Behind the Lens: Adam Wise

As a grom washing up in Bali back in 93′, Adam formed some tight friendships with local surfers that have brought him back every year since. Often posting up at Un’s Hotel for months on end, he sips margarita’s by the pool until ‘hotel manager’ Marlon pulls him away to shoot. His passion for photography has been brewing in recent times, resulting in some noteworthy images. We sat down with Adam poolside for a quick chat about his background and photography.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I cruise most of the time in Sydney then head up here for as much of the winter as I can. I have always been interested in the art & photography that I would see in Skateboarding, Snowboard & Surf magazines from way back in the late 80’s. I started to learn about shooting photos with decent equipment in around 2008. Pete Frieden gave me a bit of advice to get me started here in Bali & Scott Needham did the same in Sydney from time to time.

What brought you to Bali?
My best buddy from school days is half Balinese & his family first brought me up here in 1993, I got introduced to the Gerber family straight away thru him & made a bunch of friends here. I like the lifestyle here…It’s as nice & simple as you want it to be or it can be as fast paced & busy as you want it to be too, so I always try to spend time here.

What magazine’s / websites do you contribute to most often?
Usually I like to shoot scenic & line-ups, so Coastalwatch in Australia have picked up a few of my shots from time to time, along with SW Magazine. I am still learning the ropes of photography; so right now my focus is on building up a good stock of images that could be used for something further down the line.

Pat O’Connell Bali Indonesia @patchy_o parking it at the carpark

A photo posted by adamwisephoto (@adam.eyes) on

Where are your favourite waves to shoot in Indo?
Any wave that will allow me to get a few different angles at. I like to keep moving around chasing things that catch my eye & hopefully they help me build up a nice image to capture of the moments as they play out.

Who are your favourite surfers to work with?
Here in Bali I like shooting with Marlon. He has nice smooth style that usually works well for the style of shots I like to work on. Betet’s another guy that I like to get a good shot of when I can. Both their personality’s really come through in their surfing & its fun to capture it.

What’s the best part of being a photographer?
I like the creative side of it and I like the solitude I feel when I am working on getting a shot. I kind of go into my own little world when shooting, There are no real rules or people telling you what to do. When the elements all line up & you create a nice image, it’s a real good feeling.

The hardest part of your job?
I wouldn’t call photography my job; I am far away from the level of consistency needed to be a staff or contracted photographer. I have a lot of respect for the full-time photographers, Those guys have to nail the shot ever time for the riders careers & the business side of it seems pretty gnarly.

What type of cameras do you typically shoot with?
I usually pair the Eos 1 with a 17-40mm or a 70-200mm for most of the stuff I like to compose up & sometimes a 300mm for slightly tighter shots.

What separates you from your peers?
I would never try to compete with anyone. I just like to take photos for myself right now, if other people enjoy them & they get run somewhere down the track then that’s a bonus. I don’t like stepping on professional photographers toes.

Have you found yourself in any heavy situations shooting in Indo?
Nothing real scary, sometimes I walk a little too deep into the bushes scouting for an angle & have jumped out real quick when hearing things slithering or flying around. That’s about it.

What’s your favourite local meal?
Nasi Campur at Warung Harsi in Kuta is so good & so is Warung Sulawesi. I also like the Sate Kambing  & Gule at Warung Madura near Canggu. Warung Ini Buka Sampai in Sanur for rice in the morning is really good too.

Any travel tips for surfers coming to Bali?
Just show respect to Bali & its people. Think about your actions in & out of the water.

Do you have your own blog or online folio that we can check out?
No blogs or anything like that at the moment. Still got a lot of photo’s to shoot before that happens. But I just started Instagram so check our @adam.eyes

Rob Machado Bali Indonesia. @rob_machado punching the clock beyond 12 o’clock.

A photo posted by adamwisephoto (@adam.eyes) on

Wade Goodall Bali Indonesia 2010. @wadegoodall combo-ing it while filming for Transworld Surf’s Hi-5 movie.

A photo posted by adamwisephoto (@adam.eyes) on

Behind the Lens: Adam Wise