PPAQ Photography Awards | Meet the Judges: Clare Lacanau

As a specialist newborn photographer I am able to combine my two biggest passions in life, art and working with infants.

Born in Hereford, England and spending my formative years in Africa helped me develop my keen interest in the arts. There is so much to appreciate there when you open your eyes to it. Add to that a father with a passion for photography, my destiny was always going to be behind the lens.

We moved to Australia when I was nine. I pursued music, and started playing the flute in the various ensembles at school and continued on after school as a flautist in the Qld Wind and Brass orchestra.  My passion for photography grew when I received my first SLR camera for my 18th birthday. It still has pride of place in my studio to remind me of how far I’ve come.

I spent 9 years in early education while raising my own family of three beautiful children, mainly teaching music to infants and toddlers. When I finally decided to change my focus to fulltime photography it was only natural that I was drawn to newborns and with my previous training it was a perfect fit. I have been in business as Clare Lacanau Photography now for 4 years and I’m loving the interactions with new mothers and their babies.

I understand the importance of capturing all the wonderful moments and milestones that seem to fly by. My passion is to make sure my clients have beautiful archival quality images that record their family’s memories. My hope is that my images will become priceless family heirlooms.

I am currently a council member of the Professional Photographers’ Association of Queensland.

PPAQ Photography Awards | Meet the Judges: Colin Bushell

Trying to pigeonhole Colin is a tough business: photographer, journalist,
educator, writer, broadcaster, business consultant and purveyor of 1970s
progressive rock music (not everything is explainable!).

His first camera, purchased in 1982, was an Olympus OM2, as he explained, “I was a fan of David Bailey, and he used an OM2, so it really was the only choice for me!”

When his day job was as a consumer law enforcement officer in London, he was moonlighting as a music journalist, and rubbing shoulders with the who’s-who of 80s rock music. His greatest interviewee? David Bowie.
Arriving in Australia in 1998, Colin and his wife, Nikki have lived in every corner of the country, and been across the Nullabor three times, in search of new adventures. In 2005, Colin won the WA State Literature Mentorship Award for his novel, Lost Dogs.

Colin spends an average of two months a year traveling the world, but since 2005, has been based in Brisbane, where he owns and runs Bigger Boat Creative Solutions and Colin Bushell Photography, offering creative business solutions, content writing and personalised photography for individuals and businesses. In 2015, he won The Lord Mayor’s Photographic Award, for his photo, ‘Junkyard Revelation’. He has been a regular contributor to publications such as, Brisbane News, Indulge and West End Magazine and has been a guest presenter on the ABC.

Colin runs creative photography workshops, and is co-owner of Curious Engine Photography Experience, offering customised photography tours to locals and travellers alike.

He is currently Vice President of The Professional Photographers’ Association of Queensland.

http://www.biggerboat.com.au

www.curiousengine.com.au

PPAQ Photography Awards | Meet the Judges: Leah Desborough

Leah’s career launched simultaneously with the introduction of Brisbane first Lifestyle magazine, the “Brisbane News” Magazine as Chief Photographer in 1994, followed by extensive experience in London working for “The Times” and Mirror Group as Chief Photographer for the South London Press. Her last position before coming home to Australia in 2010 was Picture Editor for 5 National Newspapers across the UK.

Immersed in the Photography Industry since days of film, Leah continues with her established Business to specialize in high-end fields incorporating Commercial Photography, Editorial, Portraiture, Personal and Business Branding, Architecture and Interior Design, Food and Fashion.

LDP Studio Brisbane opened in 2018 and services her Corporate, Branding and Fashion Clients.

Leah has also been teaching Photography, specifically Business and Marketing plus Media to Diploma Students since 2012 at Queensland TAFE and presently at Torrens University in Fortitude Valley. She is also regularly invited to present to Industry and speak at Women’s Business groups on Personal and Business Branding.

With career spanning 25 years, Leah is currently developing a Mentoring Program for emerging and established Photographers to help them achieve successful and profitable Photographic Businesses in a highly competitive market.

www.leahdesborough.com

info@leahdesborough.com

M – 0416 814 214

The Photography Awards | Meet the Judges: Mark Lutz

Mark Lutz – Owner, Art House Reproductions

Most biographies start at the beginning and end up in the present – I’m going to work my way backwards, just to be a little different. I like to live in the now and look forward to the future, not dwelling on the past.

2019 sees me celebrating 18 years in business as Art House Reproductions, www.arthousehq.com,  based at Bowen Hills in Brisbane. We are recognised for helping artists make more income from their art through reproductions, offering sales and marketing advice, seminars and our online store, www.buyartnow.com.au. We also provide high end fine art printing and finishing services to professional and amateur photographers with www.inkjetlab.com.au.

Art House began in 2001 following nearly 3 decades working in the family studio of Lutz Photographics. My parents, Col and Lorraine, began the business in 1971 and I pushed them into retirement in 1996. Our main studio was at Mt Gravatt in Brisbane but for a few years we also had a studio and minilab in Southport on the Gold Coast.

Back in those days most studios did a bit of everything and while we specialized in weddings and portraits, there was plenty of commercial, aerial, christenings, funerals, headshots and more to keep us busy. We began printing our own colour prints in the mid 70’s and ran our own in-house lab until 1996 when I moved the Mt Gravatt studio to my home at Wellington Point.

In the 90’s, not sure of the exact years now, I spent around 6-7 years on the Qld Council of the AIPP, serving two years as State President. I was also a Certified Professional Photographer in the PPAQ. The CPP program was instigated by Col during his term as President of the PPAQ.

That’s about it – spent all my adult life and half my teens around photography, photographers, arty people, printing, marketing and sales. Seen many photographers come and go, the good, the bad and the ugly (you know who you are) and worked through the analog/digital transition – never want to touch a piece of film again!

This year I’ll be old enough to officially be classed as a Senior but I’m not ready to retire yet. I love what I do and I’ve got plenty left in the tank.

The First PPAQ Photography Awards

The PPAQ Photography Awards is an opportunity for you to become involved in a distinctive cultural life that can only be offered by the wonderful state we live in. We invite you to share your vision with us.

In 2018/19, residents and students have the opportunity to submit their original images of Queensland’s unique character.

ENTER NOW

Entries close 28 February, 2019.

This Year’s Brief: “My Queensland”

Queensland is a State like no other: From harsh deserts to impenetrable rainforest; from crystal clear coral seas to soaring skyscrapers; from urban chic to country character. It’s a world of photographic opportunity at our door.

The PPAQ challenges you to show us something that truly represents our diversity. We’re less interested in seeing the Story Bridge at sunset, and more interested in seeing the way humans interact with the land or sea. Less your family pet, and more the struggles of nature to come to terms with our extreme climate. Less, your backyard, and more the way Queensland is seen by the rest of Australia and the world.

In fact, surprise us. It’s home to all of us, but what does it mean to you?

Photograph © Jannine McFarlane, CPP

Tina Arena at the Tivoli

Words and pictures: Craig Stampfli, CPP


How often do you answer the phone when you don’t recognise the number? As a small business owner, I tend to answer all calls, and they tend to run the full gamut from potential clients to crank calls scamming for dodgy advertising. A couple of weeks ago I answered a call that not only cost me nothing but allowed me to photograph an Australian and International Singer on the first night of her Australian Tour. Definitely, a call I’m glad I didn’t let go to voicemail.

Canon Australia in conjunction with CameraPro in Brisbane arranged for three photographers to shoot the entire concert, as well as the Q&A session with Tina Arena before the main event, as it turned out this would be the only Q&A session for the entire tour, so quite an opportunity. Canon also provided us with bodies and glass to try out, and I happily snapped up a 6D mk ii and a 5D mk iv along with 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 lenses. My quick fingers also snapped up a 35mm f/1.4 lens to try out, because why not.

So what is it like to shoot a high profile concert for the first time? Well, it was a very enjoyable experience, it was also challenging, loud, crowded and awesome. At times I found myself singing along, though not as loud as some of the crowd. If you ever get the opportunity jump at it, it is the type of challenge that keeps you on your toes. As for the shooting, I’m quiet comfortable with the 24-70 and the 70-200, they are my main lenses for most scenarios, the 35mm was incredibly fast and suited to the low light. It’s hard to beat a fast prime! Towards the end of the concert I managed to get down towards the front, and some shots with the 35mm were taken leaning against the front speakers and on the edge of the stage.

As for those two new bodies, I felt most comfortable with the mk iv as the controls, buttons and knobs all fell easily to hand (or finger?) as I have a 5D mk ii and mk iii. The 6D mk ii, although a very capable camera, misses out on some of the controls that I have gotten used to over the years and I felt I had to try and retrain my brain on the fly. Over time I’m sure the small idiosyncrasies could easily be absorbed and easily forgotten. A big thank you to Deanna from Canon Australia and Ryan and Alex from CameraPro for the opportunity and the chance to use some new gear.

Craig Stampfli is a CPP and current Council Member of the PPAQ. You can find out more about him by visiting his website here: www.stampfli.photography

Antelope Canyon: The Inconvenient Truth

Upper Antelope Canyon, Navajo Nation, USA

 Words and pictures: Colin Bushell, CPP

 

“I was being tossed around violently, like a ragdoll in a tumble dryer.”

It was an unpleasant vision, and one I was not expecting from my wife as she returned from a chemical toilet behind our meeting point. She was right though. The weather was being cruel. A dust storm was blowing red sand around in a maelstrom of abrasive, skin-eroding pain. Eyes stung, lips dried out in seconds and breathing was restricted by the necessity of wearing a bandana wrapped around our faces.

I had been commissioned by an Australian based eco-tourism magazine to photograph, and write an article about the way that the Navajo people were managing one of the world’s great photographic destinations. My brief was to show how such an iconic destination had been converted into an eco-tourism must see by its indigenous hosts, somewhat like the way the Kuku Yalanji people have done in Mossman Gorge here in Queensland.

Following the death of 11 tourists in 1997 from flash flooding, the organisation of tours is now strictly controlled. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tse’ bighani- lini, which means “The place where water runs through rocks”. Sitting at over 1100 metres above sea level, a length of 200 metres, and a depth of 37 metres, the Canyon is a labyrinth of textured sandstone fabrics with portals delivering shafts of sunlight onto the floor below. Consequently, this has become something of a Holy Grail for photographers and geologically-minded tourists alike, with mid-morning tours in the spring and summer months, allowing you to be awed by the orange, purple and yellow glow of the underworld.

 

Upper Antelope Canyon is on the outskirts of Page in Arizona, about four hours east of Las Vegas. My tour specifically catered for photographers (we had to prove our credentials by having the minimum of a DSLR and a tripod) and was hosted by Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours.  Navajo owned and operated, it is the only company offering tours beyond Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons; to Rattlesnake Canyon, Owl Canyon and Mountain Sheep Canyon.

And so it begins. While there is no doubt that the tours are being managed with visitor safety in mind, this is the point where the mention of the ‘crowds’ must be revisited, and this is where my story of eco-tourism success hits a beautifully coloured brick wall!

There are a number of ways to dress this up, but I’ll stick to some of the harsh realities instead. The writing on the wall was being prepared at that chemical toilet. Located behind the back of a fragile tin shed, let us remember that this was the meeting point for one of the world’s most gloriously beautiful natural attractions. The crowds gather an hour before their departure time, and what we don’t know at this stage is that we will eventually converge with other groups at the mouth of the Canyon. As my wife heads one way in a modern Land Cruiser for the ‘walking tour’, my ride heads in another, and I’m in the back of an old army truck, bones rattling and dust flying. The drivers appear to take much glee in racing and sliding across the desert floor, and I pause to wonder whether native animals are being sacrificed at their expense.

At the Canyon entrances, the photographers are given VIP status, as the masses of smaller groups are frequently forced to wait while chambers and other vantage points are photographed under strict timelines. While it appears chaotic, it quickly becomes apparent that this is the only way that so many people can benefit from the descending sunlight, which does not stick around for long. Later in the day, tours may be less busy, but by then, there will be no shafts of light to enjoy.

My photography group are a mixed bunch. One ‘professional’ next to me, leans across to advise me that his battery is flat and he doesn’t have a spare. A few minutes later, another tells me that her memory card is full and doesn’t have a spare. Thanks goodness they weren’t at a once in a lifetime destination! Certainly, concern for the welfare of the camera was justified. No camera bags were allowed. Advice from the local guide was to put your camera into a plastic bag, but I didn’t see the wisdom in that. You couldn’t shoot through the bag, and placing it in and out of a bag that was rapidly filing with sand, seemed less that favourable. Thankfully, Canon make good cameras and sturdy lenses, and my fingers are very good at crossing.

It would be accurate to say that some of the shots are assisted by the tour guides, who throw sand up into the shaft of lights on cue, although I can claim credit for repositioning a tumbleweed that looked a whole lot better as my subject at the end of one such shaft.

The experience is a whirlwind of its own. You have little time to work out your settings, with barely more than two minutes at each location. The two and a half hours underground goes by in the blink of an eye. Tripods get tangled in the tight spaces, and there is a degree of assertiveness required to find that vantage point before someone else gets in the way. Ironically, the glorious tranquillity generated by the finished photos bely the frenetic nature of the experience. I suspect Peter Lik’s questionable $6.5 million imagery benefitted enormously by his ability to rent out the entire Canyon for himself!

The first priority on our return to Page (OK, after a beer!) was to get some compressed air canisters and raid the department store’s make-up counter for various sized brushes (my cleaning kit was not up for the job!). I spent almost an hour cleaning the camera before opening or inserting anything. It must have worked; my trusty 5D still works a treat.

The Navajo Nation encompasses over 17 million acres, and occupies the entire north-eastern quarter of Arizona. It’s stunning. The amazing Horseshoe Canyon is literally around the corner too, but Antelope Canyon is the jewel in the crown and, while tours may appear too ‘mass managed’ and a tad exploitative, the environment appears robust enough to sustain such attention. There’s no doubt that this is a success story for entrepreneurial tourism, managed resourcefully by the land’s rightful owners.

As to where the prefix ‘eco’ can be added to anything currently happening… well, that’s another question.

All photos shot on a Canon 5D MkII with an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM.

 

Colin Bushell is a CPP and current Council Member of the PPAQ. You can find out more about him by visiting his website here: www.biggerboat.com.au