If you ever need any inspiration to get outdoors and travel, hit up Jessica Ward’s Instagram (@jesswardphoto). It’s filled with photos that will leave you in awe. When Jessica isn’t navigating her way around the world with her camera, she’s back in her hometown, taking incredible shots of iconic Newcastle landscapes captured from the best angles imaginable.Read More
I’m sure many of you have been admiring the photos that occupy the centrefold of each month’s issue, courtesy of a photographer who goes by the name Lazy Bones. It’s time you got to know a little more about the Novocastrian behind the lens.Read More
I hold a really special place in my heart for those who truly believe in what it means to be young. What it really means to surround yourself with people who are really alive, living every single minute of their day. But what about the people who are actively trying to capture these memories? The ones who work tirelessly, weaving through crowds, sweaty bodies, sticky floors? What of those who are translating these memories of youth into art?Read More
The tables have turned. Last time we sat down it was me answering all the questions (if you haven’t already, check out Amy’s fantastic article at newcastlemirage.com titled “ If You Can Read This Print is Not Dead”), so it really is fun to shoot a few back your way Amy.
With Amy Theodore
By Kian West
I guess we should start off with a bit of context for those that don’t know you, so can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
For a super short answer, my name is Amy Theodore, I’m a third year (soon to be fourth year) university student studying a double degree of Communication/Laws, and freelance photographer and writer.
To expand a bit, basically I felt a desire to work in journalism since I left high school, and in particular music journalism, because I just have such a passion for it. So as soon as I hit uni I began contributing to various music publications, doing albums reviews and stuff like that. Something that naturally goes along with writing is photos, and because I was reviewing gigs, I was seeing some really awesome shots that people were taking at these gigs and festivals. In particular Kanye Lens (a.k.a Kane Hibbard) and his work, I think it’s just such beautiful stuff, so I had to give it a go. So I went out and brought myself a camera.
This year I would say has really seen my photography start to take off. I started out with the mindset of wanting to get into gig photography, but I’ve just photographing what I’ve had the opportunity to, and it’s really expanding my views on where I want to go with things. In particular I photographed heaps of the street art around Newcastle, I did some shots for the Hit The Bricks festival that happened last month, and got to chat to the artists, and I’ve definitely fallen in love with the art and having the chance to document these pieces of work. It’s inspiring to see these guys put so much time and effort into a piece that is likely one day to be painted over, so I just really want to capture all the pieces that get put up in Newcastle. I’ve also done photos for awesome festivals like This Is Not Art and photoshoots with some local music artists as well, and I’ve discovered that I love taking photos of other people’s creative work, and getting to connect with them. I just think the way the mind of an artistic person works is so unique and interesting. I like to say that I have no really artistic talents like drawing, painting, or making music myself, so NoiseinWonderland is all about capturing the talents of those around me.
In case anyone is wondering about the name, the ‘Noise’ part comes from the fact that when I first got into photography I was a massive metal fan, and I definitely still am. But a lot of people around me thought of it as ‘noise’. The ‘inWonderland’ part just refers to my middle name, Alice, but I do also think Alice in Wonderland is one the greatest animations of all time!
We’re chatting ‘cause I heard you were going to be a part of RAW Newcastle and it seemed like a great way to get the low down on you as an artist, but can you explain what RAW is all about?
RAW is this awesome organisation that focuses on showcasing all types of underground creative talent, and they also hold exhibitions of about 30 artists every few months in cities all over our country and in America. Anyone can sign up! Whether you’re a photographer, musician, makeup artists, filmmaker, you name it!
The next exhibition for Newcastle, ‘Current’ is coming up on the 27th November at The Great Northern Hotel. I’ve been lucky enough to have been selected to showcase and sell some of my photos. I would highly recommend coming along, there is going to be so much awesome stuff happening, and if you’re looking for a ticket I can definitely hook you up.
Also, if you’re a Newcastle creative, jump online, make yourself a profile, and you could get to showcase your work at the next event!
So you are a writer, photographer, graffiti artist? As a creative, is there a medium you prefer or do you see them intertwined and as an extension of yourself?
Haha, I don’t know about a graffiti artist. I have attempted, but it’s much harder then it might look! I might just stick to taking photos of it, haha.
In terms of writing and photography, I think, personally, I’ve come to see them as outlets that are definitely intertwined; I mean, like I sais, almost every article you see will have a picture or two to go along with it, particularly with music writing. Especially in this era, where a journalist is having to become so multi-skilled in their job, I think having the two skills is really beneficial. At the movement though I’ve really been getting involved with my photography, and absolutely loving it!
I would say that they have also definitely become an extension of myself. I think when a lot of people think of me now they think of me as that chick that does all that writing and photography stuff, so it has definitely become a big part of who I am, and I’m proud of it.
I know you write for a couple of different places, care to talk a little bit about it?
In the past I’ve written for The Brag and Tonedeaf where I did gig and album reviews, and got the chance to chat to some awesome artists. But I had to set those aside to make time for my current job at Urban Walkabout Newcastle as a freelance writer/photographer and blog/social media representative. This job has been awesome because I’ve discovered so many cool places and events through it. Basically Urban Walkabout Newcastle is a blog dedicated to letting you know about what is going on in the area, and about the awesome cafes and shops that we have around. So I put together all the written and photographic content for them, and it’s really let me get out, meet and connect with heaps of locals. I can proudly say I love my job!
Do you have anything planned for 2015? Or any new years resolutions?
Nothing major as of yet. I mainly just want to keep focusing even more on my photography and getting out there and grasping more opportunities as they come my way. This year itself has gone so fast, and when I think back, my work has managed to develop and come so far in just this short space of time, so I’m super excited to see what happens in another years time! Also continuing to survive law school is on the list, haha.
Anything else Novocastrians should know?
I’m sure most already know this, but we really do live in one the greatest cities, and it is becoming such a hub for creativity! Both my writing and photography recently has really made me start exploring this place, and there is always so much cool stuff going on, so get out and get involved! Get Nosiey!
"When the sun starts to slide, like an egg down a wall after a domestic disturbance, you'd better have your camera with you. If you don't have your camera bolted to you at all hours*, at least don't leave it at home when the sun sets.
Sunsets are often the subjects of the first photo we look at and think "I just took a good picture". The beautiful thing about photography, though, is that you can return to the same subject matter ad nauseum and apply the lessons you've learned on all the other unpredicted, unfamiliar jobs and push the standard sunset shot somewhere new.
For me much of the charm of photographing Newcastle is the challenge posed by it's small size and small population. I tend to return to the same few, sparsely populated areas day after day and force myself to shoot something different. The question I face when I visit Sydney is "What will I shoot today?" but in Newcastle it becomes "How will I shoot today?".
*bolt your camera to you at all hours. "
I'm a newcomer to Newcastle and one thing you notice when you don't have a decade-spanning memory of the city is the separation between the populated parts of town that seem to have been chosen to act as hubs for entirely random reasons. Darby Street and Beaumont street (to name two of the most prominent) are like self-contained islands divided by tectonic distances of very little (unless you're in the market for used cars or a trip to a brothel) with no clear path or plan to link the two.
The day-to-day result of living decentralised is that you spend much of your time drifting through the 'no-wheres' on the way to the 'somewheres'. I don't want to compare the wander between Beaumont Raj and The Grainstore to any significant human accomplishment but life here has given me an appreciation of the Polynesian cultures that would have had to tally up hundreds of hours at sea, carving across the murky void to the next habitable island.
I take my camera everywhere and, like everyone, my shots are mostly happy snaps of food and friends in the deliberately curated and population-rich parts of town. I'm starting to become more interested in documenting the part of Newcastle I spend an equal amount of time and yet never think about - transit.
60 Seconds with CHRIS BROWN
by KIAN WEST
CHRIS BROWN IS A BUSY BOY. PHOTOGRAPHY, RUNNING A COMMUNITY GARDEN IN BELMONT & FERMENTING JUST THINGS TO NAME A FEW. THIS IS THE PART WHERE I TELL YOU, DEAR READER, WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT. WE TALKED ABOUT CHRIS' INTEREST IN PHOTOGRAPHY. BUT SEE FOR YOURSELF.
How would you describe the photography that you take? My work is a mixture of film and digital photographs, largely portraits – which range from informal documentary style right through to heavily styled studio work. I have 29 cameras and tend to have a few different projects running at the same time. Say for example, I might be working on digital studio portraits, recording everyday life, and another film project where I play around with negative layering, double exposures, carefully controlled light leaks and other fun techniques. I like to experiment and have several things going at the one time.
What are you working on at the moment? I am working on a fashion shoot with a few friends of mine, my upcoming exhibition “Everyone I Know, Everything I've Seen”, an artist residency and a series about community gardens.
Where is your next event? 16th May, 2014, at Churchkey Espresso, Hunter St 6:30pm.
When do you like to take Photos? Is it all about timing or are you always on? My camera is connected to my body via umbilical cord. My camera goes everywhere and I feel weird if it's not with me.
Who is your biggest influence/s? Oh, hard to say. I would rather say that moods are my biggest influence. I can be inspired by the mood of a song, a painting or a landscape just as much as a visual artist. I get inspired by emotions, feelings and the environment. I have always been interested in 'exhale moments' – moments in life where you just stop and have a deep breath for whatever reason. Where the mind gets even just one or two seconds to have a break and forget about all the stuff happening in the world. It's not a meditation or de-stress thing, it's got to do with my fascination with people who are comfortable in their own skin and in their own head. I think it's about confidence. Confidence is sexy.
If you could shoot anywhere where would it be? Or who would it be? The mountains of Tasmania would be my location of choice... Such a harsh yet magnificent place.
Joel Alston Photography
LOOK AT THE PHOTO ON THE BELOW. ISN’T IT NICE? JOEL ALSTON TOOK IT. LOOK AGAIN. IT’S EVEN BETTER THIS TIME., WE SPOKE TO JOEL BACK IN ISSUE #4 ABOUT HIS PHOTOS, AND WE THOUGHT HE CAPTURES SUCH NICE ONES WE’D GET HIM BACK TO SHARE HIS SECRETS WITH YOU GUYS.
Set Up: Canon 7D (1.6x crop sensor) Canon 50mm f1.8 Settings: Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec Aperture: 10 ISO: 100 Focal Length: 50mm
This day was so amazing for me as a photographer. The storm was so strong, dark and moody over Nobby’s beach whilst the sun was still shining from behind me which enhanced the contrast between light and dark.
This day was difficult because I only had a fixed 50mm fixed focal length to with me to work with, which didn’t allow me to use a wider angle which is more appropriate for landscape shots. For my landscape shots I tend to use an aperture no lower than f.9, this is to enhance a greater depth of focus (field). When I adjust the shutter speed to account for the aperture, if it goes below 1/100sec to get an appropriate exposure, I tend to try and always use a tripod to ensure no movement blur from unsteady hands. But I got lucky in that there was enough light to be able to use 1/250sec.
For questions, hints or tips contact Joel Alston on: facebook.com/JoelAlstonPhotography