Wollongong ocean photographer Warren Keelan bags international awards

Wollongong photographer Warren Keelan has added more accolades to his resume with two of his abstract seascapes winning international awards.

His image Sea Horse won the Nature/Landscape category of the Memorial Maria Luisa Photo Awards (International Photo Awards) in Spain. While Emanate received Gold at this year’s Moscow International Photography Awards in the Nature/Landscapes category.

“To get that kind of recognition for just a wave photo, it means a lot more to me than just winning a wave category,” Keelan said.

“Most of the time [my images] come under ‘landscapes’ which means I’m battling against people that are submitting beautiful, mind blowing photos of alps and mountains and ice-scapes and I just put up a photo of a wave.”

Ocean photographer Warren Keelan at work. Picture: Dave Sandford

Ocean photographer Warren Keelan at work. Picture: Dave Sandford

Previously Keelan’s photos have been awarded highly in the International Landscape Photographer of the Year, International Photo Awards, International Monochrome Awards, Epson International Pano, Siena International and International Loupe Awards.

The artist said he doesn’t enter every competition available all of the time but rather waits until he has an image he feels “worthy”.

“I just won’t enter them if I feel I don’t have any work worthy of it,” Keelan said.

“This year I did, I had a couple of waves – I have been holding on to some images I feel really proud of, and it was really nice to hear that kind of feedback [through the awards].”

It comes as Keelan celebrates five years in his retail store on Kembla Street. He said it still “blows him away” to think he has been able to make his art sustainable.

Keelan is one of a number of successful ocean photographers from the Illawarra region though said there isn’t much rivalry.

“Generally we all sort of do our own thing,” he said. “Two or three guys sitting there in the same break within a few metres of each other but we all come out with something different.”