Things They Said

Things They Said – multicultural youth dance performance in Ballarat.
Choreographer Shermaine Heng and dancers. Continue reading

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Dance is Bourne in Melbourne

It is always a joy to photograph dance for me, bringing together my two favourite things!

On this occasion I photographed two parts of an upcoming July performance – so you could get to see the full outcome of this wonderful work!! See this link for more information. Also check out my photo of Rain Francis and Simon Storey in Dance Informa magazine as you scroll down the page.

With a theme of ‘Balance’, DanceBourne Arts will soon treat you to a programme of work by three choreographers. I have featured Rain Francis’s work.

I found such amazing shapes taking place in her work and was excited to be there to capture some of that magic unfolding in Rain and Simon’s interactions.

Be sure to see the full piece, it should be a treat!

Meanwhile enjoy a taste test of the creative process….

 

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Spain!

Oh Spain!

I dreamt about you for many years.

I’ve never been to Europe – and you were my first priority.

Although I had little time with you, you certainly captured me, swept me up in your beauty, your history, your hospitality and your romance!

I feel lucky to have trailed through the streets of Barcelona and wandered under street lamps that look like delicate earrings, illuminating tiny hints of a massive and diverse history I can barely begin to imagine.

I have few words to describe your splendor, so I choose images to tell the story of a variety of delights that peaked my interest.

Thank you, especially to Barcelona and the Camino where I spent most of my time – and to the beautiful hosts who welcomed me and shared with me some of what you have to offer.

This is my thank you.

 

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Street Photography

SO here is a theme that I have not tried in a very long time…..

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. It was Canon’s February theme, so I gave it a go. It’s always good to try different things, right?

It brought up some interesting issues around the way that I choose to shoot. Like highlighting the fact that I don’t like to be watched while photographing. Perhaps that is part of me preferring to be behind the camera rather than in front of it, but I did notice the irony of shooting others in public, but not enjoying doing the shooting while in public.

What I do enjoy about it, is watching for patterns and relationships in the everyday (and sometimes not so everyday) events happening around you. That can be quite captivating and can mean that I forget about being observed (to some degree).

I certainly enjoy the work of other street photographers…. after all I have two large volumes of work by Elliott Erwitt who is famous for his street photography all over the world. In fact I met Elliott Erwitt in New York City and had him sign one of his books for me!

It is the appreciation for simply SEEING what is there and capturing the essence of what makes it special – whether that be a pattern of shapes in one split moment, or an expression, or sequence of events that can be beautiful or humorous or interesting in that one moment.

I believe it takes great patience, perhaps that is another aspect I lack. However, it does relate to the work I do, in that I like to photograph “found” things rather than something I make up and is make believe.

This was my entry shot, taken at the Rockabilly Festival in Ballarat, February 2015.

Alison Shirley Photography

Through the windows of the past.

Freedom – Canon Light Awards, January 2015

So I entered a competition with Canon Australia for January. The theme was ‘freedom’, which is awesome but also very broad.

It conjures all those images of vast landscapes, flying like a bird, surfing, dancing/leaping, etc, which of course were well represented.

I did not win this competition, but wanted to share with you my entry – this ‘Southern Old Lady’.

FREEDOM, January Canon Light Awards. Alison Shirley Photography.

FREEDOM, January Canon Light Awards. Alison Shirley Photography.

 

I found this unfortunate visitor at my studio. He’d already passed and had a buddy with him too. (I can’t tell male from female by the way!). I couldn’t quite believe the perfect formation of it. I looked it up on the internet and most of the images I found of this species were shot with their wings totally open, which doesn’t have the same incredible impact that this guy had on me. Front on, it looked like I was staring at the face of a cat. What an awesome and convincing disguise – so striking. It got me thinking about freedom too.

There are so many versions of the idea of freedom. This guy had me thinking about the way that we can concern ourselves so seriously with the way we think people see us. Of course we can never really know the way people see us, but it certainly impacts on many decisions in ours lives, too many if we allow it.

For me freedom is an inner peace. Part of this is definitely about learning to be free of the opinions of others, in order to truly listen to myself. It might sound basic, but sometimes the opinions of the world and community, through multitudes of media, images and sound can be so deafening it’s hard to hear yourself think. (Then again, sometimes it’s my own voice that I need to shut down in order to think with clarity and truth.)

This little guy knows how to deflect what you think you can see of him and go under the radar, in order to survive his predators.

His ability to remain himself while you think he looks like something entirely different is his strength and ticket to freedom.

We can learn from him.

Although I did not get a place in the comp, by the look of this shot of the judge, my photo does seem to be flagged in the background (4 down from the top in the right corner), so perhaps I got a look-in?

Judge - Graham Munro

How about you? What would your image of freedom be?

 

 

Check out the beautiful winning entries here