Photographer Insight: Grace Walden

Photographer Insight: Grace Walden

Grace Walden came in with second place in the 2015 Ocean & Earth Surf Photographer Search. Her attention to detail as a photographer and editor was second-to-none. The images she produces blow your mind by way of a cross between reality and some mystical dream land where lines sot the horizon meet the most magical sky-scapes in the land of the long white cloud. 

We are honoured to introduce Grace Walden and expect to see her name presented neatly in high-end curated exhibitions all round the world. 

grace waldenI was the I was born in Wellington, New Zealand, I’m the oldest of 5 ocean blessed children and have been on the earth for 22 years. My dad did a lot of surfing in his younger years but calls himself a ‘retired old penguin’ now, so being squished in a car with a pile of boards wasn’t anything new to me. I worked for a Kodak store during my first year out of high school and loved every second.

It was here that I purchased a second hand Canon 400D with a 75mm – 300mm lens. The following year I moved to Raglan, where I spent almost every day out at the points, watching the big leagues and locals tear it up in their playground. The more I watched, the more I learned and soon it was easy to read waves and the way people surfed.

The sound, the smell of the ocean are like magic to me. The fact that one day the ocean can be a roaring, powerful, unreadable and yet the next day, within just hours of the monster swells that hit the shores, comes calm and silence, not a breath of wind. It’s incredible.

The west coast of the North Island of New Zealand is my favourite place to shoot because of it’s rugged, raw and untouched landscape. It can take your breath away. In saying that it’s really hard to beat a good, warm Summer’s day on the east coast with clean green barrels rolling into the beach.

Photography isn’t a profession for me at the moment, it is something I love to do and a refreshing break from the normal everyday, but if it could become my normal everyday, I wouldnt complain.


At the moment my camera bag is full of sand. But usually, it holds my 7D, lenses and those Mother Earth apricot muesli bars.

My favourite shot is a sunset shot. (pictured below) It captures all the stereotypes of a NZ evening; the guy finished work on a Friday, grabbing his board and heading out as the sun sets. I couldn’t think of a perfect way to end the day. It wasn’t a planned shot, it just happened and sometimes they are the best kind of ones. I edited it in lightroom, the colours were pretty much the same as what I experienced being there that evening.

Over Summer I attend most of the New Zealand surf competitions and spend lots of time on road trips, criss-crossing our amazing islands. Unfortunately, New Zealand doesn’t tend to draw too many big swells that hold well enough for people to surf, but we can dream.

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grace walden

Grace Walden - New Zealand

Grace Walden – New Zealand




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