard 600mm shooting straight on from the beach, tell us a bit about this? // I don’t know I’ve just always hated tight action shots. There just so boring. I find landscapes are more important to me than the surfing in the shot. I like to get the mood of a location across within my work.

You seem to have burst on scene after Little Weeds around the same time Chippa arose, did you guys work a lot together and how is it working with Chip? // Yeah we’ve been working together heaps since first meeting during the weeds comp. He’s my favorite guy to shoot and one of my good friends so working with him is rather easy.

Any other surfers worthy of a mention that you find fun to shoot? // I’ve always loved shooting with Benny Godwin and Thom Pringle. There both good friends of mine and have really unique styles. Plus when we’re shooting they don’t do turns and I love that! Although BennyG can through down a mad slice when need be. I’v seen him surf like Ben Dunn. He got a perfect 10. Also I’ve just started shooting with Cooper Chapman and Beau Foster, two young bucks definitely worthy of a mention.

Film or Digital & why // They both have there positives and negatives. Digital has made life a lot easer and less expensive yet I find it can lack the personality of film. With film no two rolls are ever the same and the colour you get with film is far more impressive and easer to work with. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to learn on film and shoot some amazing places as a kid. I will always favour film over digital.

Where did 28monsters start from and is it just your project? // It started back when i was 18. I lost 15 points off my license, went to court twice and had a mean article written about me in the local paper. People thought I was a monster for the things I had allegedly done. 28 is my lucky number so together it became 28monsters. I still don’t really know what I’m doing with it. For now its just kinda working as an alias.

Where do you want to take your photography? surf/fashion/lifestyle? // My goal is to be out of the surf game by 30 and to be living in New York shooting fashion and lifestyle.

Matt’s rant // The closed mindedness of the surf industry is something that has bugged me since I started working in it. Within the industry there is a serious lack of appreciation for different cultures and customs. I’m sick of surfers and photographers going to interesting places and only ever caring about the waves. Its so fucked. Then when the magazines run a story on a trip and the only shots they run are fucken wack lifestyles of pros handing out stickers to local children or some surfer walking up the beach with his board. its so fucken lame and annoys me more then anything. What’s the point of going to an interesting country if your not going to experience it.

Website/s // http://28monsters.com.au/ built by the wonderful boys at http://www.thevariousartists.com.au/



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