This week I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Dick Hoole, legendary photog, surf film maker & genuinely amazing guy. Dick has been gracious & generous with his time, allowing me advice & access to his extensive collected works.
Dick lives on acreage above Byron Bay, with a view he has taken in over the last 25 years, that is simply breath taking. Dick shares his life with his animals, a couple of housemates & his great friends from across the world & through a lifetime of being on the spot during ‘those’ moments in surf history.
Working with some of his contemporaries, Albie Flazon, Jack McCoy & Dan Merkel, they shot/filmed, some of the most radically progressive, carefree, optimistic & hard core periods in the development of the sport we love. A time of competing tensions, corporatisation V individuality, freedom of expression V market conform, the free ride V free life… Dick & co captured these moments, the birth of professionalism, the emergence of the major surf brands, the evolution of the free surfer…
When wandering around Dicks’ place it is difficult to describe without overcooking the superlatives, I’m not even going to try. The best I can offer is an analogy for those that came in late. Imagine bumping into George Lucas or Steven Speilberg, having a chat with them about the idea of Star Wars… & then having the opportunity to wade through their basement of ‘stuff’. The ‘stuff’ we grew up with, the ‘stuff’ that has shaped a generation, the ‘stuff’ that has shifted from pop culture to the main stream, the ‘stuff’ that means so much to so many – worldwide. This is Dick’s basement… an Aladdin’s Cave rich with Surf History, Surf Treasure, Surf Memories.
What struck me in spending time with Dick, is that for a guy that has such an array of golden memories captured, he is clearly focused on what is in front of him, living in the moment, being present. I guess there is no other approach to life, when it is played out in front of you & your job is to be there & ensure that it is recorded.
Playing the hand you are dealt is a personal philosophy, we all have our challenges, concerns, stresses. If I have learnt anything in my 40 odd years & something Dick radiates, is you do the best with what you have got, and to not worry about what might make things better.
For me, spending time with Dick is always a pleasure, I end up taking away a lot more than a few digital images…
DO GOOD HAVE FUN