1) Hey Darren, thanks for chatting with us! Tell us a little about your day job is and what you do?
I work as a heights safety consultant who looks after rope access and roofing clients. Currently, I’m serving in the SANDF as a reservist.
2) Tell us about how you got into bodyboarding?
Got into bodyboarding during my teen years growing up on the Bluff. I got shipped off to the military and lost touch with bodyboarding and the ocean for 13 years. The spark reignited in 2016 and met up with awesome old and new friends who pushed me into riding better and bigger surf which our amazing coastline has on offer.
3) When did you first start shooting and what made you start?
I started recording sessions in 2017 with a Go-Pro Hero 3 mounted to my Gath helmet while bodyboarding but my interests in photos sparked while swimming with the GoPro in the shore break and backline sessions. I got addicted to the movement of water and in 2018 I took the jump into buying proper water photography gear.
4) What has been the most memorable shot you have taken?
Big Wednesday. 13 August 2018. My first real big wave swims at Cave Rock. 8 to 10-foot swell, scary overcast cold weather, low tide, and corduroy lines as far as the eye can see. Only 4 guys out. Ricky Basnett almost drowns getting taken out by a 10-foot closeout. Managed to take a few shots before getting washed up north to Ansteys beach. It is not the best and sharpest image I have captured but it certainly is the most memorable as it still gives me chills looking at it.
5) Where do you prefer shooting from the land or in the ocean?
Both land and water photography have their moments but I prefer shooting in the water as it is far more exciting, challenging, and rewarding. Nothing beats sharing a barrel with friends and capturing that moment.
6) Tell us the story of what happened when you nearly drowned shooting??
Skip this question.
I don’t remember anything anyway… 😛
7) What is your fav piece of equipment that you use to shoot with?
Right now I’m using the Sony a6500 with the Sigma 30mm prime lens and Sony 16 to 50 kit lens. Perfect for water photography and filming due to its size and capabilities. The camera is housed in a Liquid Eye a6500 during water shoots. I also use a GoPro Hero 7 Black mounted on top of water housing to film and capture super close up images with its fisheye lens.
8) Where is your favorite place to shoot and who inspires you the most?
My favorite place to shoot will always be Cave Rock, especially during winter as the lighting is perfect for dawn patrol shoots. During summer I have other spots I go to which produces most of my wave art pics. There are a few photographers that inspire me but the one that stands out the most is Marck Botha. His fearlessness and happy vibes are second to none. Never a dull moment with him in the water. Undeniably one of the most underrated water photographers on this planet.
9) Apparently you also sell your images let us know where we can buy some cool wall art?
You can find my prints on Facebook at Darren Simes Water Photography and also on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/darren_simes/
10) Thanks for chatting to us at ZA Boogie any last words?
Thank you for the opportunity. My last words are never to forget what made you fall in love with the ocean and waves. That first glide down the face of a wave, that first barrel, the natural high it embedded within you. Look after nature and nature will look after you. A huge shout out to all my friends and family who supported me with this amazing adventure. You all inspire me to be better. Thank you.