Dave Sparkes

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Dave Sparkes Photographer and Artist

Dave Sparkes has swung between art forms across his career.

David Sparkes was born in 1962 and grew up in Bondi Beach, moving to Blueys Beach, on the NSW mid-north coast, in 1998. A Bondi Beach Public school and Dover Heights Boys High alumni, Dave documents the world around him through photography, writing and painting.

His first published photographs appeared in the Surfing World Photo Annual in 1984, and he has since had photographs published in publications all over the world. He has been a full time professional surf photographer/journalist since 1996, completing assignments worldwide for Tracks, Waves, Surfing World and ASLmagazines. As well as Rip Curl clothing, Billabongclothing and numerous other clients. Dave has traveled to many countries for commercial and editorial shoots including Hawaii, Tahiti, Indonesia, Chile, Philippines, Solomon Islands, New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Tonga, Fiji and South Africa. He has shot covers for magazines from Australia, New Zealand, Spain, UK, France, Brazil and the USA, including the 2005 cover of the highly prestigious US Surfer Photo Annual.

Dave also covered the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, in Indonesia, in words and photos for Tracks, an unforgettable experience.

For the past 5 years Dave has focused increasingly on “splitshots”, also known as “over and under” photographs, which feature a simultaneous dual point of view, both above and below the surface of the water. Dave designs and constructs his own waterproof camera housings, purpose built to implement his passion for capturing and conveying this amphibious vision. The application of his original techniques in photographing “bisected”, or cross sectional, views of breaking ocean waves is uniquely intimate, creating a rarely seen, dual portal into these spectacular yet ephemeral natural forms. No digital manipulation or Photoshop treachery is used, the images are all captured on camera.

Dave’s first book is “The Wave: Tales From The Impact Zone”, published by Hachette.


Photography and Writing:
1984 – First published photographs in Surfing World Magazine.
1996 – 2017:
Staff Photographer/writer: for Tracks magazine. Contracted photographer: for Rip Curl.
Numerous photographic and written assignments completed for Rip Curl, Carve, Quiksilver, Billabong, magazines worldwide and many other surf industry companies.
Photographed covers for magazines in Australia, US, France, Spain, New Zealand, UK, including the cover of the 2005 Surfer Magazine Photo Annual.
2011 – Book of words and photographs, titled “The Wave: Tales From the Impact Zone” published in Australia and New Zealand by Hachette Publishing.

2010 – to present:
Landscape watercolourist, focusing on en plein air work. Finalist in numerous art awards, including the 2024 John Glover Prize, the 2023 Elaine Bermingham Watercolour Prize, the 2022 Heysen Landscape Prize. Dave is also a five time finalist in the BAM Art Prize.
“Watercoloured Waves” (for Tracks magazine): a regular column of words, illustrated by a watercolour painting, based on past exploits as a surf photographer/writer.
2017 – studied with Greg Allen.
2022 – studied with Joseph Zbukvic.

Source: https://www.theinertia.com/surf/portfolio-david-sparkes/
Flotsam International Masters Of Surf Launch
2024 exhibition music panel

Flotsam International Masters Of Surf Launch

Fri, May 3

1:00 pm — 5:00 pm

Kirra Beach House

Flotsam International Masters of Surf Exhibition
free event
2024 exhibition

Flotsam International Masters of Surf Exhibition

Tue, May 7

9:00 am — 4:00 pm

Kirra Hill Community and Cultural Centre