Barcelona & the Pollux Awards …

… very welcome news from Barcelona this morning regarding the 21st Pollux Awards … the prestigious International photography prize hosted by famed Spanish based FotoNostrum Magazine. Even better is that the news involves three of my (at the moment) lesser known works.

“The Last Image of Alf … Alf Neal OAM” has, up to now, been somewhat overshadowed by another earlier image I made of Alf on his hundredth birthday with his great great grandson Kailan … “100 Years & 3 Weeks … Alf Neal OAM” … which has been recognised numerous times around the planet and in Australia.

So it was a gratifying experience to see the portrait of my old mate Alf … made on the verandah of his Yarrabah home in the last days of his one hundred and first and final year … selected as the ‘Winner’ of Pollux ‘People’ category. I know that Alf, if he was still around, would be immensely proud … and I’m sure that his Yarrabah family will be too.

The ‘icing on the cake’ is that two of my so far ‘unsung’ images … “Voices & Bubblegum … Aurukun” & “Surviving Cyclone Jasper … Bill & Michelle” … were both awarded ‘Honorable Mentions’ in the same ‘People’ category … a nice ‘triple’ 🙂 . The ‘Bubblegum’ pic was made at ‘Indigenous Voice to Parliament’ referendum pre-polling in Aurukun, when young Kythie Yunkaporta was more enthralled with the bubblegum skills of Shuntay Marpoodin. The image of Bill and Michelle Dunn was made as they told their harrowing story of survival at their Degarra (Bloomfield) home destroyed in the massive flooding that followed Cyclone Jasper.

The Pollux Awards have been good to me over the years … and this is the fourth year in a row that I’ve been fortunate to be selected as ‘Winner’ of the ‘People’ category (earlier ‘wins’ … 20th Edition here 19th Edition here, 18th Edition here ).

One of the nicest things about the Pollux Awards is that the winners works do end up as physical framed photographs on a wall … the very prestigious walls of the FotoNostrum Gallery, Mediterranean House of Photography, in Barcelona, Spain. That will happen from July 2025 … (a nice time to be in Barcelona and Spain 😉 ? ).

Very nice also to be in the good company of my US photojournalist mate and Pulitzer Prize winner, Michael Robinson Chavez, whose work was selected in the Pollux ‘Documentary & Reportage’ category.

You may find all of this years Pollux Awards winners in a special edition FotoNostrum Magazine here … https://www.fotonostrummag.com/21-pollux … my work is on pages 64 & 65, whilst Michael Robinson Chavez’s works are on page 116.

Images © Brian Cassey

On the Stage … with ‘Grit’ …

… a really different place and opportunity to share the story of my several decades hefting cameras around various parts of the planet to tell the odd story or two.

My first … (and likely my last 🙂 ) … appearance on a theatre stage, was yesterday when I had the privilege of taking a small part in the Perseverance Street Theatre Company production of the play “Grit” at the JUTE theatre in Cairns.

The premise of the theatrical and musical production is to highlight and tell stories of resilience, determination, regret, positivity … and ‘grit’. It is performed by four talented members … storyteller Fletcher Colfs accompanied by cast members Abby Bowyer, Ben Adams and Sarah Harvey.

My part was to relate the story (with the pre show input of JUTE creative producer Kathryn Ash) of basically my entire life … both pre and post my first ever two shillings and sixpence camera … to tell the stories of the amazing people I have met and photographed over the decades, many in the midst of unfathomable hardship and suffering . Some had triumphed over adversity … others didn’t …

One who did ‘triumph’ was burns survivor and my pictorial subject Carol Mayer (inset in promotional poster below) … whose bravery and fortitude taught me much in the time I knew her before her untimely so so sad death.

All this was voiced with lead actor Fletcher as a prelude to the rest of the show.

The six scenarios during the play were a beautiful mixture of humour and pathos … poignant, uplifting, thought provoking, enlightening, moving and more. A great way to spend an hour and a half …

The show continues it’s travels around Queensland (without my input) next week to Rockhampton and Bundaberg.

‘Carol Mayer’ image © Brian Cassey

"Grit" a play at the JUTE Theatre in Cairns ... part played by Brian Cassey photographer.

Budapest, Dodho & Capture Awards … early Xmas Pressies …

… 3 nice early Chrissie presents … from ‘Budapest International Foto Awards’ (BIFA), Dodho Color Awards’ and Capture Magazines inaugural ‘Capture Awards’ … with four different images featuring.

Most pleasing for me was a first recognition for an image I’m rather fond of … and frankly rather different from my usual ‘stuff’ … entitled “Marilyn Monroe – 60 Years on – By Bonn” (top).

‘Marilyn’ was selected as an Honorable Mention in the Fine Art category of the Budapest International … and I’m very happy with that. I’m pretty sure that my subject Bonn Marie will be happy with that too … she did an admirable job of channeling the 50’s and early 60’s sex goddess … fabulous Bonn ! Thanks … and to Sue Kim too for her great nostalgic make up and hair magic.

I’ll try and keep it concise … but the catalyst for creating the image was the 60th anniversary of Marilyn’s (arguably the planet’s greatest ever sex symbol) untimely death in 1962 at the age of just 36. The idea was to  mirror one of the works of US photographer Tom Kelley who had the enviable task of shooting Marilyn’s infamous ‘red velvet’ set in 1949 before her acting career took off (when she had red hair pre the ‘blond bombshell’ era). Strangely Tom’s image didn’t receive lavish attention until Hugh Hefner selected it for the first centrefold in the first ever edition of Playboy Magazine in 1953!

The original is a truly iconic (in the real sense of the word) photograph and played a key role in shaping 20th century history, spawning a redefinition of female sexuality and a sexual revolution.

I like to think that Bonn and I did the original work justice. (Fine Art or not … it’s a real shame that this work is unacceptable on social media and its use would lead to a ban … go figure!)

“100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” also scored an Honourable Mention in the BIFA Portrait category … to add to a growing list of recognitions. Still miss you Alf.

By the way … it would be remiss of me not to mention that Cairns colleague and Hungarian born friend Emese Gyalog also featured in the Budapest awards, winning a Bronze Award and a Honorable Mention for her work. Excellent …

My pic of Green Island croc legend “George Craig – Crocodile Hunter” featured in the second edition Dodho Magazine Color Awards … and was awarded with a whole page (third from top) in a quite beautifully produced collection of photography … the Dodho large format hard cover book of the awards best images entitled ‘Color –  Best Photographers of 2023’ (third and fourth pics). Dodho really know how to produce wonderful polished photography books!

Last but certainly not least … “100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” was also selected in the ‘Top Ten Portraits’ of the inaugural Capture Magazine “Capture Awards” … and features amongst the winners in the current Summer 24 print edition of Australia’s premier pro photography magazine. A bit of cream on top was also the selection in the top twenty ‘Portraits’ list of my portrait “Do Not Resuscitate – Peter ‘Potter’ Thompson” of the Kuranda master potter (bottom image).

All have been updated to my ‘Awards’ listings page at … https://www.briancasseyphotographer.com/awards/

A very nice way to finish 2023 … Many Thanks to all involved … and have a great ’24 !

All images © Brian Cassey

Head On Photo Festival … Brilliant …

Crackin’ long weekend at the 2023 Head On Photo Festival in Sydney. 

Great to catch up with so many friends and photography colleagues. Amongst those photographers (and SO sorry for those fleetingly met and missed here) … and roughly in order they appeared …  Mark ‘Crusty’ Baker, David Gray, Rick Stevens, Mike Bowers, Peter Solness, Gary Ramage, Janie Barrett, John Donegan, Dean Sewell, Nicky Cately,  Judith Nangala Crispin, Jessica Hromas, Andrew Quilty, Michael Coyne, Glenn Porter, (pocket UK rocket) Jennifer Forward-Hayter,  John Swainston , Fiona Bowring and Dianne Brooks (who did an amazing job as my personal ‘chauffeur’ 😉 )

Then … you’ve got the fabulous dedicated Head On crew … Moshe Rosenzveig OAM, Anita, Steven, Emma, Charles, Lana et al. Amazin’ job !

Great to see the almost endless brilliant photography works at Bondi Beach, Reservoir Gardens, TAFE Ultimo etc … being part of a photo judges panel talk with colleagues Judith Nangala Crispin and Jessica Hromas … and to see my Head On Portrait Prize Finalist ‘Alf Neal’ work on the wall amongst a brilliant Bondi Pavilion exhibition in company with the work of media colleagues Gary Ramage, Kate Geraghty, Glenn Porter and forty odd others.

But wait … there’s more … the third showing for the “Paper Tigers” exhibition of Australian photojournalism, this time in the spacious realms of TAFE Ultimo … collection curated by myself and Moshe.

Wouldn’t have missed all this for quids … go see  … (and that’s the ‘name dropping’ other with 😉 )

Below are two of my works at the current Head On Festival … “Voices – 100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” amongst the Portrait Prize Finalists … and “Abdullatif – Beaten Asylum Seeker” amongst the sixty brilliant works of photojournalism that is “Paper Tigers”.

Images © Brian Cassey @headonphotofest #headonphoto 

8th Year … Trinity Bay High Student Portrait Prize …

This past week I once again had the delightful task of judging the works of Trinity Bay High School students in their annual Photographic Portrait Prize … and presenting the awards for the eighth year in a row.

Yearly, I’ve been amazed by the quality of photographic portraiture produced by the students … some barely in their teens. Looking back on my pictorial skills when their age, I would have been way down the bottom of class.

Having said that, this year when faced with over sixty quality portraits lining the Visual Arts walls, I was even more stunned. The collective students had really excelled and produced a ‘best ever’ portraiture exhibition.

Selecting the three winners was a daunting and lengthy task. In the end the overall winner boiled down to an almost impossible choice between two great portraits … neither of which would look out of place published in National Geographic magazine. Ultimately the self portrait ‘Window of Soul’ (top) by David-Paul Onakoy got the winning nod over ‘It Takes a Village to Raise a Child’ (second from top) made by his mate David Mashengo … but only just !! The Congolese student pair both produced wonderfully constructed portraits that told a story. David-Paul took home the winners prize of a DSLR camera courtesy of sponsors Garricks Camera House.

Interestingly and in contrast to the previous couple of years … this years three winners all showed strong eye contact in their portraits, with the beautifully executed and literally eye-catching work by Sienna Stuart-Bennet of her friend Shakira, ‘Vision’, making up the top prized trio.

I could have easily awarded a dozen or so ‘Honourable Mentions’ but had to limit the decision to just three, coincidently all black and white portraits. The works of … Jade Gubb (titled ‘Dystopian Gremlin’ – great attitude and angle of view) … Noecocha Cowley (‘Mary’ – striking use of shadow) … and Mattie-Leigh Hanson (‘Seashore’ – beautifully constructed and composed), prevailed. Virgil Gill won the top prize amongst the school staff section for the work ‘Sunshine’ … whilst ‘Sweet 16’ by student Shirley Vue (bottom image) was chosen by popular vote as ‘Peoples Choice’.

Much praise must go to the dedicated Visual Arts teaching staff at the school who are fostering and moulding this amazing young photographic talent.

You can view all the TBHS students winning works from the past seven years by clicking here… 2022202120202019201820172016

See you all next year for number nine …

Images © The Student Artists … from top … David-Paul Onakoy, David Mashengo, Sienna Stuart-Bennet, Jade Gubb, Noecocha Cowley & Mattie-Leigh Hanson, Shirley Vue

Mentioned in Dispatches from Budapest …

… Nice … 4 X Honourable Mentions in the 2022 Budapest International Foto Awards (BIFA) announced yesterday.

You’ve likely seen the work before on this blog, social media or elsewhere … but always nice to receive a little more kudos. So … here they are …

1. “Veronica – Where Home Brew Kills” – People/Children – Five year old Veronica Barnes on Mornington Island in far northern Australia. Her remote indigenous community is suffering the ravages of a dangerous ‘Home Brew’ alcohol epidemic. Veronica is growing up in a community where community members – including children – are dying from alcohol related issues and severe diabetes.
2. “Scooter- Paralympian” – Editorial/Sport – Swim Paralympian Grant “Scooter” Patterson has diastrophic dysplasia, a joint fusion disability connected to dwarfism. He was catapulted to cult hero status around the planet when he won silver and bronze swim medals at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. His nickname comes from his constant form of transport – a three wheel scooter.
3. “Mother Africa” – People/Culture – As a black Colorado born African American, Aurora Coulter is acutely aware of her heritage, the treatment of her coloured predecessors and forebears in the United States – and also the history of Australia’s indigenous population since supposed ‘settlement’.
4. “Covid Vax & Ice Cream” – People/Portrait – After receiving her first Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination in her remote Yarrabah far north Australia home, 67 year old aboriginal Leanne Bulmer sits with her ‘reward’ – a free ice cream from the ice cream van that was arranged to follow the on foot ‘door to door’ doctors and medical teams through the indigenous community.

Taking some of the gloss off the BIFA announcement was the insane decision by both IG and FB to ‘remove’ the tasteful and respectful ‘news’ image of Veronica citing their ‘community standards’ and impose a ‘ban’ … whilst they constantly bombard social media with unsolicited overtly sexually blatant images of females displaying their various ‘bits’. Go figure …

You may check out where all four of these images have previously gained attention on my ‘Awards’ page here.

Also a special mention and a brilliant result for Cairns colleague and friend Emese Gyalog who won a ‘Bronze’ award and also 4 x Honourable Mentions … (and who just happens to be in Budapest right now.)

Big Thanks to my subjects … Veronica, Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson, Aurora Coulter and Leanne Bulmer.

Images © Brian Cassey

Budapest International Foto Awards (BIFA 2022 - Honourable Mention X 4 - "Veronica - Where Home Brew Kills", "Scooter", "Mother Africa" & "Covid Vax & Ice Cream" - by Brian Cassey

 

Head On Photo Festival … Exhibitions and Talks … Brilliant

There is so much I could say about this years Head On Photo Festival in Sydney. Could almost write a book about it …

Sadly, don’t have enough space to tell all about this years exhibitions, artists talks, panel talks, awards and other photographer events that made this years, soon to conclude, festival so special … but I will try.

This years annual extravaganza was based around the beautiful newly remodelled Bondi Pavilion opposite the World famous beach … and in the stunning surrounds at the Reservoir Gardens in Paddington. The work of 500-plus photographers was displayed in 107 exhibitions across the two major venues and further afield.

Work from my “A Photographer’s Life – Part Two” collection … first exhibited in full last year at The Court House Gallery in Cairns  … was selected as a ‘featured’ exhibition in Reservoir Gardens. Re-titled “(Selections From) A Photographer’s Life – Part Two” the work on the picturesque wall was edited down to twelve works (from the original 38) by Head On’s Moshe Rosenzveig and team (see top two images below).

Out of the nine other exhibitions also displayed in Reservoir Gardens four were my firm festival favourites … the works of two photojournalists, Giles Clarke from the USA (“Yemen: Conflict & Chaos”) and Mouneb Taim from Syria (“War Notes”), Judith Nangala Crispin’s magnificent and startling photographic creations using wild animals “Dangerous Stars” … and the haunting, disturbing, brave yet occasionally amusing work by breast cancer survivor Lisa Murray and her five-year-old son Griffin entitled “Through My Child’s Eyes”. Brilliant visual treats all …

Out of the many, many exhibitions lining the entire length of Bondi Beach I was most drawn to two that displayed a great visual sense of humour during Covid lockdown … Andrew Rovenko’s fabulous “The Rocketgirl Chronicles” and my old once Cairns mate Jake Nowakowski and his brilliant “Superheroes in Lockdown” set.

Please do take some time to click on the links to see these great exhibitions. Sadly the Reservoir Gardens exhibitions closed at the weekend but the Bondi works will be on display until December 4th.

I was also asked to do some ‘nattering’ at the Festival … in particular an artist talk regarding my “A Photographer’s Life – Part Two” work … and a panel talk on the challenges of photojournalism, and how photojournalists gain trust from and access to their subject entitled “Insiders & Outsiders”. The above mentioned photojournalists Giles Clarke and Mouneb Taim were my co-panelists in a talk moderated by photography journalist Alison Steven-Taylor.

Arguably the most satisfying festival event for me personally was the (re)opening of “Paper Tigers” … an exhibition of the work of sixty of Australia’s best photojournalists curated my myself and Moshe Rosenzveig. The culmination of nearly a year of cajoling and collecting the work of the best of Aussie based media PJ’s, the original exhibition of the sixty collected works was slap bang in the middle of Covid lockdowns and border closures. I and many others of the our contributors … even those in NSW … obviously couldn’t attend. Moshe and the Head On crew made good on their promise of ‘Launch Two’ at the fabulous Delmar Gallery in Ashfield just two weekends ago … and our “Paper Tigers” contributors could at last travel from around the country to celebrate the works on the walls and the accompanying “Paper Tigers” book (see images three and four below).

For those interested … here are the contributors to “Paper Tigers” … a totally talented bunch who withstood my constant nagging … Thanks …

Alex Coppel, Andrew Chapman, Angela Wylie, Ashley Crowther, Barbara McGrady, Ben Bohane, Brendan Beirne, Brian Cassey, Chris Hopkins, Craig Golding, Craig Greenhill, Darrian Traynor, Dave Tacon, David Dare Parker, David Gray, Dean Lewins, Dean Sewell, Delly Carr, Eddie Safarik, Edwina Pickles, Gerrit Fokkema, Glenn Campbell, Glenn Lockitch, Grant Wells, Helga Salwe, Ilana Rose, Jaime Murcia, Jake Nowakowski, Janie Barrett, Jessica Hromas, John Donegan, John French, Justin McManus, Louise Kennerley, Luis Ascui, Mark Crusty Baker, Martine Perret, Max Mason Hubers, Meredith O’Shea, Merv Bishop, Michael Amendolia, Michael Coyne, Moshe Rosenzveig, Nic Walker, Nick Moir, Nicola Bailey, Noel Butcher, Paul Blackmore, Penny Stephens, Peter Solness, Richard Wainwright, Rick Stevens, Rob Maccoll, Robert McFarlane, Simon O’Dwyer, Stephen Dupont, Sylvia Liber, Tim Page, Tobias Titz and Tracey Nearmy.

Many Thanks to the Head On crew of Moshe, Anita, Stephen, India, Georgia and Talia for putting on a truly awesome festival.

Finally … two further things … happy to report that my image “Scooter” (Paralympian Grant Patterson) was selected as semi-finalist in the Head On Portrait Prize (image below) … and that in a very, very, VERY rare occurrence fellow photographer lovely Iceland based Serena Dzenis managed to con me into being the subject (hate that) of a damn photograph at my Reservoir Gardens exhibition (bottom below). No idea how she managed that …

Images © Brian Cassey (top five) & Serena Dzenis (bottom)

Head On Photo Festival 2022 - "(Selections From) A Photographer's Life - Part Two" - by Brian Cassey - at the Reservoir Gardens Paddington Sydney

Head On Photo Festival 2022 - "(Selections From) A Photographer's Life - Part Two" - by Brian Cassey - at the Reservoir Gardens Paddington Sydney

Head On Photo Festival 2022 - "Paper Tigers" exhibition of Australian photojournalism - Curated by Brian Cassey and Moshe Rosenzveig - at Delmar Gallery Ashfield Sydney

Head On Photo Festival 2022 - "Paper Tigers" exhibition of Australian photojournalism - Curated by Brian Cassey and Moshe Rosenzveig - at Delmar Gallery Ashfield Sydney

"Scooter" - Semi-Finalist in the Head On Portrait Prize 2022 - image by Brian Cassey

Brian Cassey at his Head vOn Photo Festival exhibition "(Selection From) - A Photographer's Life - Part Two" at Reservoir Garden Paddington Sydney - image by Serena Dzenis

Judging School Students Portraiture at TBHS …

The years fly by … it seems almost yesterday that I was asked for the first time to judge the work of Trinity Bay High Schools photography class students. It was actually seven years ago in 2016 … and the students whose work was displayed in that years exhibition will now be well into their twenties.

This year I once again had the distinct pleasure of being asked to judge the schools annual photographic portrait prize … for the seventh year in a row.

Last week that judging took place followed by the announcement of winners and presentations …

There were a whole host of great portraits adorning the walls of the schools gallery that could have made it into the winners circle including (but not only) works by Axil Austin, Marie Johnson, Naomi Rubambo, Patrick Munguyiko and Prince Mashengo.

A very challenging decision this year … but after circling the gallery works on the wall many times …  with several breaks for rumination … i came up with these results (images below, counter clockwise from top) … Winner – ‘Bridezilla’ by Ali Talty , Second Place – ‘Mutesi’ by Angelique Iradukanda, Third Place – ‘Muslim Girl’ by Samita Khadka and Highly Commended – ‘The Deadly Clown’ by Mamta Bista. At bottom below is the work that was voted Peoples Choice by visitors to the exhibition … ‘Island Eyes’ by Peiwa Wamala  … and personally I’m glad they did :-).

Ali’s Winning work ‘Bridezilla’ was unmissable on the wall … a highly detailed image from a great quality file. It’s one of those images that you can’t stop looking around and searching for little details and making your own ‘interpretations’. (Still not one hundred percent about the title tho’ 😉 ). For her excellent wining work Ali was presented with a DSLR camera courtesy of sponsor Garricks Camera House, Cairns by teacher Ian Whittaker.

Angelique’s Second Place ‘Mutesi’ is a nicely put together classy, sophisticated work … nice interesting pose by the subject, displaying her to best effect.

An excellent quality image file and the use of great quality of the light and careful pose and composition used in Samita’s ‘Muslim Girl’ made it an exceptional work and a well deserved Third.

Some may feel that the selection of Mamta’s ‘The Deadly Clown’ may have been a ‘controversial’ decision. My take is that the almost abstract work is totally unmissable and unforgettable … some viewers remarked it was ‘very scary’. Great … if an image evokes emotion I’m all for it. I’ve seen the body of work that Mamta selected this image from … and it’s great creative work that deserved recognition.

The Trinity Bay teachers excelled this year with more entries in the ‘Staff Award’ than previous years … and my selection for best staff entry was a clever black and white work ‘Infinite Gambit’ by Kelly Nottle.

Over the years I’ve been constantly amazed by the work that these grade 12, 11 and younger students produce … and the work that that the teachers of the Visual Arts Faculty … this year Luke Madsen, Caroline Mudge and Clair Lloyd … nurture their students to produce.

Can’t wait for my eighth TBHS Photographic Portrait Prize next year …

You can find the previous winning images from the last six years of the TBHS portrait prize here …20212020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.

Images © the students … (top four – counter clockwise from top) … ‘Bridezilla’ by Ali Talty, ‘Mutesi’ by Angelique Iradukanda, ‘Muslim Girl’ by Samita Khadka and ‘The Deadly Clown’ by Mamta Bista … (bottom) … ‘Island Eyes’ by Peiwa Wamala

Trinity Bay High School Portrait Prize 2022 - winner by Ali Talty - judge Brian Cassey

Trinity Bay High School Portrait Prize 2022 - 3rd and 2nd Place - Muslim Girl Samita Khadka_ Mutesi by Angelique - judge Brian Cassey

Trinity Bay High School Portrait Prize - Honourable - The Deadly Clown by Mamta Bista - judge Brian Cassey

Trinity Bay High School Portrait Prize - People's Choice - Island Eyes - Peiwa Wamala

 

Tim Page … 25 May 1944 to 24 August 2022 …

Tim … a LEGEND in the REAL sense of the word …

Born in Tunbridge Wells in Kent UK (not far from where I was ‘brung up’ some years later), Tim went on to become one of the most adventurous, successful and colourful conflict photojournalists on the planet.

Yesterday was his last day on that planet …

I’ve been fortunate to not only have been aware and in awe of Tim’s work since the late ’60’s but to have met and chatted with Tim on many occasions over the decades. Not enough occasions … but somewhat privileged nevertheless …

One of my fondest memories of the irrepressible Tim was on ‘Table 55’ at the 2016 Walkley Awards in Brisbane. What must have been the best and most enjoyable table of the evening consisted of eventual ‘Gold Walkley’ winner and younger photojournalist legend Andrew Quilty (and his delightful mum Ann), photography journalist Alison Steven-Taylor, fellow photojournalist Michael Amendolia, little ol’ me … and Tim escorting his lovely partner Marianne Harris. The best way to spend any eve … and a great way to celebrate my little win in the Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize.

In the pics below the two ‘Legends’ Tim and Andrew ‘chew the cud’ following Andrew’s big win (second image from top) … and (third from top) Tim watches the announcement of my Nikon Walkley Portrait Award  with Marianne.

It was whilst nattering at table 55 that Tim broached the idea of a ‘print swap’. He fancied a signed copy of my winning portrait of “Abdullatif – Beaten Refugee”.

Bloody ‘ell … I was distinctly honoured and more than happy to oblige !

As sometimes happens all went a little quiet on the issue … until a couple of YEARS later when this turned up in the mail (top below) … a signed print …

“Ambush of 173rd Airborne – Iron Triangle – 1965”

Tim made this image very early on in his stella career whilst covering a Vietcong ambush of the US 173rd in South Vietnam. His work from this action saw his first publication in ‘Life’ magazine. Several of Tim’s images of this ambush aftermath are infamous and all over the net … but I’ve found no evidence of this particular frame elsewhere (please correct me if I’m wrong.)

It will be treasured … 

Here’s how Tim described his work covering the ambush …

“It was Larry Burrows who had to teach me how to load my first Leica M3; I got it as a perk having just had this image (nb – a similar image at the scene but including helicopters) run as a vertical double truck in a 5-page spread in LIFE in the fall of ’65.

At the same time that Hello Dolly opened at Nha Trang airbase, a company of 173rd Airborne had walked into an ambush in Viet Cong base zone, known as the Iron Triangle. The sign had read “American who read this die.”

A class of prime youth shredded in seconds.

The dust-offs started coming within 30 minutes. I got a ride back to Ton San Nhut and was downtown in Room 401 of the Caravelle in another 30. Mostly, I remember carrying a badly wounded grunt whose leg came off and he almost bled out.”

(Notes … ‘dust-off’ was the lingo (and call sign) for casualty evacuation by helicopter … the Caravelle was the hotel in central Saigon where the media invariably stayed (and is still there.)

Tim also personally signed my copy of his book ‘Requiem’ … the brilliant volume he collated containing the work of the photographers and journalists killed during the Vietnamese wars against the Japanese, French and Americans. ‘Requiem’ became a must see traveling photographic exhibition that traversed the planet. Fittingly and luckily I took in the exhibition when it was presented in Vietnam’s War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City in 2014.

The last image below was made when Tim visited Cairns TEN years ago to talk at the launch of the Degrees South Collection volume “WAR” … along with two other photojournalist members of Degrees South, David Dare Parker and Michael Coyne. Tim, David and Michael each signed my cherished copy … over one or two beers 😉

Tim survived injuries in action four times. The first in Chu Lai September 1965 when he was struck by shrapnel in the legs and stomach; the second during Buddhist riots in Da Nang in 1966 when he sustained more shrapnel wounds to the head, back, and arms … and the third in August 1966 in the South China sea, when he was on board a coast guard cutter mistakenly strafed by the US Air Force which left Tim adrift at sea badly wounded. Lastly, in April 1969 Tim jumped out of a helicopter to help load wounded soldiers just as a sergeant stepped on a nearby mine, sending a 2-inch piece of shrapnel into Tim’s head. Tim’s multiple injuries led his colleagues in the field to joke that he would never make it to the age of 23.

Tim made it to yesterday aged 78 …. 

NB. For All interested … have found the entire series of “Frankie’s House” made in 1992 (all four episodes at around the two hundred minute mark) … a TV series based (pretty loosely) on the early photojournalism career of Tim in Vietnam. Can be found on YouTube at … https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMqda4uF4-_4Azl9H-Xy5ES0NrHnbB5bd .)  Apparently Tim wasn’t a fan …

Images © Tim Page & Brian Cassey

Ambush of 173rd Airborne Iron Triangle 1965 - Image by Tim Page ... Brian Cassey Blog

Photojpurnalists Tim Page and Andrew Quilty at Table 55, Walkley Awards 2016 - Image by Brian Cassey

Photojpurnalist Tim Page at Table 55, Walkley Awards 2016 - with Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize winning image "Abdullatif - Beaten Asylum Seeker" by Brian Cassey

War Photojournalist Tim Page at Cairns launch of 'WAR - Degrees South' at The Tanks, Cairns - image by Brian Cassey

Pulitzer Prize Winner Barbara Davidson Meets Carol in Barcelona …

Mentioned a few months ago that a handful of my images had been selected in the 16th Edition Pollux Photography Awards … including a nice ‘Portrait Winner’ placement for my work “The Skin I’m In” of Cairns burns survivor Carol Mayer.

Perhaps it’s just another ‘Carol’ coincidence (there have been several) … but last week on the first anniversary of Carol’s so sad passing at the the hands of the ‘Big C’ December 2020, I received these images of my portrait of Carol on display in the winners circle at the opening event of the The 6th Biennial of Fine Art and Documentary Photography at the FotoNostrum Gallery in the Spanish city of Barcelona.

Carol would no doubt have been be as pleased as I am that her portrait was appraised at the Barcelona exhibition opening by three times Pulitzer Prize Winner and Emmy film award winning photojournalist/director Barbara Davidson (seen in all black centre top image, below, with “The Skin I’m In” at the FotoNostrum Gallery).

Celebrated as photo ‘Royalty’, Barbara is best known for her work on victims of gang violence in Los Angeles. She is also a 2019-2020 Guggenheim Fellow recipient and will spend the year traveling the United States making portraits of survivors of gun violence using an 8×10 film camera. 

Somewhat of a coup for the Barcelona Foto Biennalle to have Barbara attend the opening event as a very special guest in these times of Covid … and a real buzz for me (and probably Carol ‘up there’ too). Still trying to learn from the event organisers (who sent me these pics) whether Barbara made any audible comment about the work.

So … great to win the Pollux Portrait Award with the image of Carol … and that led to the real buzz of the work being selected to appear on the wall of the 6th Biennial Foto Barcelona at the FotoNostrum Gallery … which led to it being seen by multi Pulitzer winning photo ‘Royalty’ Barbara Davidson … and also lead to Carol posthumously once again spreading her message to burns survivors of the World that anything is possible …

Carol’s legacy lives on … again …

Carol Mayer Image © Brian Cassey … photos © FotoNostrum Gallery, Barcelona

 

 

Mornington Essay Wins At Clarions …

Scored a nice tidy hangover … and Best Photographic Essay gong … at ‘The Clarions’ (Queensland’s media awards) presentation event at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on Saturday eve.

A great evening honouring the best work of Queensland’s media industry over the last troubled year, it was also a brilliant opportunity to catch up with media mates and colleagues for a drink or two (honest!). To win the award for Best Photographic Essay with my work documenting the dire strait of the Mornington Island indigenous community in the Gulf of Carpentaria for The Courier Mail and The Australian was a very pleasant bonus.

The judges (for whom I have the greatest respect 😉 ) commented thus on my work ‘Mornington Island – The Queenslanders Left behind’ … “This series of images beautifully captures and communicates the plight of a forgotten community. Brian has included both dramatic candid moments and evocative portraits to tell the subjects story while seamlessly using a variety of techniques to create a moving connection to both people and place.

You will get a better look at the entire pic essay on my ‘Awards’ page at … https://www.briancasseyphotographer.com/awards/

Huge Thanks to all at the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance for once again hosting the awards and the evening … and to the wonderful people of Mornington for their hospitality.

Images © Brian Cassey (pages The Courier Mail & The Australian)

 

2021 Clarion Awards (Queensland Media Awards) - Winner - Best Photographic Essay - 'The Queenslanders Left Behind' by Brian Cassey (The Courier Mail and The Australian)

2021 Clarion Awards (Queensland Media Awards) - Winner - Best Photographic Essay - 'The Queenslanders Left Behind' by Brian Cassey (The Courier Mail and The Australian)

2021 Clarion Awards (Queensland Media Awards) - Winner - Best Photographic Essay - 'The Queenslanders Left Behind' by Brian Cassey (The Courier Mail and The Australian)

Two Exhibitions in Sydney … (If Only I Could Get There !) …

Moshe Rosenzveig and the crew of the 2020 Head On Photo Festival performed miracles earlier on this year as Covid-19 tightened it’s grip on Australia and the planet. They transformed a massive ‘venue’ based photography festival into the World’s first ‘On Line’ photo festival in a matter of just a few short weeks … and opened on time in the first weeks of May. The ‘On Line’ awards, artist talks, photography workshops and panel talks were aired on screens to thousands watching and listening around the planet and across Australia. An amazing effort …

With gallery spaces ‘out of bounds’ due to Covid the more traditional (and aesthetically more pleasing) ‘photographs on walls’ exhibitions reluctantly had to be put on ‘hold’.

I had two involvements in this years Head On ‘On Line’ photo festival … a personal exhibition “Me Too … Where The Boys Are … The Girls Are” (a photo essay on the performance of male strippers and their female audience) … and the co-curation (with Moshe Rosenzveig) of a project close to the heart … “Paper Tigers” … a collection of the work by sixty of Australia’s finest photojournalists. Both received large views on-line.

Now six months later, as Covid cases thankfully take a massive dive, these two exhibitions and work by many others are showing physically ‘on the walls’ (and fences) in numerous galleries and at venues around Sydney. Brilliant … and astonishing work by Head On !

Very sadly … I can’t ‘B’ well get there ! My Queensland Premier has stood fast to her decision that the borders between the Sunshine State and Sydney will remain firmly shut till (extremely annoyingly) at least the first of December … just days after these exhibitions close. The way of the World in 2020 … but I’m still gutted …

My exhibition “Me Too … Where The Boys Are … The Girls Are” opened yesterday on the wall at the fabulously atmospheric venue of the Paddington Reservoir Gardens … and runs there alongside four other great exhibits until the 29th of November. Photographer colleague, mate and gentleman Michael Amendolia went out of his way to lessen the blow of not ‘being there’ by sending me a raft of images of my exhibition in place (below). Thanks Michael !

The “Paper Tigers” exhibition (and the launch of the “Paper Tigers” book) opens at the new ‘Twenty Twenty Six Gallery’ in Bondi tomorrow … with an official opening this Saturday afternoon. Many of my Sydney based colleagues will be attending (lucky them) … whilst us interstate contributors will have to be patient until further opportunities eventuate down the track.

There will be more on ‘Paper Tigers’ … how it came about, what it contains and why it is important … a little later when I receive some images from colleagues who get to attend the gallery …

In the meantime … Paul Neeson from Sydney radio station East Side FM and I had an ‘on air’ chat about my work and both these exhibitions and the Head On Photo Festival in general. It runs for just over twenty one minutes and can be listened to here below. There is also an online text story on “Me Too … Where The Boys Are … The Girls Are” here.

 

Damn that bloody virus !

Images © Brian Cassey (two pics from “Me Too … “Where The Boys Are … The Girls Are” and my “Paper Tigers” image “Abdullatif” … & … Michael Amendolia (top 2 General Exhibition pics)

Head On Photofestival 2020 - Paddington Reservoir Gardens - "Me Too - Where The Boys Are ... The Girls Are" - exhibition of work by Brian Cassey

Head On Photofestival 2020 - Paddington Reservoir Gardens - "Me Too - Where The Boys Are ... The Girls Are" - exhibition of work by Brian Cassey

Head On Photofestival 2020 - Paddington Reservoir Gardens - "Me Too - Where The Boys Are ... The Girls Are" - exhibition of work by Brian Cassey

Head On Photofestival 2020 - Paddington Reservoir Gardens - "Me Too - Where The Boys Are ... The Girls Are" - exhibition of work by Brian Cassey

Head On Photofestival 2020 - Twenty Twenty Six Gallery - Bondi - "Paper Tigers" - exhibition of work by 60 Australian photojournalists co-curated by Brian Cassey

The ABC Story on ‘Paper Tigers’ …

A great piece by ABC journalist Teresa Tan on the ‘Paper Tigers’ project curated by Moshe Rosenzveig and ‘yours truly’ … and one of the highlights of the just completed 2020 ‘Head On Photo Festival’.

Teresa interviewed six of the sixty photojournalists who are participating in ‘Paper Tigers’ …  an anthology of contemporary Australian photojournalism. The published piece delved into the personal back story of the images that each of the six had selected for inclusion in the exhibition and a ‘Paper Tigers’ book that is sure to become a sort after volume. The subject matter captured by each of the six was diverse and the stories of how these images came about extremely illuminating. The six photojournalists whose work is analysed in the ABC article are Tracey Nearmy, Nick Moir, Craig Greenhill, Eddie Safarik, Rob Maccoll … and unashamedly … myself :-). Teresa’s story is available here … https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-17/photojournalism-australian-photographers-share-stories/12247936?fbclid=IwAR2wYuO2fPf9ry0Fb57x5MPBsk95MoLhEcoIoKFHmZA79RpQUGIhePfxgv8

The Guardian also did a fine job highlighting ‘Paper Tigers’ at Head On showcasing the work of Martine Perret, Jaime Murcia, Andrew Chapman, Nic Walker, Michael Coyne, Penny Stevens, Tracey Nearmy, Meredith O’Shea, Glenn Lockitch, Eddie Safarik, Ashley Crowther, Janie Barrett, Jessica Hromas, Delly Carr, Dean Lewins and Alex Coppel. It can be found here … https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2020/may/01/paper-tigers-exhibition-australias-contemporary-photojournalists-in-pictures

You can find more details about the origins of the ‘Paper Tigers’ idea and how it evolved on a previous post on this blog at … https://www.briancasseyphotographer.com/blog/exhibitions/2020/05/paper-tigers-strippers-head-on-photo-festival/ … which also lists all sixty photojournalists participating in the project.

The ‘Paper Tigers’ exhibition can be found on the Head On Photo Festival site at … https://www.headon.com.au/exhibitions/paper-tigers   … the Limited Edition book ‘Paper Tigers’ can be purchased from the Head On site at … https://www.headon.com.au/product/paper-tigers-book

Sadly,  the physical exhibition of the work at Paddington Town Hall has had to be postponed … however, it is now planned to have the sixty works on the walls in Paddo in early November. Stay tuned on that one …

Paper Tigers, Strippers … & Head On Photo Festival

… it started with a germ of an idea and took nigh on a year to come to fruition … but “Paper Tigers – an Anthology of Contemporary Australian Photojournalism” is now very much a reality as an exhibition and a book.

My initial idea of a print swap of work between Australia’s talented photojournalists morphed into something much grander after a long chat with Head On Photo Festival director Moshe Rosenzveig OAM.

Moshe enthusiastically grasped the implications of the project … the like of which he confessed had been close to his heart for some years. Our combined plan grew into a featured exhibition of the work of Australia’s media photographers at Paddington Town Hall during this years Head On Photo Festival, a book of the exhibition and an exhibition ‘event’ for photographers to meet, admire their work and swap prints.

So began the task of ‘mustering’ Australia’s talented photojournalists … an ‘interesting’ exercise to invite, confirm participation and collate the collection of work … one image from each. In the end we had to draw a line at sixty.

The list is exceedingly impressive … in alphabetical order … Alex Coppel, Andrew Chapman, Angela Wylie, Ashley Crowther, Barbara McGrady, Ben Bohane, Brendan Beirne, Brian Cassey, Chris Hopkins, Craig Golding, Craig Greenhill, Darrian Traynor, Dave Tacon, David Dare Parker, David Gray, Dean Lewins, Dean Sewell, Delly Carr, Eddie Safarik, Edwina Pickles, Gerrit Fokkema, Glenn Campbell, Glenn Lockitch, Grant Wells, Helga Salwe, Ilana Rose, Jaime Murcia, Jake Nowakowski, Janie Barrett, Jessica Hromas, John Donegan, John French, Justin McManus, Louise Kennerley, Luis Ascui, Mark Crusty Baker, Martine Perret, Max Mason Hubers, Meredith O’Shea, Merv Bishop, Michael Amendolia, Michael Coyne, Moshe Rosenzveig, Nic Walker, Nick Moir, Nicola Bailey, Noel Butcher, Paul Blackmore, Penny Stephens, Peter Solness, Richard Wainwright, Rick Stevens, Rob McColl, Robert McFarlane, Simon O’Dwyer, Stephen Dupont, Sylvia Liber, Tim Page, Tobias Titz, Tracey Nearmy.

When it comes to media photographers Australia is, indeed, a ‘Lucky Country’.

Then … along came Covid-19 …

It has long amazed me how the tiny Head On team (currently Moshe, partner Anita Schwartz, Stephen, Anna and Paula) manage to put together the far reaching and monumental photo festival that it has become. It enjoys and includes contributions and entries from the best around the planet … and a World wide reputation. For a moment Coronavirus threatened all that …

However, Moshe was not fazed … and the massive work of converting the entire festival to an ‘online’ event began. That online event has now been underway for two weeks … and has been revolutionary in it’s presentation of exhibitions, artist talks, panel talks, photo related workshops, award announcements and more.

Paper Tigers has played a significant part in this Head On festival. The exhibition is available … all sixty works by sixty photojournalists … online (a simple registration required), the book ‘Paper Tigers’ (see my book image ‘Abdullatif’ top below) is now available for purchase on the website … and Head On hosted a fascinating online panel talk around the work and Australian photojournalism. It is planned to still show the physical exhibition of the complete work on the walls and host the photographers ‘do’ and print swap at Paddington Town Hall early in November (hopefully post Covid).

Below are just two of the sixty wonderful images that make up the ‘Paper Tigers’ collection. Dean Sewell’s ‘Bruce’ from 1999 and Nic Walker’s ‘Rite of Passage’ from 2014. The other 58 are just as impressive.

Amongst the massive amount of brilliant photography on line in this years festival I was also pleased to present my own little ‘featured’ exhibition. “Me Too ! Where the Boys Are … the Girls Are” showcases my work covering the MenX burlesque group during their tour to Cairns whilst being filmed for a Vice TV show. It shows the interaction between the guys who are performing and doing a job (without much in the way of clothing) and the young female audience who willingly participate. The exhibition may be found online on the Head On website (again with a simple registration) … and I did mange to stumble through an online ‘artist talk’ on the subject for those brave enough or with time to waste 🙂 . (NB – link to recorded ‘artist talks’ will be down the track.) Two of my images from the exhibition (which also should be physically on the wall in November) are below.

Lastly … was also pleased to see one of my most successful images … ‘Generations – Aurukun’ (yes … you’ve probably seen it before but it’s (bottom) below anyway 🙂 ) … selected as a semi-finalist in this festivals Portrait Prize. It’s also included in the Portrait Prize video here at the 1:18 mark.

The Head On Photo Festival 2020 has just a few days left to run. If you havn’t visited yet and you have any interest in photography at all I strongly suggest you visit and enjoy. Moshe, Anita, Anna, Stephen and Paula have done a remarkable job.

Images © … Brian Cassey & Head On (top), Dean Sewell, Nic Walker and Brian Cassey (bottom three).

@headonphotofestival

 

Head On - Paper Tigers - Book - photojournalism - 'Abdullatif' by Brian Cassey

Head On - Paper Tigers Book - 'The Block' - image by Dean Sewell - Oculi

Head On - Paper Tigers - Book - image by Nic Walker

Head On - 'Me Too - Where the Boys Are ... the Girls Are' - image and exhibition by Brian Cassey

Head On - 'Me Too - Where the Boys Are ... the Girls Are' - image and exhibition by Brian Cassey

Head On Portrait Prize - Semi-Finalist - 'Generations - Aurukun' - by Brian Cassey

The Real Bali … and Arthur Fleischmann …

A real pleasure to spend some time in a beautiful barely untouched part of Bali, far away (well, about an hour and a half) from ‘tourist central’.

The Sidemen Valley adjacent to the village of the same name in East Bali is akin to stepping back several decades to earlier times when Bali was an unmarred spiritual paradise. Rice paddies are liberally strewn through the lush fertile valley dominated at the end by views of dramatic volcanic Gunung Agung. It’s bloody gorgeous …

I recently became aware of the impressive Balinese 1930’s photography work of Slovak born photographer/sculptor Arthur Fleischmann. Whilst at Sidemen I made this atmospheric image … “Homage to Arthur Fleischmann – Diah” (top below) … as a tribute and an attempt to echo Fleischmann’s Balinese work of that era.

Fleischmann arrived in Bali by boat in 1937 and set about documenting Balinese life. In particular he turned his camera to what he saw as the everyday heroics of Balinese women in agrarian life and at harvest … “their labour under the heat of a searing sun celebrated and immortalised”. Three of Arthurs many images can be found bottom below.

His Balinese photography collection is best found in the large book “Bali in the 1930’s” (if you can find it!)

The outbreak of WWII led to his departure from Bali to a new life in Sydney where he become a member of Australia’s Merioola artist commune. In 1949 he left for London where he lived the rest of his life till his death in 1990 at the age of 94. His last sculptural work … “Tribute to the Discovery of DNA” … stands in the NSW State Library, Sydney.

I am very grateful for the help of loverly local talent Diah Antari, my driver Suyasa and the rest of the so helpful staff at the beautiful Wapa di Ume hotel in the Sidemen Valley … so very much appreciated !

(The other real bonus being in Bali again … the chance to once again stay at my very ‘favouritist’ hotel … the sublime Tandjung Sari at Sanur. Owned by the Wawo-Runtu family since it’s beginnings in 1962, Tandjung Sari is a peaceful oasis on the Sanur waterfront … a place that fosters Balinese arts and lifestyle above all else. Once a haven for rock stars and royalty it has matured with grace over the decades. Nothing much has changed … and nor does it need to … since my first of many visits over twenty years ago.)

Image “Homage to Arthur Fleischmann – Diah” (top) © Brian Cassey, Images x 3 (bottom) © Arthur Fleischmann

"Homage to Arthur Fleischmann" - image © by Brian Cassey - made of Diah Antari in the Sidemen Valley East Bali

The work of Arthur Fleischmann in Bali 1930's - compilation by Brian Cassey

Passion for India … @sandwichlightindia …

Excellent to be invited to be part of another very worthwhile Instagram feed … even if this one does have the initially puzzling name of @sandwichlightindia.

Sandwichlightindia … created by Queensland photographer and ‘Indophile’ Russell Shakespeare  … is a collective platform  for “photographers who are passionate about India” … and the invited membership, including (but not only) very talented photographer colleagues Marco Del Grande, Warren Clarke, Brendan Esposito, Peter Wallis and S Anand Singh, certainly show a love for imagery on the subcontinent.

The catalyst for the name ‘sandwichlightindia’ was explained to me by Russell. Seems he and Varanasi photographer Anand Singh were together on an assignment during the Hindu ‘Festival of Lights’ … Diwali. The pic idea was to portray a certain candle lit location at twilight. When they got to the location at dusk the candles weren’t lit and the light was fading.

Russell heard Anand and other local photographers saying “Sandwich light no good, sandwich light no good” … one even repeating it to a pic editor on the other end of the phone. Seems that the term compared the light to a sandwich … one slice of bread is too dark, the other slice too light … and all the good stuff (balanced and just right light) is in the middle of the sandwich!

… and that’s how @sandwichlightindia was born.

The feed is still in it’s infancy … Russell admits that the name means it’s hard to just come across … but the work and depiction of Indian life makes it well worth a visit and a follow. If you have any interest in quality photojournalism and India I urge you to do so …

I’m also a member of two other high profile Instagram photographer collectives … @everydayclimatechange (addressing climate change issues around the World through imagery … currently 114,000 followers) and @everydayaustralia (depictions of daily life in Australia … 54,000 followers).

Below are a selection of images from @sandwichlightindia by my colleagues … from top © Russell Skakespeare, A Anand Singh, Marco Del Grande, Warren Clarke and Peter Wallis.

 

@sandwichlightindia - image by Russell Shakespeare - on blog post by Brian Cassey - "

@sandwichlightindia - image by S Anand Singh - on blog post by Brian Cassey - "Passion for India ... @sandwichlightindia ..."

@sandwichlightindia - image by Marco Del Grande- on blog post by Brian Cassey - "Passion for India ... @sandwichlightindia ..."

@sandwichlightindia - image by Warren Clarke - on blog post by Brian Cassey - "Passion for India ... @sandwichlightindia ..."

@sandwichlightindia - image by Peter Wallis - on blog post by Brian Cassey - "Passion for India ... @sandwichlightindia ..."

Image Theft From @everdayclimatechange …

In May I was invited to join the Everyday Climate Change @everydayclimatechange Instagram group … a collaborative feed founded by James Whitlow Delano to highlight the visual effects of warming on our precious planet. It has recently grown to surpass one hundred thousand followers. Delighted to join a group of dedicated wonderful photographers with a vitally important agenda.

Sadly, @everydayclimatechange has been the victim of blatant image theft by a ‘for profit’ company. A dozen contributors, including myself, have seen their work stolen, their personal and @everydayclimatechange image credits stripped … and featured on the companies instagram feed complete with our copyright holders captions in place.

We at @everydayclimatechange are now collectively contemplating what action to take to redress the situation.

Below … side by side … are my relevant © contributions to @everydayclimatechange (left) and the stolen works as published (right – with the offending company name etc obscured at present).

Images © Brian Cassey

@everydayclimatechange by Brian Cassey

Nikon F2 … Roll of Tri-X … 36 Pics …

Thanks to legendary veteran combat photographer Tim Page (who dobbed me in) … I have this week been wielding on a spare shoulder a pristine circa 1971 manual everything Nikon F2 loaded with a roll of Tri-X film.

The idea … the brainchild of photographer Renato Repetto … is to get the Nikon into the hands of top (and not so top) photographers all around Australia who will each shoot one roll of B&W film … just 36 frames each.

The AFP400TX Project is about seeing life through the eyes of Australian Film Photographers. The Nikon F2 (eye level DE-1 Plain Prism, 1971-1976) no 7587117 with a 55mm 2.8 Micro Nikkor will be used for every exposure of the project, making the only variable the photographer. All rolls of film will be developed by the project sponsor Rewind Photo Lab in NSW to ensure consistency across the project.

My colleagues of note featured in the project include the afore mentioned Tim PageDavid Dare Parker, Michael Coyne, Stephen Dupont, Jesse Marlow, Sean Davey, Heather Faulkner, Roger Garwood  … and many maybe not so well known.

A diary accompanying the camera will document the creative thoughts of all the photographers in the project for later  incorporation into a photo book. The book will be launched with gallery exhibitions in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne featuring silver gelatin prints of the best photos of the project.

Now … I cut my teeth shooting ‘manual everything’ film SLR’s way, way back when … but can now confirm that ‘going back’ is somewhat of a sobering and frightening experience !!

Below is a pic I made (on a D4S) of Wik Munkan artist Lex Namponan from Aurukun, wielding the precious Nikon F2 used in the project. Lex was born in 1971 … the same year that the F2 was released. I used two precious frames from the Tri-X roll to make a portrait of Lex. Fingers crossed that Lex and I make the AFP400TX Project exhibitions and book …

Image © Brian Cassey

AFP400TX Project - Australia - Brian Cassey

 

Fostering Young Portrait Photographers …

I first clicked the shutter of a camera (two shillings and sixpence at Woolworths) at what would, in those good old days, have been considered a young age. The work produced was erratic and questionable … but I fluked the odd one or two that I was happy with.

This week I had the pleasure to be involved with scores of young photographers whose work at a similar age far outshines my earliest efforts. Along with fellow Cairns photographer Romy Bullerjahn, I was asked to judge and present prizes at the 2016 Trinity Bay High School Portrait Photography Prize.

I really didn’t know what to expect before walking into the schools gallery to select the winning portraits from about fifty entries … many of a quite startling quality. Picking winners was a difficult task for Romy and myself but we eventually settled on first, second, third and two highly commended (as well as two ‘staff’ prizes).

The story around 14 year old Matt Hastie’s selected winning portrait “Shades” is remarkable. Matt only picked up his first DSLR camera a month ago – a ‘loaner’ from the school inventory. Prior to that he had only made ‘phone’ pictures. His prize winning evocative image (below – top) was made during that first ever ‘proper photography assignment’.

Shell shocked and shy, Matt said he was ‘pretty happy’ to win and to be presented with the prize of his very own Canon DSLR courtesy of Garricks Camera House. He is now enthusiastic about his plan to choose Photo Imaging as an elective school subject from grade 10 … and maybe one day pursue a professional photography career.

Fractionally behind Matt’s work were images by students of a similar age or younger – Matilda Sail (2nd – year 7), Eden Cvetkovic, (3rd – year 11), Eliza Sail, (commended – Year 9) and Pagan Sutcliffe (commended – Year 11). Delon Clark took out the Peoples Choice Award.

When I was their age it was inconceivable for schools to teach photography. With the help of Trinity Bay Arts teachers Ian Whittaker, Sean Tooley and the Arts department staff and program, these young aspiring students have made great strides towards becoming the next generation of photographers and photographic artists.

Images – Top – Winner “Shades’ by Matthew Hastie © . Below – clockwise from top left – works by Matilda Sail © 2nd, Eden Cvetkovic © 3rd, Pagan Sutcliffe © HC, Eliza Sail © HC, Delon Clarke © Peoples Choice.

Trinity Bay High School Portrait Prize inner 2016 by Matthew Hastie - judge Brian Cassey

Trinity High School Portrait Prize 2016 place getters - judge Brian Cassey

Korean Photo Mag Exposes Me As A Kid …

Over the years I’ve made images of tens of thousands of people … it’s what I enjoy doing and I’m extremely fortunate that I’ve managed to eke out a meagre living doing just that. However, strangely, throughout my life there have been very very few photographs taken of myself. Even as a child I was rarely photographed and only a handful of pics remain. (Looking in the mirror I suppose that is not so surprising!)

It was, indeed then, very surprising to receive a request from South Korea’s distinguished “Monthly Photography” magazine to provide a photograph of myself as a small child. Their idea was to collect images of photographers from around the World as young children and contrast the photographs in an pic story entitled “In Memory”.

The article featured early childhood photographs of thirty two photographers including myself,  a host of Korean photographers and a selection of renowned International photographers and photo artists – Alberto Salván Zulueta (Spain), Michal Solarski (UK), Matthieu Gafsou (Switzerland), Mary Fashbaugh (USA), Sylvia Kowalczyk (Poland), John Goto (UK), Jonny Briggs (UK), Eduardo Leal (Portugal) and Eeva Hannula (Finland) – all of which are much more accomplished than I !

This – very roughly translated from the (edited) Korean text – is their rationale – “We asked photographers from Korea and around the World to send photos of themselves and their families when they were very young. Every photographer supplied a photo that told a real story of childhood in these countries in days long gone. There are a lot of real stories in these powerful family photos. Every generation has a different lifestyle and we can see that in the photographs. But time goes on …
More importantly these photographs show that family love never changes. Those old photos help us think about the real meaning of the family”.

The caption under my pic roughly translates (again edited) to – “I was about 3 years – my sister 6 years older – that day Queen Elizabeth visited our neighbourhood, went past our house and along our street .We were waiting for the Queen wearing best dressed and fancy dress. She came past our house in her royal limousine. When the Queen had gone we had a street carnival. My sister grabbed my hand during a very special moment for the neighbourhood”.

Yes – that is me on the top right! (To my right is my sister Brenda and then our two boy neighbours.)

Below I’ve posted images of the relevant pages of the 15 page article, cover of the issue of “Monthly Photography” … and a copy of the pic from my childhood. ©

 

KoreaInMemory3s

BCMonthlyPhotographySKBLOG

KoreaInMemory4s

Taking Up the B&W Challenge …

Never before have I seen collected photographers tackle anything with so much gusto and motivation.

The ‘5 Day Black and White Challenge’ based on Facebook seems to have galvanised Australia’s media photographers past and present. The quality of black and white images that have been gracing Facebook over the last few weeks have been sensational. The challenge has meant that many fine images taken over the decades are getting another well deserved airing instead of wallowing in the archives. Some real gems have appeared.

The list of Australian and Australian based photographers that have become involved is enormous. It’s a veritable ‘who’s who’ of Australian media photographers through the decades. Click on each of the photographers links below and it will take you to the great work in their particular B&W challenge.

So … in no particular order (and apologising for those I havn’t found) … David Dare Parker, Tim Page, Polani Mohan, Nick Moir, Dean LewisBrett Faulkner, Phil Hillyard, Tim Clayton, Mike Larder, Richard ‘Tommy’ Campion, Juno GemesCraig GreenhillRick Stevens, Graham Crouch, Megan LewisGlenn Campbell, Craig Golding, Tamara DeanGeorge Fetting, David May, Steve Holland, John French, Andy Zakeli, Mark ‘Crusty’ Baker, Steve Christo, Leigh Henningham, Martine Perret, Adam Hollingworth, Grant Turner, John Feder, Heather Faulkner, Verity ChambersJay Town, Gregg Porteous, Brett Costello, Nadia JanisJeff Darmanin, Chris Hyde, Jake Nowakowski, Richard Wainwright, Michael Amendolia, Hamish Blair, Jack Atley, David Maurice SmithRussell Shakespeare, James Brickwood, Craig Sillitoe, David Geraghty, Peter Bull, Dave Tacon, Matthew Goddard Jones, Sean Davey, Roger Garwood, Delly Carr, Cameron Spencer, Wolter Peeters, Natalie Grono, Sam HarrisVince Caligiuri, Ryan Pierse, Luke Marsden, Mark Dadswell, Asanka Brendon Ratnayake, Alan PrykeKelly BarnesDavid John Teas E, Conor Ashleigh, Adam Knott, Meredith O’Shea,  AJ Moran, Nathan Edwards, Lindsay MollerMorne Saffieboy de Klerk, James Elsby, David Mariuz, Quentin Jones, Alex Coppel, Craig Borrow, Peter Solness, Gary RamageAndrew Quilty … the list appears endless …

It doesn’t stop there either … around the World there are many thousands of photographers taking the opportunity to file some BW’s and ‘dob in’ another five colleagues. Photographers of the highest profile such as USA’s Ben Lowy have joined in.

My challenge was made by my Darwin mate Glenn Campbell. Over the five days I’ve nominated Dean Lewins, Craig Greenhill, Richard Wainwright, Sam Mooy and Tracey Nearmy.

The five B&W’s I selected for my challenge are below and if you click on the images it will take you to the relevant Facebook pages where you will see all the details, comments and ‘likes’. From top we have ‘Dire Straits’, ‘Polite Lawn Bowls’, ‘Race Fall’, ‘Fiji Coup’ and ‘Huli Woman’ and the images were made between the 80’s and 2000, all but number 4 on film (more than likely on Nikon FM2 or F4 bodies) whilst ‘Fuji Coup” was made on a Nikon D1 digital.

You can see many other photographers 5 Day B&W challenges by visiting #fivedayblackandwhitechallenge

Images © Brian Cassey

- ©pic by Brian Cassey

BWChallengeBlog1

Ex Cairns Australia  pic by Brian Cassey Pic by Brian Cassey

BWChallengeBlog3

BWChallengeBlog5