Dark Light: North Beach photographer graples with demons in new book


North Beach resident Chris White has written Dark Light, a surf photography book raising awareness about mental health. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
North Beach resident Chris White has written Dark Light, a surf photography book raising awareness about mental health. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

THE ocean holds deep significance for North Beach resident Chris White, who has published his first book Dark Light, a surf photography book with a mental health message.

The coffee table book combines his surf photographs with anecdotal stories about how the ocean has helped him maintain a positive outlook on life.

A former professional body boarder and surf filmmaker, White said he photographed the ocean and coastline to deal with the loss of his father and brother to suicide.

“It happened when I was 10 and 20 years old, so it was a long time ago and I’ve really struggled to talk about it, recently I’ve got a councillor who says it is really good to write this stuff down,” he said.

“I found (the process of putting the book together) really helped.

“The ocean helps me to recharge my batteries, if I’m a bit flat it charges me back up, I get a lot of energy from it and it is really therapeutic.”

White said he hoped the book, which he wrote, photographed and designed, would send a strong message about the stigma associated with mental health.

“My advice to those going through adversity would be to ride out those tough times and know that it’s going to swing around and if you have a positive outlook you can eventually overcome it,” he said.

“Some stories in the book are about my life and events in my life and the way I’ve managed to overcome them by turning to the ocean as a safe haven.”

The book will also be available at www.theoceanpeople.com from November 1.

If any information has affected you, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Details

A fundraiser night will be held on November 4, with all proceed from books sales donated to Beyond Blue.

WHERE: Toms Italian (formally Soda Sunlounge) North Beach

WHEN: November 4, from 5pm.