It has been said that discovery consists of seeing what everyone has seen and thinking what no one has thought. Here’s how I have incorporated that into my work.
I was excited to be approached by Mike O’Connor, Editor of Australian Photography, to be featured in the Australian Photography Societies ‘One Frame’ slot. Here is my article…
My photography is inspired by my connection to the natural environment, enabling me to dabble in genres from portrait to aerial landscapes with natural light. At a time when we are inundated with imagery, I believe the challenge of creating unique images lies in making the familiar strange.
This image was taken when my partner and I lived in our motorhome for 5-years, travelling and working remotely. I love waking up with the sunrise to connect with the natural world while serendipitously discovering photo opportunities.
At the time, the dew drops on the chain link fence was the first thing I saw when I woke up early morning at our camp site in Kilcoy, north of Brisbane. The harshness of the fence against the softness of the spider web and dew were a beautiful sight in the morning light.
I edited my RAW file in Lightroom, adjusting for lens corrections, white balance, temperature, and tone. I experiment with the Basic sliders before editing for sharpness and noise. The chain link fence was straightened before finessing the image in Photoshop. I used curves and masks for localised adjustments such as contrast and vibrance as well as to dodge and burn. The high pass filter blended with linear light was handy for creative sharpening and I check my colour balance before exporting.
The image resonated with many audiences, winning me both national and international awards. With this image I won the ‘Shape and Form’ and was voted ‘People’s Choice’, at the Biophilia Awards. This was special because as a civil engineer who specialised in water management, my work is closely aligned to Biophilic Design — connecting people and nature within our built environment.
The judge said, they were immediately drawn to this image for its juxtaposition of the harsh barbed wire fence against the gentle droplets in what appeared to be cobwebs. They enjoyed my framing — positioning the subject in the top third, so it could spill down into the rest of the image. I was commended for my use of contrast which brought definition to the water droplets and for my choice of shallow depth of field, which drew focus to the subject and the reflections in the distance.
Photography is meant to evoke emotion in the viewer. I am grateful the symbolism of rural Australia with its droughts and bushfires was so easily recognised.
Canon EOS 6D, EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM @100mm, 1/1,250 sec, f/14, ISO 1,000.

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