From the Coalmine to the Sea, One Photographer’s Journey of Self-Discovery

His daily work was a mile below ground and many miles into the coal mines of Bulli, south of Sydney. A twist of fate landed him in a new career and one he never could have even dreamed of.

Seven years ago, if you told Ray Collins he would have a published book of photographs, and become one of the most creative ocean photographers in all of Australia, he would have called you crazy. Though, that’s exactly what happened.

After blowing out a knee, Collins found himself spending daily life in the ocean looking at, surfing, and photographing waves.

The coalmines are dangerus work, but as Ray Collins tells us you can always wash it all of in the ocean. (Screenshot/Vimeo)
The coalmines are dangerous work, but as Ray Collins tells us you can always wash it all off in the ocean. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

 From the coal mines to the ocean, a story of self-discovery through photographs.

After giving up life in the mines Collins enjoys a fun surf around his hometown south of Syndey. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

After giving up life in the mines, Collins enjoys a fun surf around his hometown south of Sydney. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

I guess it just goes to show it is really never too late to chase your dreams. Collins’ story teaches us a valuable lesson, that we shouldn’t accept our lives just because we have gotten use to the routine.

Capturing a wave is really about an unique angle. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

Capturing a wave is really about a unique angle. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

If you thought being an ocean photographer was hard, try being a color blind one! Collins says he knows his photographs are different but he can’t explain why. I guess it’s just feel!

(Screenshot/Vimeo)

(Screenshot/Vimeo)

You can't have photographs without light, Collins' considers light one of the most important ingrediants of his craft. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

You can’t have photographs without light. Collins considers light one of the most important ingredients of his craft. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

Now Collins has the honor to work with some of the best surfers in the world. Though he notes that the surfers are really secondary to the wave and only there “for scale.”

Some guys are crazier than others! (Screenshot/Vimeo)

Some guys are crazier than others! (Screenshot/Vimeo)

Check out his full story in the video above!

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