Interview: Oscar Sloane
Landscape and lifestyle photographer Oscar Sloane grew up on the island of Tasmania off the south-east coast of Australia, but for the past year or so he’s been travelling the world.
First in Canada and then in the United States, all with his trusty Sony A7ii Camera in tow. Without plastic, Oscar Sloane wouldn’t be able to take the types of photos he does. Unlike the early landscape photographers like Ansel Adams who travelled with numerous cameras and trusty donkey, plastics lightweight and flexibility give Oscar Sloane the ability travel carefree through rough mountain ranges and along wild coastlines.
We spoke to the adventurous photographer about growing up in such a remote part of the world, how he discovered photography and his passion for surfing.
Can you tell us a bit about how you got interested in photography?
I first discovered photography when I got into hiking in the remote parts of Tasmania. I decided to buy my first camera back in 2017 to capture all of my adventures and share with the world. I fell in love with taking photos instantly, to then editing them and creating something special. To this date I have never looked back and continue to explore the most remote places on the planet.
Do you have a preferred camera or lens? Can you tell us about why you like that particular make so much?
I use the Sony A7ii and I love it. It does everything I need it to do and has been reliable in every condition for me, I have put it to the test. I have 3 lenses I shuffle between. They are the Sony 16-35mm F4, Sony 35mm F1.4 and the Sony 70-200mm F4. My lens I use the most and favourite is the 35mm. I choose the 35mm over them all as it is perfect for all round. Landscapes, lifestyle and portrait work.
You grew up in Tasmania, how has living there influenced your point-of-view as a photographer?
Yes, having lived here my whole life and always been involved with outdoor activities I have built a strong relationship with the nature around me. Becoming a photographer and photographing unique and remote scenery you gain a different vision on the environment. You understand Mother Nature, global warming and all that stuff that comes with it. I have noticed now when I don’t have a camera in my hand and I am out enjoying life, I can look at things a lot different.
Can you tell us how long you’ve been travelling and where you’re headed next?
I started travelling in May 2018. I headed straight over to New Zealand on a solo mission. I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and take on a challenge. I was nervous but excited. I spent just under a month over there photographing the south island. From the mountains, waterfalls and the beach, New Zealand has it all. I fell in love with the place.
I came back to Tasmania spent the winter in the mountains here chasing my passion. Soon enough I booked my second trip back to New Zealand and spent 2 weeks there in October 2018.
After this trip, I wanted to move there for 2019. As they do plans change and I woke up one morning in December and had the urge to move across to the other side of the world, Canada. Soon enough I started applying for a work visa and aiming to move there in April 2019. Everything fell into place and I was on a one-way ticket across the globe.
I spent 6 months living in Lake Louise, Alberta. I was out photographing the Rocky Mountains every week, I had never done so much hiking in my life. I became very fit and my mindset became very focused on photography and hiking. I would barely sleep as I wanted to chase sunsets and sunrises as much as I could to just be amongst nature and creating memories through a camera.
I then travelled through America for my last few weeks on the other side of the world. I spent time down in Montana, Oregon and Washington. Living in my van and taking a brief look off what America has in store.
I then flew back over to New Zealand for a quick stop over before returning to Tasmania. Myself and some fellow Tasmanians lived in a van and travelled around the south island.
I am now back in Tasmania until February 2020. I will then head back over to Canada for some snowboarding until the summer comes around again. Over the summer period my travel plans are to head down to Patagonia, Peru and then live in my van through out America.
What’s been some of the highlights of your travels so far?
I would have to say meeting new people. Meeting like minded people with the same passion and outlook on life as myself. Photography brings people together in so many ways and that’s why I love it. Another big highlight from my travels has been spending a lot of time in the backcountry and camping for days on end disconnected with the world, no phone service and just appreciating what is around you and how lucky we really are.
The one thing (other than your camera) that you take with you when you travel?
Laptop, hard drives and spare SD cards. All of these are the most important as they hold all my photos and work along the way.
Is there anything you’ve achieved that you at first didn’t think was possible
Working alongside clients and having my work purchased through brands and companies. I never thought my photography would go that far.
In addition to photography, you’re also a surfer. Do the two ever cross-over? What has surfing taught you about photography (if anything) and vice versa?
Yes, I love to surf and wakeboard outside of photography. I have never crossed the two together though. As I am home in Tasmania this summer, I am going to be taking the camera along to capture the moments spent along the coast and out in the boat wakeboarding.
Words to live by?
If you have a plan B you will never reach A.
Quality over Quantity always.
Your hope for the future?
Full time photography, travelling the world and inspiring others to get outdoors and appreciate what is around us, whilst it lasts.