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Ben Jackson's award winning shot of Darcy locked into a drainer.

“I’ve never scored that wave so good and nailed so many shots in one session”

Photographer Ben Jackson shares his thoughts on his award winning shot.

Last night Ben Jackson took home the prize for Surf Photo of the Year, presented by Tracks, at the Australian Surfing Awards. When I called him this morning to find out how he was feeling after taking home the prestigious award, he was midway through ordering his KFC.

“It was a pretty big night, I’m definitely feeling hungover today,” he said.

It’s safe to say Ben enjoyed a few beers last night and rightfully so after winning the award for his monster shot of Darcy Piper locked into a heaving drainer somewhere on the South Coast of NSW.

“I was down there for a week last year and the swell looked like it was going to go off, on the last day we woke up and it hadn’t showed. I was due to drive back for work but I decided to stay an extra day in the hope it arrived late.

 “The next morning we woke up to perfect conditions, there was a good crew down there and they were all sending it. Darcy was getting so many good ones that day, he’s an absolute nutter. In that photo he’s going so fast that it almost looks like a tow wave.

“The take-off is super steep as well and jumping off the rocks there is pretty hairy. You have to time it well otherwise you just get swept back across the rocks.

“The current can be pretty bad there too, but luckily it was kind of tame that day. However, shooting fish eye you have to get yourself right in there and so I copped a couple on the head but nothing too bad.”

The 28-year-old full time plumber has a habit for nailing shots and his one of Noa Deane from the same session was featured in one of our recent Tracks issues.

“I don’t think I’ve ever scored that wave so good and nailed so many good shots in one session, I was super stoked with it.”

Commenting on his love for photography, he added: “I’ve always wanted to do it but it is a pretty tough gig to crack, which is why I still work full time. However, I still try and shoot as much as I can.

“I got my first camera at 15 or 16 and it was because a couple years prior I hurt myself and it put me out of the water, so I found a video camera at home and decided to start filming my brother and his mates. I really enjoyed it and it just escalated from there.

“I love capturing moments which you wouldn’t otherwise see if there wasn’t someone there with a camera.

“There’s times where I haven’t shot in a year or so just because life gets in the way but my love for doing it has always been there and, hopefully, now we’re coming into the best time of the season I’ll be able to nail some more shots.”

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A bi-monthly eclectic tome of tangible surfing goodness that celebrates all things surfing, delivered to your door!
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Your portal to cultural events happening in and around the surfing sphere.
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