The ND5 2016 Shark Bay: Inscription exhibition at the Shark Bay Discovery & Visitor Centre. Photos kindly provided by the gallery's staff.
It is more that three years ago that ND5 photographed Shark Bay from the air, beginning it appears a popular trend in contemporary photography. Ninety Degrees Five (ND5) is a unique collaboration between four photographers, Les Walkling, Tony Hewitt, Christian Fletcher, Peter Eastway and filmmaker Michael Fletcher.
The idea to photograph Shark Bay was Michael Fletcher's with the ultimate objective of participating in the 400-year celebrations of Dirk Hartog discovering Australia - hence the exhibition's name: 2016 - Shark Bay: Inscription.
Along the way, the Ninety Degrees Five collaborative staged several, large format exhibitions in 2013 and 2014, pushing aerial photography in new directions with the use of high quality medium format cameras and distinctive post-production techniques based on high contrast and strong colour saturation. In addition, Tony Hewitt won the AIPP's Australian Professional Photographer of the Year in 2013 with four aerial images from the Shark Bay project, and the '2016 - Shark Bay: Inscription' fine art book featuring 40 aerial works won the 2014 AIPP Photo Book of the Year. The photography was not only commercially very successful, but has featured in public exhibitions, both in Australia and around the world.
However, the main objective has only just been concluded, with a special exhibition of the work on display as part of the Dirk Hartog Voyage of Discovery celebration, commemorating 400 years since Dirk Hartog made landfall off the coast of Western Australia.
On display at the Shark Bay World Heritage Discovery & Visitor Centre in Denham, Shark Bay, the exhibition is described as "an aerial exploration of Shark Bay, an untouched World Heritage listed area in WA. The unique viewpoint the ND5 group present Shark Bay from is a contemplative vision of one of Australia’s most unique and cherished landscapes. The collective aims to tell the story between the bay and the ocean; between feral destruction and its regrowth/rehabilitation; between European landing and country; between the ‘lie of the land’ and landscape mythology; between eternity and ourselves; and the realisation that there are other ways of mapping reality than those that dominate our everyday lives."
The exhibition was very well received and included visits by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, as well as the country’s Foreign Minister Bert Koenders and Trade Minister Liliane Ploumen.
The Shire of Shark Bay has purchased a large number of prints for continued exhibition in the area, so next time you just happen to be passing Shark Bay (okay, so that's not realistic given it's a 10 hour drive from Perth, but anyway), drop in and have a look!
Thanks to the staff at the Centre for providing the photographs of the October exhibition in Denham.
Is it reasonable to bid for a photograph before you see it? Read on!
Would you buy a photograph without seeing it first? Most people do as high profile Australian fashion photographer Georges Antoni pointed out. In fact, our professional photography clients are doing it all the time. Photographers are hired based on their reputation, so why wouldn't you purchase a photograph without seeing it first - as long as you knew who the photographer was?
This was the concept behind the Sight Unseen charity auction, held at Sun Studios in Sydney, masterminded by Canon's Chris Macleod and supported by eleven luminary Australian and New Zealand photographers.
The Better Photography Photo of the Year for 2016 has now closed.
Judging is currently underway and we wish all our entrants good luck..!
Winners will be announced online on the 15th October 2016.
Mount Sorrow from the Daintree Research Observatory.
110mm lens on Phase One XF 100MP, 50 seconds @ f7.1, ISO 50.
I'm just back from an engrossing week in the Daintree Rainforest, spent with Australian professor and doctor of photography, Les Walkling. And I mustn't forget Les's workshop partners, John and Pam de Rooy who host Les's famous Orpheus Island printing workshop, and assisting photographer Andrey Walkling.
The week was spent with 12 photographers and our own chefs and support crew at the Daintree Research Observatory, just out of telephone signal range and built to host university researchers. There was an expansive seminar and work room for our deliberations, a hospitality area that was well frequented and comfortable dormitory style accommodation. And within a half an hour drive was a host of different photography locations, from crocodile cruises, mangrove walks, ocean beaches and the rainforest itself. There's even a crane for providing a unique bird's eye view of the rainforest canopy.
However, this workshop was different. Instead of spending most of our time taking photographs, we talked about them. Instead of spending most of our time learning how to apply a curve in Photoshop, we learnt when and why to apply them. While technique was definitely an important component, the priority was to take participants to the next stage in their journey as photographers.
It was the art of photography.
And it lasted for seven, information packed days and while I was a co-presenter, I had one of the best educational experiences of my life. Les was in fine form, taking us from modernism to formalism and beyond, explaining how the contemporary art world sees photography and how the best exponents work. We received exclusive insights into both theory and technique, but in a practical way that allowed us to return with concepts and ideas that we can put into practice. I have a notebook full of ideas to work on and directions to take in the future.
The photograph above features the enigmatic Mount Sorrow which was shrouded in low cloud for much of our workshop. We could sit and watch it while eating our meals and I am sure everyone photographed and took videos of it as the clouds curled around its upper reaches.
This is a 50 second exposure during which time the tree-covered mountain was gently blurred by the swaying leaves. It uses a few technical aspects picked up at the workshop (some luminosity compensatory layers) and some ideas gleaned from the world of art.
But I hope the most important thought that participants took away was that it's very difficult to make everyone in the world happy with your photography, so really the best approach is to make yourself happy first. Of course, this doesn't mean working in isolation or disregarding other disciplines and genres, rather acknowledging that photography as an art form is personal - and that means it's up to you!
If you'd like to join Tony Hewitt and I on an exclusive five day photography art workshop next month (15-20 June) in New Zealand, there is just one place left - meaning a maximum of four students and two AIPP Grand Masters of Photography as leaders.Check out our Middlehurst brochure here.