Southwest Of Western Australia

Ren McGann West Australian Surf Photographer

Ren McGann West Australian Surf Photographer


Firstly, can you start with a little bit about yourself? 

My name is Ren McGann

I was born in the back of a bus which was our house, in the middle of the bush in Balingup. I've spent most of my adult life on the ocean, in a variety of industries.  For me the perfect day is one spent in nature, exploring without a sole in sight.

When did you first start your photography journey? 

I've always been drawn to photography but never really focused much time into it until more recently, it was always just something I did because of the places I was working were so beautiful. but since moving to Margaret river 3.5 years ago I started learning more and became slightly addicted to it. its a great platform to meet people, and motivate you to explore new things.

Ren McGann Photographer from WA

What equipment do you use and why did you select it? 

I shoot with a Nikon D850 with my go to lenses being Nikon 14-24mm and the Nikon 70-200 ed vr fl. These cover the two areas I focus on most, which is landscape and big wave. having the combination of sharp, fast glass is a must when shooting either of these. Combined with the D850's resolution, it makes great photos.

I also shoot on the @Nikon d7200 with a few other lenses, and the DJI mavic pro to capture the air point of view, and sometimes the trusty old @gopro5


What would you say is your favourite lens and Why? 

This is tricky, as I have two, Nikon 14-24mm and the Nikon 70-200 ed vr fl. the 70-200 is so sharp and epic for surf and portraits it has amazing bokeh. and the 14-24 for landscapes is my go to, super sharp and uses rectilinear optics so it has very little distortion even at 14mm.

Can you share your most frequently used settings?

I try as often as possible to experiment with settings depending on what im shooting, but surf would be ISO 100, F 8-10, and shutter 1/1000, landscape I do like motion blur so wherever possible it would be ISO 64, F 10, shutter 3-5sec


What time of day do you prefer to shoot at? 

I'm not much for early mornings, but when I do manage to get up it definitely creates some epic light, so id tend more towards sunset, but in saying that, I love the light created when storms roll in through the day, nice and moody.


What inspires your creative vision? 

I really enjoy working on conceptual photography, having an idea of a picture that just wouldn't happen under normal circumstances and working on creating it, its a fun process. and in everyday shooting just letting the subject, what ever it is (waves, landscapes, people, animals) speak to you, adapting to the situation to then try capture a moment and to present it in the way that I saw it.

What methods do you use for editing? Can you explain your workflow? 

My workflow is so varied, it would depend on the image, so easy touch ups its Lightroom classic, and for more detailed or conceptual stuff its definitely photoshop, that program is like a very deep rabbit hole hahaha


Among all your images what is your most memorable shot? 

Each time I look through my images it changes depending on my mood, but one constant would be a wave of Chris shanahan at the right, to me it just sums up that place and the feelings you get being there. A back lit big barrel with him riding this wave so perfectly, it just takes me back to that day every time I see it because I have a strong emotional connection to it from being there.

Interview With Ren McGann

How do you continue to develop your skills as a photographer? 

One thing im trying to focus on is adapting different techniques to different settings, instead of saying im a landscape photographer or surf photographer trying to fuse elements of these into portrait work or conceptual work. and the best thing I recon you can do is go shoot what ever feels uncomfortable, if its uncomfortable it means it needs work.

Ren McGann West Australian Surf Photographer

Who are your greatest photography inspirations? 

Theres so much great content on the web that inspiration comes from everyone and everywhere. 

Interview With Ren McGann

Where is your favourite place in Western Australia to shoot? 

The Deep South.

Finally, what country are you dying to shoot in but haven’t had the chance yet? 

Antarctica, shooting ice burgs and rugged landscapes. Additionally Iceland, Alaska, anywhere there are no people and epic landscapes. hahaha