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This Is Northern New South Wales

Matthew Shepherd’s Aquaseen

Matthew Shepherd often finds himself drawn to the ocean whether there is a huge swell or it’s just glassy with the clearest of water. The ocean has always intrigued him so he continues to shoot anything in or around it. “It’s not just what’s in the water that draws me in but also the ever-changing landscapes around her shores.”

“I have been coming to Byron since I was a kid, first on a body board and then as a teenager when I rode a 5’11 short board.  Now I never come to Byron without my camera. The first ever time I captured a sunrise was on Tallows beach one morning with my very first camera only three and a half years ago. I had no idea what I was doing and the images were average to say the least, but that one morning changed how I looked at cameras. It wasn’t to take snaps of my friends and family but to show them what I see when they are sleeping or high and dry.”

People often ask Matt if he would rather be photographing a seascape or suiting up in his dive gear to do an underwater shoot, but he says he can’t really separate the two. “Don’t get me wrong, the feeling of stepping off the side of a boat into crystal clear water is indescribable.”

“However I can say the same thing about waiting for the sun to come up over the horizon on a deserted beach. There are times when I really just want to throw my alarm clock at the wall, and I do sometimes when it goes off at 4.30am, but once I am looking through my viewfinder at what will hopefully be the shot that I’ve been chasing it all makes sense.”

“I am finding that the more I shoot the fewer images I am happy with but I guess that comes with being a photographer.  The thing for me about photography is that I don’t think I will ever get the image I am pursuing, and that’s the beauty because I reckon I will never tire of trying.”

We are stoked to introduce Matt as our latest Common Ground contributor and look forward to sharing his works with you on a regular basis.

Check out more of his work at