Tuesday, 22 March 2050



Welcome to what I intend to be an interesting journey for both of us. I have been a photographer for around 35 years and during that time have learned an enormous amount on the subject. 

From time to time I've posted on my g+ profile about various aspects of photography and often felt wouldn't it be nice to have a more permanent home that I could properly control. I've placed some material on my website www.steamengine.com.au but that's not such a great fit for photography.

I decided to begin a new journey and have created this blog the Photographer's Study in an effort to consolidate the process of my learning and the desire to educate others and help them along in their personal journey as a photographer.

Here is an index to the contents of my blog.

Perhaps I should talk a little about myself, I'm an amateur photographer, I occasionally do work for pay, not enough to make a living but enough to be annoying to those that call themselves professional. I'm not professional - I have a full time job in the wonderful world of IT where I am responsible for guiding the future and management of existing applications for a major utility organisation. This job supports my family and provides a rewarding daytime career but it's not enough for me. Outside of work I have other pursuits.

I am a volunteer working within the world's largest youth organisation Scouts where I lead a troop of youth (well, actually they lead me and do a damn fine job of it) and manage an adventurous activities team specialising in the sport abseiling. I both lead and train others in the sport. As part of these roles I went back to school and earned
* Certificate IV in Training & Assessment
* Certificate IV in Leadership
* Certificate IV in Frontline Business Management
* Diploma of Management
What do these credentials mean for me as a photographer and for you as a reader? They give me a chance of getting this right. A chance of creating engaging and educational material. I absolutely live to help other people, it's the most rewarding thing you can do.

After 30 years of photographic experience rarely shared or critiqued I decided to get involved in the photographic community instead of always going it alone. I joined the Australian Photographic Society and sampled a number of clubs, some near and some far but I never found what I was looking for. There wasn't any engagement. There wasn't any feedback. Then along came Google+ from those good folks at Google who try ever so hard to not be evil.

My first interaction with Google+ was with photographers - perhaps because Google targeted our genre to create the eye candy that brings in the regular G+ users. I found a lot of like minded and very interesting people. People who accepted me for what I am and what I do and stand for. They didn't care that I like to use a phone for photography. They did not care that I use a DSLR as well. They didn't care (well mostly) that I jump around from style to style and subject to subject as it pleases me.

These people did an amazing thing for me - they lifted my game. I had to, I needed to compete with some amazing talent to get any attention at all. The critique offered by people I'd never met from all over the world offered strong encouragement while at the same time leading me to become better at the art. Other social networks are not like this. They're full of toadies rather than genuine engagement. Many of the people I've met in the short time Google has been alive are now considered as friends, true friends that would do anything for me and vice-versa.

In the early days we got together for a photo walk run by Simon Polk another Melbourne photographer. The next year rolled around and I felt that my youth and adult leadership skills would be useful so I stuck my hand up to organise the first  Google+ Melbourne Photowalk. This walk was small but interesting with some amazing images to come from creative and talented people - so many different views of the same objects, places and people.

Over the last couple of years Melbourne Photowalk has grown into an active and vibrant Melbourne based photography community, so much so that some of the giants on Google have come to Australia and chosen to walk with our community such as Trey Ratcliff, Nicole S Young and Brian Matsiah. Our biggest walk to date set a world record of 289 people. 

Organising walks lead to the next step of organising volunteer lead workshops, my skills as leader coming in to play to bring groups of amazing and wonderful people together to help teach each other and the people who attend the workshops. None of us are paid, we do it for fun and learning. There have been outdoor model shoots, indoor model shoots, studio lighting sessions and urbex trips. Coming up shortly is a workshop on long exposures using neutral density black glass filters.

My involvement has opened some really cool doors such as photographing a live album launch concert with +Hanna Silver and +The Prince Of Seagulls , photographing inside closed and sacred buildings and photographing other forms of performing arts. Things you could never do simply walking in off the street.

Please join me as I open more doors and explore more aspects of my photographic journey. I hope you find it as interesting as I do. I'd love to hear your comments. Join me on Google+ - circle me and let me know you read this blog - make sure you do this last bit - I hardly ever followup on circling these days with about 16,000 followers it becomes more like a chore than fun. The people who bother to engage get circled back. Don't forget to take a look at my Collections. Most of them are photography focussed on various themes.

I'm motivated to write and maintain this blog to convey my knowledge to other people and to encourage other people to share theirs so I can learn too.