Category Archives: Blog

To London with Love, friends fun and inspiration

Wow what a trip nine weeks filled with a lot of laughing. I realise what I really like about the UK their eccentricity; I think we’re all a little bonkers in a very appealing way.  We have a way of being able to laugh at ourselves and friends and no one gets offended, something I miss terribly.

The minute I stepped off the plane I was at home, no, it was the second flight from Singapore to London that made me feel at home the crew where fab I realised the plane crew can make or brake a flight. As soon as I arrived in London all the senses were familiar, the light, sound, birds and all the visuals and of course the banter.

Travelling around the UK inspired me to take photos again and although it was all so very familiar but I found it fascinating, old buildings, with lots of history, small streets packed full of people and landmarks.  Big ben-1

London seemed to me to be humming, it was vibrant with all kinds of visuals.   After awhile I ditched my larger Nikon – with lens, for my first point and shoot, its quite sophisticated for such a small thing but what a delight, it never left my hand bag.  I shot where ever and whatever I could. I think people ignored me because I looked like a tourist which was fab. I was shooting as much as I could the whole process felt liberating and maybe allowed me to detach a little from the preciousness of the image….I was experimenting and I didn’t give a dam whether the image was sharp, all that mattered at the time was the feeling and the emotion of the image. I say emotion because I is my hometown and it’s this city that has moulded my personality and my humour, which I hope I’ve managed to capture in some of the images. The camera inspired me to start a mini series “London Through the Looking Glass”, because I couldn’t really see what I was doingI usually wear glasses for close up work I can’t see small dials or icons. So often it was a toss up between getting the picture or keep fiddling with the dial, I close first option, point and shoot and worry about it after. This eclectic mini series captures the essence of my trip, it incorporates a broad range of subjects, from portraits to general post cards scenes.

In the Tate Modern, I stumbled upon an exhibition of an artist I had not hear of Ibrahim El-Salahi. I was chatting to the girl at the door, as I always do, spinning a yarn and she asked me if I wanted to go in without a ticket?  ”Why not” it was fabulous, I loved the work immediately, full of huge black and white drawings of long elongated figures, it’s the sort of style I could aspire towards.  As I was swooning over the pictures as I over heard a woman say “well it’s not my cup of tea!”. Reality check! I had also spotted an old man who seemed quite charismatic who was talking knowingly about the work of course I found out later that it was the artist.  I managed to tell him how much his images resonated with me, at least that’s what I hope I said, sometimes I don’t find the correct words until its too late.  However, I did manage to take a very nice portrait of him with my point and shoot, which was very embarrassing because I couldn’t focus it properly and as I had only just bought the camera and was a novice. I kept chatting and making excuses for my lack of technical knowledge and hoped I didn’t look like a complete fool!! I only took a few snaps but was happy with one of the photos. I’m so used to a view finder, I kept forgetting and bumping my eye on the camera.

At the end of my holiday I collected some of my transparencies that had been returned from the slide library  to my sister’s house. Expecting to pick up a small parcel of work I was shocked when I was confronted with a large heavy box. There was no way I could bring all that back to Australia, so I spent the best part of a day sorting through and selecting the best shots. I still wound up with a parcel weighing a over a kilo and the rest I had to leave in London. I’ve been scanning some of the slides, which is quite a joy as it is like being reunited with old friends, the images magically  transport me to other places and remind me of forgotten journeys. Although it’s not such a treat scanning the slides! At the highest possible resolution it takes ages, three minutes each, doesn’t sound like a long time until your stuck in front of the computer for hours. I had to figure out a way to make my scanner work; technology is great.  Fantastic until it doesn’t work and old equipment doesn’t work with newer machines and there are no software updates for my scanner.  So I decided to get out my old mac mini, it sounded pretty easy until I had to remember the password, which I finally remembered after many aborted efforts. I have to be strict with the images I scan as I often get trapped in the story instead of the quality of the image.  It’s a diary a huge photo album of holiday snaps.  It’s so exciting to see the small 35mm images magically take on a new brighter larger form on my monitor.  Next is the processing for which I have decided I need a need a new computer, my monitor is too old and computer gets slower the more I over load it!  On to bigger and brighter things!

 

Out of the Ordinary

I’ve been invited to do an exhibition as part of the annual HeadOn Photo festival.  I was offered the choice of a few good galleries but sadly they came with a rather nice price attached of $1,600 for a two week show.  So I accepted the lesser of the two evils to exhibit in The Art House Hotel a really good location and a beautiful building but none the less a hotel.  Having a solo show has meant that I’m pulling my hair out trying to get people to come to the opening, only living in Sydney for two years means that I don’t have a huge net work of friends and contacts.  I’ve had a little publicity in a couple of local papers which is great and I’m hoping that being part of the photo festival I’ll have people looking at the work of course buying would be even better but as Moshe, the organiser of the festival said, portraits never sell unless the models buy the pictures.  I’m not holding out much hope.

The opening was last night and I managed to pull a small but select group of people.  I even had my own photographer sent by HeadOn, documenting the event which of course made me feel rather special.  The exhibition will be on until July 13th so all those of you who are reading this blog can go along and check out the photographs.  See the press release below.

 

OUT OF THE ORDINARY

 This collection of street portraiture is a light-hearted look at some of the fabulous people who inhabit this city and created as a dislike of photos of celebrities, the rich and famous whose personalities disappear behind a façade of glamour. Her models are truly “Out of the Ordinary”.

Being an inveterate traveller Su’s life journey has taken her around the globe, exploring new countries and cultures with her camera as constant companion. Prior to Australia Su spent time in New Guinea photographing people adorned with intricate headdresses and brightly coloured face paints. In Sydney, Su found herself drawn to people with vibrant hair colour, hats and flair. Su finds there is a strong correlation between the photographs of New Guinea, these street photos and the beauty of the natural world. Animalism is a large part of the traditions in New Guinea, which emulate nature around them: they copy the dances of the birds and use their feathers to create the headdresses. Conversely people in west detached from culture and tradition find themselves drawn to the power of the tattoo, body piercing and brightly coloured hair. Like a magpie Su finds herself attracted to bright colour flashes in what could easily be a dull cityscape.

Su is a published author and her photographs have been widely used in books and magazines both internationally and nationally, she has exhibited work throughout Europe, the Americas and Australia.

Out of the ordinary forms part of Su’s 2012 Masters Degree in Documentary Photography at Sydney University.

 

Into the vortex

Diary drawing May 1997

After years of procrastination and thinking about a website I’ve finally taken the plunge.  Being of a certain age I find technology sometimes baffling and often extremely frustrating.  I remember getting my first computer 16 years ago and switching it on and off was a nightmare and I’d literally break out into a cold sweat when I switched it on and I hadn’t a clue what it all meant.  I’ve progressed since then and I’m able to switch it on easily although switching it off is a little more difficult as I get stucked into the vortex of  the screen emails demanding my attention.

As with all things I’m very emotionally attached to my photographs, they have been a part of my life’s journey and what a trip it’s been and still is.  So my next task is to refine my site and go through all the thousands of images I have and scan them.  Which is difficult at the moment because my scanner has stopped working and Nikon being the fabulous company they are no long update the software for their scanners so I’m hoping that if I use it with my old computer it might work.