I’ve played with cameras since a very young age and I’ve had some minor photography classes as a part of my schooling, but never really got to any regularity until about 5 years ago. I guess at the time I was taken by the then booming DSLR wave which to me has served as a pleasant reintroduction to an art form I had previously only flirted with.
Not really, or if there is I am not really aware of it. I guess it is all made up of all the different experiences, relationships, journeys and stages I have gone through hitherto.
I practice photography as an easy way to express whatever vision I may has to offer, the easiest and simplest out there perhaps. I would hate to pick a side really. Lately I’ve been getting more and more involved into interesting commercial projects while doing my own thing on the side you know, and through whatever I am doing I am always trying to keep the exhibiting photographer side of me active as I find this most exciting and rewarding of all.
Its simplicity really. The act of taking a photograph is very instant and doesn’t require any high level of virtuosity so it’s open to anybody that has something to say or express. In painting, sculpture, recorded music or most arts really you could be working on a piece for months / years to get it to a stage of it’s own existence through a process of design or planning where photography allows you to be completely instantaneous and go through the act of creating the work the moment you feel it. That is something I really can’t resist.
Q. You recently exhibited a series on Paris. How was the experience?
That was a very small and intimate show that came about by accident. I was doing a series of photo events for a cafe bar in Florence and some photographs from Paris just seemed to form an interesting petite collection for one of the events. I am not a big fan of themed shows as they present many limitations, so ‘Paris Rendezvous’ turned out to be a bit of a test and experiment in the way I show my work within set themes and frame-lines. It was actually probably too contrived in its theme now when I look back, but being shown in a social setting rather than on a gallery wall made it a great showing experience.
Q. How long did you take to put together the series for the exhibit? Why did you choose Paris as your place of choice?
The Paris series actually eventuated as a side effect of a trip I had taken there with a lover earlier this year. I’ve never seen Paris as a suitable environment for my photographs since my pre-perceived concepts of the city didn’t really trigger any photographic thirst inside of me. I am very pleased with some of the images that formed the show, but I still feel that I haven’t shot Paris and the people of Paris the way I have done Tokyo or Melbourne as an example. So the choice to shoot there was quite accidental, and I was fortunate enough to have a few images radiate out of the bunch which made the process of putting the show together quite quick and simple.
Q. Today when all are switching to Digital, you still choose to work in film. What is the reason why you continue this romance with film?
I guess because it is very romantic in a lot of ways. I mean romantic both in its visual appeal and in the process of working with film. I grew up as part of that generation that clearly saw the transition between the everyday use of film and the arrival of the digital camera, so just like many others saw all the records of my early days and memories kept on film photos or super 8 movies, and automatically associate those distant mind matters with the look of film. I am a lot more comfortable with placing my visual thoughts on that same faded nostalgic canvas when working then with projecting it with the crisp clarity of today.
Everything I have learned in photography has been through interacting and working with other people. Photography is by default a very individual art form since you can only fit one single eye through any camera’s viewfinder, street photography in particular. So any collaboration that takes place has to sit on a slightly non-linear level, which makes things very interesting. I really enjoy working on 1+1 collaborations as well as larger group shows as long they do not overtake the individual presence of everyone involved.
Q. Your pictures are like through the eye of a man walking the streets, casual yet intimate, as if linked by a unseen bond. How do you see your pictures, is there a specific theme you try to follow or just shoot what comes in your mind?
I do try to shoot whatever comes to my heart actually. I try not use my mind at all as it can become a terrible distraction in decisions I make. Most of the photographs come out as a result of intuition, it is very rare that I plan or concept anything before I step into a scene I am shooting.
I’ve been a little absent from the photography world over the last year or so, so my ‘to do’ list is getting bigger and bigger by the month. Apart from a few smaller local events and commercial shoots in Melbourne, I am working on another international collaboration that will take place early in the new year as a second part to the three part ‘Conversations’ project together with my dear friend and incredible photographer Toshihiro Oshima from Tokyo. There are also some talk for a video collaboration project in the form of a series of short films, and I hope I can finally finish a local street show that has been in the planning for about 4 years and so far hasn’t eventuated.
Well keep fresh you know, don’t get too stuck into trying to learn things about equipment or light or whatever as that’s not what makes a great photograph or photographer. Shoot from the heart and the rest is easy