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Photographer Shelli Bankier is set to release her first photographic book, a collection of wave forms and ocean moments that beautifully illustrate the essence of the sea.


Launching on the 6th of December 2012 to coincide with the first of a series of exhibitions by the Gold Coast-based photographer, this book is the best of Shelli’s work, the sum total of her unique ocean images spanning the last ten years.

This hard cover 204 page art book is a singular publication unlike anything before it. Independently published, it is printed on environmentally responsible PEFC matt paper with soy inks by the highly regarded print house behind publications such as White Horses, Visions and numerous magazines.

The book features the ocean in all its vibrant beauty and power, and is the ultimate gift for ocean lovers. Speaking of moments in time, the photography in ‘Bluesphere’ is a compilation of breathtaking images from the best wave spots around the world; Australia, Hawaii, Tahiti and more, all shown at their best, when the wind is offshore and the waves are peaking.

Aside from being her life’s work, Bluesphere is the culmination of Shelli’s personal journey as well. Shelli began surfing at age 13, but when a car accident left her with severe spinal injuries at the age of 16, doctors told her there was no hope she would walk or surf again.

Having spent her formative years aboard a yacht with her family sailing the world’s oceans had left an indelible mark on Shelli’s soul – one of water and waves, and a deep connection with the ocean. She felt the pull of the tides in her blood and the pulse of the waves in her heart, as do many who live a life bordered and influenced by the ocean. It was this love that drew her to photographing the ocean during her recovery from her ‘permanent’ paralysis. Determined to walk again and get back in the water, Shelli defied the odds and slowly but surely regained her ability to do both.

Overcoming that monumental challenge, Shelli quit school, studied professional photography, and jumped on a plane with camera in hand, learning along the way from some the best surf photographers in the world.

Since that time Shelli has amassed a collection of images from both near and far that are soulful reflections of the sublime moments that the sea offers.

Shelli is now one of the few women in the male-dominated surf photography field, and has had her work published and exhibited widely over the years. She also offers exclusive prints from her website bluespherephotography.com

“I like to let my photography speak for itself, to create a free sense of space, and bring the Ocean in through the windows of my images, a window to another place, a page of water dreams. And also to awaken eyes to the great Ocean that supports all life, to the care we must now give in appreciation and to the change we must make to alter our negative effects on the planet,” Shelli says of her work. “I like to capture in my images the form and texture of waves and ocean, the feel, the connection, the balance of movement and the space in-between, a space of stillness and power, of an in-breath and an out-breath,” Shelli said.

Shelli has dedicated countless hours to watching the many moods of the sea with her film and digital cameras, and the results celebrate the feel of surfing, the beauty of the ocean, and the importance of ocean conservation. Threaded with art elements and prose, Bluesphere is a journal of Shelli’s work, a reminder of an ongoing oceanic journey as seen through the camera lens.

View a selection of the book here.

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