Growing up and drawing inspiration from the beautiful surroundings of the Coffs CoasT, Adam Duffy has become an awarded surf and landscape photographer. Focus recently sat down with the gifted snapper, to find out what it takes to reach the top level and turn your hobby into your day job.
Tell me about your childhood …Where did you grow up, and what do you recall as being your earliest creative memory?
I grew up in Coffs Harbour on the beautiful Mid North Coast, spending most of my time around the jetty.
I first bought a disposable camera and started taking some pictures of my friend surfing.
What type of camera do you use?
I use a full frame DSLR camera, fisheye lens and flash in an Aquatech water housing case, which is equipped with a dome lens port, so I can do over/underwater images in a single shot. The camera is great in low light, which is predominantly what I shoot; it retains amazing quality, where normal cameras would fail.
What formal training have you had?
I am a qualified graphic designer and self taught photographer. When I started, there weren’t even digital cameras. I learnt on film from trial and error and reading lots of books, and that was 14 years ago.
How would you describe your own style?
Peaceful, powerful and natural.
Why the ocean?
The ocean for me is like home; I can go there and wash away my stress or problems. Most people know the feeling of jumping in the ocean, and that’s what I live for. The act in itself can be exciting or calming, depending on the conditions, but for me it’s often a full workout swimming in the big waves. It’s the best start to the day.
Where do you draw you inspiration from?
I love travel and always have; I’ve been to over 25 amazing countries. The joy of exploring somewhere new is always exciting. I often just draw inspiration from the landscape, ocean and what comes naturally in the surroundings, wherever I am.
Where in the world is your favourite place to photograph?
Teahupoo-Tahiti. The place is like Hawaii was 50 years ago before it became all touristy; often people go there for their honeymoon, but it is also home to the heaviest wave on the planet, and the people are some of the nicest I have ever met. I was treated like family there.
You are very well travelled.
Tell us about some of your most rewarding experiences.
Swimming with Humpback Whales, sharks and dolphins in Tahiti were a highlight.
I also travel to famous surf breaks in Hawaii, Fiji, Tahiti, USA, Brazil and around Australia.
What are some of the accolades you have received?
I won awards with National Geographic and the 2014 International Travel Photography Awards, which are my most recent.
I have also appeared in various surfing and landscape magazines, newspapers and photography publications.
What is the most popular print available?
Perfect View, Teahupoo, Tahiti. The wave is in the most beautiful place in the world; if I could live anywhere, it would be there in French Polynesia.
Where can people view and purchase your artwork?
They can see my work shared daily on