Smart phone - smart art?

I have loved and lived with a series of film and digital cameras for more than thirty years. Whether doing a commissioned shoot or a personal project, holding my camera transports me to a mindful “present” that helps me see the world with a heightened intensity.…

When I recall my photographic journey I started with a fabulous film SLR a Canon FTb and one 50m lens. As I moved into paid photography my equipment luggage grew to a size and weight I needed a personal porter to follow me around. SLRs, medium format SLRs, lots of lenses, flashes, filters, tripods, and then DSLRs and all the rest – I could not travel or go out without some pro gear at hand. Always having a camera at hand lead to getting some extraordinary images.

Then something happened. I got sick of carrying heavy backpacks. B

Redbubble feature

I discovered a few days ago one of my images (see below) was featured on the Redbubble home page.

Thanks to the curator who chose to feature my work.

It was particularly satisfying to have this image chose as scene of Paris represents my teenage exploration of photography and my decision to put this work out to the world.

One small step for sanity

This news item published by pdn (Photo District News) in the United States is a small victory against the relentless march of authoritarian interference with the freedom to photograph public buildings.…

It took the New York Civil Liberties Foundation taking on the US Government in court to lead to a mediated settlement as a result of which the photographer will receive modest compensation. More importantly, the agreement binds the US authorities to instruct in writing Federal agencies that in the absence of any contrary local regulation there is no prohibition on a member of the public photographing a Federal court building from a public space. It is worth following the link above and reading the actual agreement sanctioned by the court.

There are still many loopholes and opportunities f

Rediscovering me

In July this year I wrote a journal about revisiting my old photographic friends, images I had not looked at for awhile. If you missed it you will find this journal here

Rediscovering those images taken a few years earlier in some cases, allowed me to see them anew and see their potential. After processing, some of them became some of my most interesting images.

Now I have gone back even further – I am exploring my film library. While I have not shot a roll of film for at least five years, I have kept all my negatives and transparencies since I fell in love with photography in my early teens. I even have some my efforts when I was about nine years of age. If I include my work as a professional photographer in 1980s I have shot tens of thousands of rolls of film.

I have gone back to

More intrusion into the freedom to photograph

Geoffrey Strong, a senior writer with the The Age newspaper in Melbourne, Australia has written a thoughtful article about the intrusive and authoritarian restrictions on photography in Australia. See his article Photography bans leave ordinary life out of the picture

Also worth reading are the comments made by readers of The Age in reply to the article.

Mr Strong’s most interesting points relate to the artistic and historic reasons why documenting life matters. Worthy collections or art and life photographed in the twentieth century would probably not have been created in the twenty first century.

I could say “the debate continues” however that suggests a two sided discussion. So far I see little movement on the part of politicians and regulators. They are so risk averse they would r

A risk free world? Fear drives restrictions on photography

Centered around the anecdotal experiences of landscape photographer Ken Duncan and Rex Dupain, carrying on his family tradition of documenting Australian life, this article sets out the hostility towards photography and photographers. Thanks to the The Weekend Australian for running this item.…

Many of us involved in street photography or photographing Australia’s landmarks and landscapes have experienced the sort of harassment and plainly stupid over regulation discussed in the article in The Weekend Australian of 2 October 2010.

I have written about this issue in my last two journal entries. Like Duncan and Dupain I see freedom slipping away, paranoia increasing and more importantly our historical record fading. What will social anthropologists be looking at in one hundred years? The

Taking it to the streets - street photography under pressure

Today’s Sydney Morning Herald article on street photography and the release of a new book on this genre made me think of my own experience of street photography.…

First, it is much easier in Europe. Thanks to the invasion of those historic cities by battalions of hopeless photographers and the more specialised forces of photographers with heavy duty equipment, the residents of walled cities are ready and waiting for us. I have rarely had a problem photographing on the streets in Europe and never in Asia. Avoiding photographing military things helps. Taking photographs in totalitarian countries has always been problematic although I had little trouble in China in the early 1990s.

Unfortunately I have seen my own country Australia slide down the path of the United States and United Kingd

Arts Freedom Australia rally

LIke a number of other Redbubble members I also attended the rally last Sunday opposite the Opera House at Campbell’s Cove.…

Getting photographers to mobilise was a success in itself. I think we may be approaching the critical mass that may turn our professional concern about bureaucratic restrictions into a mainstream community issue. We can only hope there are enough examples of professional and amateur photographers being harassed by security, police, and local council rangers for the community to begin to understand the problem.

The reality however is that paranoia about photography in public places has not yet translated into a widespread understanding that everyone in the community is affected by restrictions on photography.

Congratulation to Arts Freedom Australia for getting the

Piccolo Bar: small space - large heart

I am not the first photographer to be enchanted by Vittorio at Piccolo Bar Vittorio has been a fixture in Sydney’s Kings Cross for decades. Film makers just love the location and so do I.…

This tiny café is like no other. It is so small you have to squeeze in to find a seat on the benches around the wall. The walls are filled with photographs of actors, musicians, and the famous and so is Piccolo Bar. It won’t take you long to find out Vito loves Cate Blanchett. The music booming from the the juke box or Vittorio’s CDs could be anything from opera to jazz to Sinatra to Bowie. You are not likely to hear much hip-hop or house here. Vitto’s passions include literature, music, film and drama.

I discovered Vito when I needed to find a refuge after visiting my mother at a nearby nursing hom

Eyes wide open

My friend Chris has been a short hop from death most of his life. He has a heart related condition which has lead to several open heart operations. He has had periods during which his physical condition deteriorated to the extent he could barely walk. These days you would not know he is managing a condition – he looks great.…

Do not for a moment think Chris is therefore permanently tragic. While like all of us he has good days and bad days, he has a healthy relationship with death, a relationship most of us avoid. Chris is not morbid – he is realistic and open.

Chris is also a photographer. Photography has been part of his life for a long time in between other careers. Give him a camera and he will out walk you looking for that perfect shot! He is particularly good at photographing

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