Interview with Eugene Tan from Aquabumps

Posted by Suzi | June 13, 2012

This blog has a little bit of an obsession with people that aren’t doing what they were told to do- or feel like they should be doing- but rather live, breathe and love their work.

Eugene Tan, also known as Uge (pronounced Yooj), is such a guy. A frustrated Creative Director, he combined his three passions for photography, surfing and the web to produce Aquabumps. Posting daily pictures of the beach since 1999; whether it be in Indonesia, Polynesia or his backyard, Bondi, his following has grown from a few mates to 40, 000 daily subscribers.

With a gallery in Bondi and exhibits all over the world, it’s a beautiful example that if you really love what you do you can make amazing things happen.

And as for the results? They always speak for themselves…



1. What’s the most jaw-dropping sight you’ve ever seen?

I’ve been to so many beautiful places in the world, but there is nothing more mesmerizing than watching pipe line in Hawaii when it’s on.


2. You take photos of the beach every day – does it ever become less amazing? What keeps you so inspired?

Bondi is so different everyday – the waves, the conditions. I actually never get sick of shooting it, there’s always something new to see. The fact that 40,000 people get my photo’s in their inbox everyday and are actively engaged in what I do on Facebook etc is pretty inspiring; to keep showing them parts of Bondi they haven’t seen before or maybe don’t get the chance to see everyday.


3. Which, out of all the pics you’ve ever taken, sticks out as being your most memorable moment?

Shooting the line up at pipeline with about 50 guys in the water and managing to capture a rare moment of an empty wave with no one but the mountains, the sun setting and the wave.

 4. You seem to be up at all hours. Do you have a strict morning routine or is the nature of your work more organic?

I can see the beach from my apartment and know if it’s going to be a cracking sunrise as soon as there is the first glimpse of light. After shooting early mornings for 13 years your body clock is pretty used to being up early and I shoot rain hail or shine.

 5.I read that every morning you have a conversation with your inside people to check all is on track. Is this important to your creativity?

I guess when you do what you love the rest falls into place – I check in with the inside people when I need to, but the creativity is ultimately about loving what I do.

6.Your work speaks to thousands and thousands of people all over the world. What, in your opinion, is it about beach imagery that constantly captivates us?

I don’t know many people that don’t love the beach. I provide people with a little escape of where they would rather be.

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  1. This is so inspirational. Thank you (as always) for sharing. Love this blog!!!

    Comment by MarthaWright — June 15, 2012 #

  2. Wonderful blogs from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff and you are just too great. I really like what you’re doing here, really like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually a wonderful site.

    Comment by Josh — June 17, 2012 #

  3. Awesome post ! Thank you for sharing mate. Ill email you some time!

    Comment by Chauntel — July 30, 2012 #

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Sydney Interior Designer, Suzi Boyle, Editorial branding, Interior Sourcing in Sydney and London