Catching up again…

Close to Home 1-16 by Andrée Lawrey

Another long break…  I’m shocked at the way this year has got away from me.  A couple of project commitments, too much administrative busyness, too little space for personal work plus the usual gaps, roadblocks and creative droughts — I need to do better in future!

The high points were pretty good, though.  For example, the exhibition I helped to organise — Close to Home, by members of the Australian Photographic Society’s Contemporary Division — looked really good in both venues.  Yes, we hung it twice, first at ‘The Q’ Exhibition Space at the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, then again at APSCON 2012, the Society’s 50th annual conference.  Organising an exhibition by 20 artists from all around Australia by email was an interesting challenge for the Canberra team, but the end result was very fine.  Congratulations to all concerned — you should be proud!

Then there was the new website.  Yes, this is it — welcome!  A completely new look, bringing my blog, articles and photography galleries together on a single site, something I have wanted to do for ages.  As always, comments and suggestions are most welcome.  If anything looks odd or it’s hard to find your way around the site, I’d love to hear about it.

Alternatives at Abell’s Kopi Tiam

Camogli at Dusk 

Afternoon Silhouettes, Portofino  

Alternatives is an exhibition by three photographer friends – Lorna Sim, Susan Henderson and Andrée Lawrey – who enjoy experimenting with alternative capture and printing processes in our work.  We happily mix and match advanced digital cameras, medium format film, basic plastic cameras, traditional chemical printing processes, digital stitches and montages, retro phone camera apps and anything else we think of in our quest for evocative images.  While these processes are never an end in themselves, but only tools we use to craft our images, we have a lot of creative fun along the way.

This exhibition has been in the back of our minds at least since we were making cyanotypes together in 2010.  At that stage we were thinking purely in terms of alternative printing processes (cyanotype, Vandyke brown) but over time the concept evolved to reflect new directions in our work.  When we finally started selecting work for the exhibition, we found ourselves stretching the boundaries to include plastic cameras and modern, digital “alternatives” as well as cyanotypes and other traditional processes.

Susan is showing cyanotype and Vandyke prints – subtle, organic, ethereal still life studies of shells, feathers and flowers – with two jewel-like landscapes captured on medium format film with a Holga plastic camera.  Lorna has combined her hi-fi dance photography with lo-fi dream-like landscapes to create images with a strong, almost surreal mythological feeling.  And I am showing a selection from my iPhone in Italy series, which began as a light-hearted attempt to express my delight in a wonderful trip and somehow found its way onto my “personal best” list.

Lorna, Susan and I are very happy to present a selection of our favourite “alternatives” at Abell’s Kopi Tiam restaurant in Furneaux Street, Manuka (ph. 6239 4199).

An iPhone in Italy (II)

More exhibition images from my iPhone in Italy series. The flowers and the church are from Portofino and the others are from a morning excursion to Burano in the Venetian lagoon.

This set is part of Out There 2011, the Canberra Photographic Society‘s annual exhibition which is now showing at the Watson Arts Centre. More information, including an online catalogue, is available here. The exhibition continues until 10 July.

An iPhone in Italy

Roman Flare and Afternoon Trees 

Many of my favourite images from my visit to Italy last April were taken with my iPhone. The Hipstamatic app I was using just seemed to suit my subjects and the holiday mood I wanted to convey.

I exhibited this pair in Access all Areas 2011 – The PhotoAccess Members’ Show in May. I was trying for silhouettes but the iPhone sensor, the Hipstamatic app’s Helga Viking lens and the angle of the sun conspired to deliver some additional special effects. The only post-processing I did was to crop off the white border around each photo, which doesn’t look good in prints.

Highlights @ Floodlight


Here’s a favourite from 2007, a lucky find on a PhotoAccess workshop excursion early one frosty morning.  The sun was just melting the frost, turning water drops to jewels and gilding the dead flower heads.  I love the way backlight turns the most commonplace scenes and details to sheer magic.

A print of this image is my contribution to the Floodlight exhibition and auction at PhotoAccess on Saturday, 5 February from 4 to 5.30 pm, which aims to raise funds for victims of the devastating floods in Queensland.  More information and an online catalogue are available here.

D200, 28-105 f/3.5-4.5