Lachlan Manley grew up in Point Lonsdale and started surfing in Grade 6 with his mates. He started on a rubber surf matt then progressed to riding what he describes as a heavy “log of a surfboard”. His early surf heroes included Tom Carroll, Mark Richards, Tom Curren, Kong, Martin Potter and Occy.
One of his earliest memories was Easter Saturday 1981, when massive 20 foot plus surf smashed into the Surf Coast. Lachlan was on the beach at Bells that day watching the world’s best surfers ride monster waves. Lachlan grew up surfing with another Point Lonsdale local Mark Phipps who was a major influence on his surfing.
“I’ll never forget the tapping sound on the window early every morning – depending on who got up first,” Lachlan says.
“My favourite waves were Point Lonsdale reefs, Corsair Rock, Winki, Bells and down south. They were the best times of my life.”
It was around this time Lachlan got his hands on a video camera and the filming bug took hold: “I got a hold on a chunky video camera which was hard to get in those days and we would make surf films and clown around. I found myself filming everything all the time and wish I owned a still camera at the time as I barely have any photos from that era. In 2010, at the age of 42, my new girlfriend had a Canon SLR and for the first time I actually got to use a still camera. At the time I got involved in bird watching and wanted to take their photos. From there I got better and better, was winning awards and getting some great feedback. Being in nature I began to look at landscapes and found them more popular than birds so I changed my focus. I got married and now have a young child and my wife has MS so being a carer the photography is a great release and I usually find time to go out at night when everyone has gone to bed. I just love being out there filming storms, night skies, Aurora Australia… it really is great fun.”
Lachlan has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years with his eye catching night sky and landscape works, but his heart is always with the sea and the waves.
“I’m starting to realise that my love for surfing, the ocean and the waves has never left me and you can expect my direction to turn more towards ocean photography in the future to be honest. I can’t wait, after all I was born and bred in it and it is through me,” he says.
Lachlan is currently staging an exhibition open daily to the public at Café Zoo, 23 High Street, Drysdale until June 12. You can find more of his amazing works at LachlanManleyPhotography.com or on Facebook and Instragram.
Written by John Foss