Surreal Street Photography Series

I've been exploring surrealism in street photography for my latest body of work. Inspired by Trent Parke and his incredible black and white images that encapsulate an ethereal quality while shot in our everyday surrounds.

The master of street photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson was also influenced by surrealism.  For me there is something really exciting about playing with ordinary reality, and making it surreal. We are turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.

There are many techniques that have been used when approaching surreal street images. Strange juxtapositions and scenes, silhouettes, double exposures, slow shutter speeds to create blur and the list goes on. Personally, I think the key is to take photos that suggest more questions than provides answers.

I decided to shoot with the iphone for this series. In order to capture the intimacy of these moments I needed to be virtually invisible. Here are some images from the series, as I set out to capture the streets with new eyes.

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Mixed media - Work in progress

Getting back into some mixed media with this piece. Inpsired by the detritus of our urban walls. I've been drawn to working in a mostly monochromatic colour palette with small bursts of colour and torn pieces of type, similar to that of the torn street posters.

I'm going to leave this one for a few days and come back to it for some final touches.

 Mixed media on board.

Mixed media on board.

'Picturing Footscray' - Photography Exhibition

Picturing Footscray is an open-entry photography prize that focuses on Melbourne's unique inner-west suburb of Footscray.

Established in 2016, Picturing Footscray invites photographers of all capabilities to explore the streets of Footscray.

This was my first time submitting for the competition. I used to live in Footscray and still visit frequently to take photos.

The opening night was held at VU Metro West, in a salon-style exhibition. There was an incredibly diverse range of images that celebrate the essence of this unique melting pot. Jesse Marlow, renowned street photographer was this year's judge and he presented the 3 winners. I've been inspired by Jesse's street photography since moving to Melbourne, so it was a highlight for him to be there on the night.

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 My entry for the competition is in the centre above.

My entry for the competition is in the centre above.

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 Jesse Marlow presents awards on opening night.

Jesse Marlow presents awards on opening night.

Tailors Mark - Autumn/Winter Shoot

These images are from a recent shoot with Tailor's Mark, a boutique tailoring company in Prahran, Melbourne. I had the pleasure of working with them on their Autumn/Winter shoot to advertise their suits and shirts for the season. They wanted to combine some corporate street shots in the CBD, as well as a more casual vibe that captured the atmosphere of Autumn. We chose Carlton Gardens which is beautiful at this time of year. Thanks to model, Ben Temby.

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Changelings - Press Shots

Just recently, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the talented musician 'Changelings'.  We first worked together late last year and he approached me again to produce some new press shots for his upcoming album. We are both really pleased with the results, and Webb Bridge in Docklands proved to be a great location for the shoot.

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Collage Experiments - Monochromatic Colour

In 2018, I've set myself a goal to create new collages on a weekly basis. By creating parameters to work within, I can explore new techniques and allow for more experimentation in my work. This process allows for idea generation that can be considered further for a larger body of work. This week I've been working with monochromatic colour.

A monochromatic scheme, or palette, starts with a single hue. Any additional colours used in the palette are variations of that specific hue either its shades, tints or tones. The idea here is that there is only one colour.

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You’re welcome to use any shade or tint of the colour/hue to create something invigorating instead of a literally a single colour. Black and white is fine to use in monochromatic colour schemes as they themselves are not colours.

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Here are some of my experiments using typography from a magazine and a collection of photography using the colour red. It's a fun way to create compositions while also providing an interesting design aesthetic.

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'Urban Impresssions' - New series

I'm drawn to the surface of the urban landscape and the overlooked beauty of elements that combine to produce a contemporary canvas. These fragments and details attract my eye and I feel the irresistible urge to record them. From drawings on cave walls to graffiti tags in alleyways, humans have marked their environment from the beginning.

Whether a political statement, an artistic expression, or the tag on an individual, the walls of our cities reflect the layered history of it’s people and a moment in time. Through human intervention and degradation, these layers become a collective collage of the citizens, forming a dialogue between city and people.

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By use of the photographic lens, I aim to frame this communication, creating juxtapositions to draw comparisons and thereby create narratives based on social and political commentary. I’m equally intrigued by the abstraction on the walls of the city, both reducing it to impressions and revealing the accidental collisions of texture and intention which exist in cities at every scale.

I aim to celebrate the aesthetic of impermanence and imperfection and to reflect on a moment in time in a constantly changing landscape. I aim to challenge the viewer to look at their surrounds in new ways and highlight the beauty in the decay.

I AM NOT INTERESTED IN SHOOTING THINGS NEW, I AM INTERESTED TO SEE THINGS NEW.
— Ernst Haas

Changelings - Press shots

Recently I was approached to work with an exciting artist on the rise to take some press shots for his upcoming album. CHANGELINGS is the creation of 24 year old musician Jay Penaflor, who began a small acoustic project as 'Jay Penaflor' and recorded a few EPs, before reforming under a new name - CHANGELINGS. It was great to connect with Jay and we're both really pleased with the results. Looking forward to collaborating again in the future. You can listen to his work here.

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Urban Abstractions - Monochrome

A little while between posts, but I've been busy working on variety of new projects. In contrast to my street photography where the focus is on people, I'm also drawn to the abstraction found on our urban walls. The marks, gestures, graffiti and urban decay combine to create a layered history of moments in time. I find this really intriguing as it helps to form a dialogue between city and people. I will be exploring this concept in more detail as I experiment with new work.

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'Hope Street' - Street photography series

Over the last few months I've been working hard on creating a body of work that explores the beauty in mundane and extraordinary in the ordinary. Shot in suburban Melbourne, I've aimed to capture and celebrate the special moments that occur in our daily lives. I decided to shoot in suburbia, rather than the city streets that I usually draw inspiration from. It was this decision that made project began to take on an exciting new direction.

Shooting in the everyday landscape of suburbia allowed me to simplify the subject in the frame and to focus on capturing 'the decisive moment' I was seeking. Most importantly I wanted to capture the emotion and the images to resonate with the audience. Here are a few of my favourites from the series. You can view more here.

"Photography is an art of observation – it’s about creating something extraordinary out of the ordinary. You choose a frame and then wait until the right time for something magical to come along and fill it. ” – Elliott Erwitt

Abstract Mixed Media : No.3

Recently I have become very drawn to abstraction and the visual explorations within the urban environment.

I have always been drawn to the simplicity of line and form of architecture and the abstraction found in the relationship between buildings and their surrounds. Typography and street art provide interesting marks and graphic elements that can be combined to create interesting results. The layering of street posters peeling reveal an interesting interplay with type, creating new narratives.

This piece was created using found torn street posters. The technique of collage and decollage were employed to created a balance of colour, texture and type. The challenge with a piece like this is for it to look spontaneous with a strong sense of composition, without overworking it. Below are some progress shots, tweaking until it feels 'finished'. This quote sums it up well...

'Art is never finished, only abandoned' - Leonardo Da Vinci
 DETAIL - Mixed media collage using torn street posters

DETAIL - Mixed media collage using torn street posters

 More layering - Mixed media collage using torn street posters

More layering - Mixed media collage using torn street posters

 Final tweaks - Mixed media collage using torn street posters

Final tweaks - Mixed media collage using torn street posters

Abstract Mixed-Media: No.2

This piece explores abstraction through firstly selecting some of my original photos. I don't set out with a plan of the how the work will look, it's more of an intuitive process of selecting images that speak to me at the time. I then proceed to add and subtract elements of the images by tearing of cutting as needed. In this piece I wanted to introduce some interesting layering by including transparency. Once the composition is complete, I glue it to the substrate and scan to enhance digitally. Some addition textures and minor colour adjustments were made, as seen in the final piece below.

 'East' - Digital collage. Started analogue and finished digitally.

'East' - Digital collage. Started analogue and finished digitally.

Abstract Mixed-Media: No.1

I've been feeling very inspired lately. I'm discovering more and more how the various projects I'm working on connect and feed one another. I've been shooting new images consistently and they're providing me with interesting source material for my collage work. I'm drawn to the abstract details that leave clues about time passed and the juxtapositions created when layers are peeled back.

Using various elements from my photography, I'm drawing inspiration from torn posters and the typography found on the street walls. I'm interested in recreating the layering, hiding and revealing what appears beneath. Equally, I'm intrigued by the role that typography plays when its no longer legible and becomes celebrated for its form rather than function. Aesthetically I'm drawn to the abstraction of the letters, textures, and how these ordinary, everyday elements come together to create an exciting composition.

 8 x 8" mixed-media collage on canvas

8 x 8" mixed-media collage on canvas

 Details - 8 x 8" mixed-media collage on canvas

Details - 8 x 8" mixed-media collage on canvas

 8 x 8" mixed-media collage on canvas

8 x 8" mixed-media collage on canvas

The Typeset - Melbourne

In recent months, my friend and fellow creative, Leanne Franks and I started a new project to share our passion for typography and sign painting. We're collaborating to chart out the type and signs of Melbourne's yesteryear. Not only are we drawn to their aesthetic qualities, but they also provide interesting clues about the city's quirky past and social history.

The image below for example, is a recent discovery of a ghost sign in Carlton North, "DeWitts Otis Tonic Tablets". The name was an early twentieth-century product for "making your nerves stronger and your blood richer", released amid the post-WWI pharmaceutical boom.

You can follow the project via Instagram at @thetypeset, and join us as we continue to discover more hidden gems around Melbourne. Enjoy!

 Ottis Tonic Tablet - Ghost sign, Melbourne

Ottis Tonic Tablet - Ghost sign, Melbourne

 Tarax ghost sign, Melbourne

Tarax ghost sign, Melbourne

 Newmans, ghost sign - Melbourne

Newmans, ghost sign - Melbourne

 Vintage Coke, ghost Sign - Melbourne

Vintage Coke, ghost Sign - Melbourne

Abstract Collage Experiments

In recent months, I've been focusing predominantly on various photography projects. I've been really looking forward to getting back into some collage, so I decided to start a new abstract series. Lately, I've found myself really drawn to the potential of working in this way. Using my original photography as source material, I'm combining colour, texture and type to create layered compositions. Below are some work in progress shots.

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 Abstract collage - work in progress

Ghost signs, Melbourne

I've been out shooting a lot around Melbourne lately. I'm always inspired by the city surrounding me, the people and the urban landscape. As a designer, I also notice good typography and interesting signage. I love the old heritage buildings and ghost signs that are still fairly prevalent in Melbourne today. It's what makes this city so unique and interesting.

Here are a few shots I've taken of signs in various locations around Melbourne.

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 Ghost sign, Melbourne
 Ghost sign, Melbourne
 Ghost sign, Melbourne

'Street Focus' - Melbourne street series

I've recently started a new photographic project, 'Street Focus'. I'm documenting people in this series, whether a part of the urban landscape or caught in a candid moment. In our daily lives it's so easy to fixate on what divides us—ethnicity, age, gender and class; instead of what unites us. I'm fascinated with the way we gather and act collectively on the street, on the tram, at work and having fun, it's all superbly similar.

I continually seek evidence that we do absolutely mirror each other despite our vast differences. Every day I am captivated to document the people and the places that surround me on the palpable streets of Melbourne, an incredibly diverse and dynamic place to live.

 Street photography, Centre Place, Melbourne
 Street photography, Swanston Street, Melbourne
 Street photography, Melbourne