COVER PHOTO – David Varekamp captures Andrej Tršan on a One Eye monster.
David Varekamp is an up and coming watersports photographer, based in Mauritius. Fast making a name for himself with his epic shots, if you’re visiting Mauritius and fancy bringing home the ultimate souvenir of a photo of yourself sailing in its beautiful waters then David is the go-to guy. We find out more about the man and his work.
PIC – David in his office!
WS: How did you get into watersports photography?
DV: I was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and grew up in a small city near the coast not too far from there. From a young age I always enjoyed the sea, boardsports and the more visual aspects of life. Although now everything seems obvious, looking back, it took a while before putting them all together.
I remember my first camera and the day I nearly signed up for a graphic design school in Rotterdam but, somehow, with the area being a large port, I ended up in engineering. I don’t regret this as for over a decade it allowed me to travel and live in various interesting places around the world which made me who I am. Eventually, I landed in Mauritius where the whole thing just fell into place. I already had most of the gear and had done a lot of shooting/editing before, so living on this tropical island surrounded with water and waves, it only made sense to get into it full-time – following my passion rather than anything else.
PIC – Kuba Gasiewski at Le Morne.
WS: What makes a good shot?
DV: A good shot for me is one that pulls you in and you can feel the energy of the waves and the commitment of a rider. My advice for good shots… Get wet every chance you have! Or at least get close to the action to connect and share the moment. That way you are more in it and you can work on shots together. Good shots are often a team effort.
PIC – Birgit Rieger at One Eye
WS: What is your advice for people wanting to follow in your footsteps?
DV: It helps if you are in a place where you can practise a lot, perfect your shots and try new compositions and angles. If you are planning to shoot from the water, invest in a good pair of fins and a helmet. Good fins will allow you to stay out longer. Then, have fun and shoot as much as possible, keeping in mind you’re also running a business.
PIC – Mike Wand-Tetley at Manawa.
WS: What equipment do you use?
DV: I have two Nikon D800 (full-frame, 36 megapixels), one ready to shoot from the water and other ready to shoot from a boat or on land. In the waves and lagoon I use an Aquatech waterproof housing with a 16mm fisheye, 24-70 or 70-200 depending on the type of shoot. When I shoot from a boat, like at Manawa for instance, I use a mega zoom 200-500 and a rain hood. For post processing I use a MacBook Pro or iMac depending on where I am.
PIC – Nikos Kaklamanakis at Manawa.
WS: For many Mauritius is a dream spot – what is it like to live the dream and live there?
DV: It is a great place with an amazing watersports playground with huge flat water lagoons, waves and pretty consistent wind as well as beautiful landscapes, good food and a great variety of cultures. For me every day is different, I never really know where I will end up or how things will go. It all depends on the weather. In short, my life evolves around natural elements much more than before. Also, even on an average day, I meet a lot of smiling faces – in and out of the water. That’s another great part of it. I love it.
PIC – Tom Hartmann at Manawa.
WS: Finally what shot do you want to get and haven’t yet?
DV:A back-door shot at One-Eye or similar – that is shooting from inside the tube to outside instead of the usual reverse. I would have to check if this is even possible here but it would surely be a great angle. I took some shots at the GKA Kitesurfing Wave World Cup last year that come close, but I have yet to get this from inside an actual tube.
PIC – Kuba Gasiewski at Manawa.
CREDITS – PHOTOS:DAVID VAREKAMP | WORDS:FINN MULLEN
PIC – The man himself – David Varekamp