Bush Fire News

Following on from my previus post, Markus and his wife Lynette were able to make it back to their property in Glenburn yesterday. Miraculously their little shack still stands!  Unfortunately some neighbours weren’t so lucky.

Attached are some pictures that Markus has shared from his property and surrounds.

© Photo by Markus Weber

© Photo by Markus Weber

© Photo by Markus Weber

© Photo by Markus Weber

© Photo by Markus Weber

© Photo by Markus Weber

© Photo by Markus Weber

© Photo by Markus Weber

© Photo by Markus Weber

© Photo by Markus Weber

 

 

Bush Fire Tragedy

It is with great sadness that this blog is posted.  The tragedy of the on going bush fires in Victoria and NSW have touched the lives of many close to us.   We have donated monies to the Red Cross Bush Fire Appeal to help the families in need.  Donations can be made online at http://www.redcross.org.au/vic/services_emergencyservices_victorian-bushfires-appeal-2009.htm

My Assistant Markus Weber has been personally affected with a property in Glenburn Victoria.  Markus and his wife Lynette visited the area a few days ago to attend a community meeting and some of Markus’ photos demonstrate the impact of this tragedy on communities and lives.

I encourage everyone to make any kind of donation, however small to assist these families.

© Photograph by Markus Weber

© Photograph by Markus Weber

© Photograph by Markus Weber

© Photograph by Markus Weber

© Photograph by Markus Weber

© Photograph by Markus Weber

 

 

 

Pigeon Poop

Our work takes us to some interesting places, and on occassion some not so desirable environments, we kicked off 2009 with a pile of pigeon poop.  The old marine tower at the docklands surpassed the engine room of the Fountaingate swimming pool as our most undesirable photographic location.

It’s not so much the pigeon poop that is most repugnant (even though the stench is pretty off), it’s actually the live pigeons that live in there that one has to navigate around to climb the ladder. What is it with birds, they just freak me out when they’re flapping around my head.
I guess the security guards knew what is was like up there, they wouldn’t go inside and couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  My poor assistant Markus braved the way,  well actually I made him go first and get rid of the pigeons.  Thank god we had the foresight to take a torch.

As we were there earlier than expected, I decided to sit down for a bit – not realising that the black rubber floor marks everything.  So with camera in hand, backside black and my assistant swash buckling the pigeons, we departed the tower.  The beauty lies in the result, not so much the experience….

Here’s to a fabulous 2009 for all!
© Photo by Dianna Snape

‘Blind Spot’ – RMIT BA Photography Graduate Exhibition

This post is to celebrate Kelly Gardner and Ward Roberts who recently completed their BA Photography degree at RMIT.  I have mentored Kelly and Ward for the past few years and it has been a real pleasure to watch them evolve and explore the art of photography.  The RMIT Graduate exhibition ‘Blind Spot’ is being held at the ‘No Vacancy Gallery’ – 27-33 Red Cape Lane QV Melbourne from 27 November until 10 December.   If you work in the city pop and have a look at these emerging talents.

Mentoring is an interesting role as it extends well beyond teaching a technical discipline.  Kelly and Ward are both different people with different photographic interests.  In the time I had with them I tried to gain an understanding of what their photographic aesthetics were and support them in realising their vision.

Let’s begin with Kelly.  Kelly would have to be one of the hardest working, most honest people I have had the privilege of meeting. She has faced many challenges both personal and financial, throughout the process of undertaking her degree and she has my upmost admiration for achieving such great results despite some difficulties.  Kelly’s that gal that works 3 jobs, has no family in Melbourne and cycles from the Northside to St Kilda to come and engage in the mentoring process.   She takes on board all the advice she is given and returns with work that demonstrates an application of the the issues we have discussed.  It is this engagement that makes mentoring rewarding.  Kelly has a beautiful aesthetic and an ability to produce an exciting visual story with her documentary photography.  I have no doubt in a few short years I will be seeing her emerge as a successful commercial photographer.  Kelly has assisted me on jobs throughout the past few years and has been a fabulous assistant. There is no glamour in assisting an architectural photographer, it’s early starts, late finishes and a lot of cleaning and moving things.  Kelly always treates my jobs with the same enthusiasm and dedication that I do.  A big congrats Kelly!!

The next dedication is to  the wonderful young man we have come to know as Ward.  When Ward first visited our studio,  Adam Cleave helped him prepare a folio for his application to the RMIT BA Photography course.  I remember Ward being shy and young (maybe the young part just seems that way because I’m old).  I have watched Ward mature into a confident and beautiful young man who has approached his photography  with passion and enthusiasm.  He has produced a portfolio that resonates with his interests and this stage of his life.  He has inspired me on the vision of youth and he has kept me ‘jiggy with it’ (he’ll dye that I’ve actually put this in print) when it comes to some new tunes. Being a mentor I found it really difficult to come to grips with students turning up with an i-pod to show their work.  I am going to sound like Methuselah here, but we had to hand process our film, hand print our images, spot them with ink and mount them on ridiculous 16×20″ cardboard  with a bevel-cut window in order to present a portfolio – so you can see it’s a big leap to the pocket i-pod in 10 years.   Ward has a real love for film and spent a number of days on the old Flextight Precision III scanner at our studio scanning his landscapes for his final folio.

Mostly I want to thank Kelly and Ward for inviting me to be part of their University experience, I am impressed by their dedication and application to the mentoring process and for actually engaging to get something from it.  I hope your exhibition is a huge success and I look forward to watching your future with interest.

I really gained a lot from my mentoring experience back in 98. John Gollings was my mentor, it was often difficult to catch John in the country, but I was unrelenting in my attempts.  John was a fabulous mentor and really helped refine my work.  My meetings were always brief but full of invaluable advice and direction. Despite John’s hectic schedule he was and still is extremely generous with his time.

On one specific occasion I consulted John on a corporate assignment that I was struggling with.  We had to shoot corporate scenarios on location in an office and I was struggling with electronic flash and the constraints of the environment.  John reflected on the images and the (bad) results, he succinctly instructed me to go to a hardware store and purchase a broom handle, light globe and dimmer switch and hang this above the table of corporates.  I almost laughed until I looked up and saw a serious face ready to dismiss me from our session.  When I left his studio I was sure that everyone was rolling around laughing, curious as to whether the apprentice would take the bait.   I was too afraid not to.  How could I defy a mentor of his experience and stature.  The long and short of it is that the result was fantastic and I was asked to share the technique with class.  I was told that John Gollings might be able to walk into a shoot with a broomstick but I certainly couldn’t.  I still have that broomstick and globe in the shower at our studio that doubles as a storage space.  After I graduated, John offered me a job as his assistant and I went on to work with him for the next 2 years.  I really believe I owe it to the broomstick.

Below are some images from Kelly’s boxing series:

© Photo by Kelly Gardner

© Photo by Kelly Gardner

© Photo by Kelly Gardner

© Photo by Kelly Gardner

© Photo by Kelly Gardner

© Photo by Kelly Gardner

Below are some of ward’s images:

© Photo by Ward Roberts

© Photo by Ward Roberts

© Photo by Ward Roberts

© Photo by Ward Roberts

Back in the swing of things

Well it’s been a little while between posts on account of my holiday…. 16 fabulous days traveling around Cambodia, living it up in Langkawi and shopping it up in Singapore.  As promised attached are some piccies…

We stayed at the Datai in Langkawi and it was absolute luxurious bliss – can’t recommend this place more highly.  Nestled amidst centuries old virgin rainforest below is the view from our room.


© Photo by Dianna Snape

© Photo by Dianna Snape

© Photo by Dianna Snape

Angkor Wat was simply breathtaking.  Phnom Pen was craziness and sadness.  The genocide museum was very haunting.

© Photo by Dianna Snape

© Photo by Dianna Snape

© Photo by Dianna Snape

© Photo by Dianna Snape

© Photo by Dianna Snape

© Photo by Dianna Snape

© Photo by Dianna Snape

© Photo by Dianna Snape

© Photo by Dianna Snape

© Photo by Dianna Snape

© Photo by Dianna Snape