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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. 

Personal Photography

Photography 7

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 woke.
Click on the thumbnails for a larger view.

 Editorial Photography 

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 text.

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.

Inside Cartoons

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 book.

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: 

ALT Photography folio 1


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.

Photography folio Obentoo 1 

Tell it on video

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 cover.

Photography Tell it on video

Drama is Primary

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 explore.

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.

Photography Drama is Primary 1

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 pages.

Photography folio Drama 2