Rookie makes waves with photo of surfer

MEETING surfing icon David “Baddy” Treloar was a buzz for recreational photographer Duncan Fitzgerald.

However, making it to the finals of the Olive Cotton Award for his photo of Baddy was the icing on the cake.

Mr Fitzgerald, of Murwillumbah, is one of only six people on the Northern Coast to reach the finals of the coveted competition, which attracts professional photographers from Sydney and Melbourne.

“I was completely blown away that I got into the finals,” said Mr Fitzgerald, a Year 4 teacher at Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School.

“It's unbelievable.”

Mr Fitzgerald has been practising photography for a few years and combined it with his love of surfing for the portrait competition, run by Tweed River Art Gallery.

“This photo was shot when Baddy returned, for the first time, to the house he had been living in during Albe Falzon's iconic surf film Morning of the Earth (1972).

“I love the film, and the scene he's in is probably my favourite part. It was a massive buzz to meet Baddy.”

Mr Fitzgerald recreated the memorable scene at the original house, which is now falling apart, for the photo.

“I've been to the exhibition the past few years and really enjoyed it,” he said.

“This was my first attempt and I think I just got lucky.

“The story behind it is a good one and I was lucky to get on to it.”

The Olive Cotton Award will open at the Murwillumbah gallery on August 15. The major prize of $10,000 is funded by Olive Cotton's family. The Friends of the Tweed River Art Gallery provide $2000 for Director's Choice acquisitive awards, as well as a new $250 People's Choice Award.

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