Shoot­ing for suc­cess

Un­able to ride the waves, Noel now cap­tures them.

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - An­nie Caughey An­nie.Caughey@sc­news.com.au

SURF­ING from the age of eight, Noel Brady’s life was in the fast lane – he owned his own plumb­ing busi­ness and lived for the great out­doors. Un­til a tragic surf­ing ac­ci­dent in 2012 rocked the 28-year-old’s life.

“I re­mem­ber it so well, it was a split de­ci­sion to pull off or just get on top and go in,” he said. “When I was com­ing down, I was on the wrong an­kle.

“My fibula bone frac­tured and split the two mus­cles up to my knee. It dis­lo­cated my an­kle and tore all the ten­dons.

“The only thing hold­ing it to­gether was my skin and Achilles.”

At first he was told that noth­ing was wrong. He then needed ma­jor surgery to in­stall metal bolts in­side his an­kle that were later wrong­fully re­moved, leav­ing shards of metal stuck in­side his bone.

He then had to un­dergo spinal surgery to re­move a disc which had weak­ened as a re­sult of his body con­stantly lean­ing to one side.

“My mar­riage broke down, I lost where I lived, I pretty much lost ev­ery­thing,” he said.

How­ever, ea­ger to be back in the ocean, the Beer­wah res­i­dent de­cided to try and shoot the sport he loved from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive.

Mr Brady said photography had be­come an es­sen­tial ther­a­peu­tic rem­edy in his life.

“I can use my imag­i­na­tion with photography – it’s a bit of an es­cape,” he said.

“Be­ing out and be­ing ac­tive where most of the time I can’t be.”

Turns out his hid­den tal­ent for cap­tur­ing pho­tos sent him down a new path­way to life.

This year Mr Brady won the Aus­tralia and New Zealand Sony Al­pha Sports Cat­e­gory Award for the third year run­ning.

Last Thurs­day, April 26, he went to the award cer­e­mony and won sec­ond place in the over­all com­pe­ti­tion.

He sold his old plumb­ing busi­ness and now works full-time, both shoot­ing and teach­ing photography.

His 2018 win­ning shot was of well-known surfer Der­rick Hind at the Noosa Hin­ter­land.

Mr Brady said he en­joyed the chal­lenge of shoot­ing the surf and board rid­ers.

“It’s pretty chal­leng­ing some­times (when) you’ve got all the el­e­ments of the ocean against you,” he said.

“I try to push the bound­aries with that. When you get the shot at those speeds hand-held, it’s pretty re­ward­ing.

“If I only get one or two out of the ses­sion, I’m happy.”

PHOTO: JOHN MCCUTCHEON

TAL­ENT: Noel Brady won the sports cat­e­gory for the 2018 Sony Al­pha Awards Aus­tralia and New Zealand, he also won sec­ond across all cat­e­gories.

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