My first photos were magic. 'Click!' - send the
film off in the mail - and two weeks later, the results of my imagining came back. The pics were often
disappointing, but occasionally much, much better than I could have wished. Before long,
I got the process.
I love the process of
concentrating on a small part of the world, and what is going on in a frame - everything else
excluded for just a moment. If poetry is the distillation of literary language, then little photographic
windows are the most distilled form of the visual arts. I'm still happily pursuing the process of
squeezing some sort of essence out of the visual world - years in the making, total time with the
shutter open - a few minutes.
From time to time I set off on some sort of dreamy journey and carry a camera with me
for extended periods of time. I start out thinking I'll tell the viewer something about the world, but end
up with something that tells them more about me. These images are all taken from some of these journeys,
even if only around my backyard. This tiny bat was found on the ground by my wife - she fed him
lollies, gave him water, and hung him on the curtain to sleep. He seemed to be going OK but never
Click on the thumbnails for a larger view.
When I'm shooting editorial photographs it's the complete
opposite to taking photos for myself. There is usually a very specific brief supplied by the client to guide
the approach to the subject and to outline the requirements of final usage. A higher degree of planning is
required before starting a project, and I'm always shooting with the end-use in mind. It may be as specific
as having to fit existing spaces in an already-designed format, or as general as taking atmospheric shots for
which no particular use has been assigned but need to be relevant to the
I'm always thinking from an editorial point of view, and keep in
mind the likely selection of images that'll get used, at what sizes, and the sequencing of the final
selection. The projects below demonstrate a couple of different approaches.
This Pearson Education title was designed to excite interest about cartoons and
cartooning in middle-level Primary-school kids. An extensive section in the book contained an interview
with Australian illustrator, Leigh Hobbs, who explained his thought and work processes while making a picture
My brief was two-fold: to take specific shots that directly illustrated the text details section
by section, and to shoot some atmospheric details in Leigh's studio that could be used to liven up the page design
and be used as backgrounds.
To see Leigh's characters and books: www.leighhobbs.com.au
When I was in Japan I took a lot of photos of exquisitely
designed details of the places I visited. Some of these photos were later used in a Cengage's, Obentoo
II - a Japanese-course book in Australian schools. They were used to illustrate Japanese names for
some common colours.
Tell it on
The creative and technical processes involved in writing
and shooting a video were explained step-by-step in this book. The instructive internal photos had already
been taken, but nothing was suitable for the cover. The creative light-bulbs went on and the
editor's photogenic daughter and her best mate got to star in a sequence of photos that I took while they
washed Mum's car - and we had ourselves a
I designed and took the location photos for a manual used to teach drama in Victorian schools.
The text was largely instructional, and written for inexperienced teachers to use. The book was divided into two
main parts: A How to . . . section, and another that presented some themes to
This two-colour publication was pre-digital, so I stretched the capacities of the printer by
using duo-tones and other camera and screen-effects throughout the book to spice up the page surfaces. and give the
impression of more variety of images.
The book had a colour section inserted to further liven it up. The photos on these pages were
more atmospheric and less pointed than those taken for the instructional text