AFTER 16 years selling more than 50,000 calendars focusing on the curves and forms of the Great Ocean Road, photographer Rodney Hyett has turned his lens to an even curvier subject — beach babes.
While it sounds a little bit Sports Illustrated, the photographs for his 2014 calendar are anything but.
The 12 black and white images of Port Campbell and Torquay models, all surfers, evoke the joys of summer by the sea — freedom, warmth and endless hazy ocean-drenched days.
And there’s even a homage to that most famous of Aussie beach photographers, Max Dupain.
Dupain’s iconic sunbathing man, facing left, is replaced with Ms November — posed face to the right, with the slight curve of a surfboard breaking the endless line of sand and sea.
In another, the model lazes in the foreground while one of the Great Ocean Roads’ most majestic rock formations rises from the sea.
Hyett said he never grew bored of the coastline, but it was time to reach out to a new audience.
“One of the images was the homage to Max Dupain and it got a very favourable response,’’ he said of his initial move to change the subject for his calendar.
“The Great Ocean Road calendar had come to an end — all things come to pass.’’
The Port Campbell resident said it was important to not use professional models.
“They (the subjects) are the real deal in so far as just about everyone of them was a surfer, some of them came from Port Campbell, some of them were local to Torquay,’’ he said.
A photographer since his teens, the 58-year-old father-of-three sons swapped a career in architecture for photography.
His first camera, a film-based Pentax Spotmatic SLR, was soon replaced by Hassleblad equipment.
He now shoots with a (digital) Canon EOS 1D.
Since the 1970s he has captured images for a variety of magazines, sold more than 50,000 calendars and more than 100,000 copies of his six books.
Married to his wife Hazel since 1987, Hyett said the one constant in his art had been the ocean.
“I’ve surfed since I was about 12 and I just love hanging around the beach,’’ he told The Standard.
“I’m never bored watching waves roll in and storms roll past.’’