Shooting for success
Unable to ride the waves, Noel now captures them.
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.”
TALENT: Noel Brady won the sports category for the 2018 Sony Alpha Awards Australia and New Zealand, he also won second across all categories.