From the moment he received his photos back from the ‘one hour lab’ as a six year old, after saving up his pocket money to afford to process his ﬁrst roll of ﬁlm of a sunset shot out the car window while on a family holiday, Cory Scott was destined to follow his talent into the world of photography.
By age 13 his hobby has grown into a passion and the backyard garage had been transformed into a full working ‘Black & White’ darkroom. Self taught through pamphlets and books from the local library, Cory forged a career for himself through sheer determination and self discipline. An international gymnast at the time, he used the qualities needed as a world class athlete and transferred these to his now chosen profession to fast track to become New Zealand’s leading action sports photographer. A stint at a leading new sports agency covering a variety of top level sports and breaking news provided the learning curve needed to become a complete photographer. Having learned from the masters of the game ‘How to tell a story through a picture’, it was the extreme action sports that caught his attention and once offered a full time position as staff photographer for a surf magazine Cory grabbed the opportunity to become New Zealand’s only full time surf photographer. 13 years on and after travelling the globe and his homeland constantly in search of the world’s most perfect surf he reﬂects “my search for the perfect photo has seen me travel to the ends of the world, to places most people have never heard of let alone visited. The scenery, cultures and experiences that I have had the pleasure to have laid eyes on and capture through my camera, and to then bring home for the world to see, it’s an honour to be in this position”.
Known in the industry as being a workhorse, it is his standards that he sets for himself and his constant strive for perfection that stand out from the rest, however it’s his professionalism he brings to every job that create the demand for his services. International publication companies and the world’s top surfers are in regular contact all wanting a piece of the next photo shoot he may be doing. Cory has never been one to chase the limelight; however his photos have won the following awards and recognition:
1998 – Finalist Qantas media awards
2001 – World surf photography awards -Most futuristic photo
2003 – New Zealand Sir Terry McLean sports journalism awards -Best sports photo
2009 – Qantas Media Awards -Winner Best single sports photo and Best sports portfolio
A last comment from Cory sums up his drive for perfection, “I guess you could compare photography to surﬁ ng a wave, there’s so many ways you can approach it and when you think you’ve ridden that wave the best you can you realise there’s still room for improvement, other angles and directions you could take…” While Cory has developed to become a specialist in surf photography particularly in the water, the skills and added ﬂ air in search of a unique image have also been utilised across a broad range of extreme action sports. A stint working as a press photographer for Fotopress news picture agency, covering everyday news, and premier sports of the New Zealand Warriors, the All Blacks, the Silver Ferns and the Black Caps honed his journalistic style. However it was the outdoor extreme action sports that captured his imagination, working one on one with some of the best Surf, Snow, and Skate athletes in the world and developing specialist equipment to capture images that had never been seen before created a demand for his work Internationally.
Developing and building his own water proof camera and ﬂash housings along with technical developments at the time from Canon cameras in terms of ﬂash hi-speed-sync work and remote ﬁring led to a world ﬁrst with his in water ﬂash action photos shot in darkness.
After 13 years as NZ’s only full time Surf photographer, Cory now also doubles with the role as editor of New Zealand Surﬁng Magazine. Managing a team of contributing photographers from around the world, these photographers all look to Cory for advice and technical know-how to develop their own imagery. Having being exclusively Canon since his professional career began back with a Canon F1n and FD lenses the technological advancements over the years have gone hand in hand with capturing great imagery, following is a slice of Cory’s range of work.