Way back in 2004 I had 12 months off and took my young family on a sailing adventure following the east coast of Australia for an unforgettable year. During that trip I kept a journal and with the extra time started exploring the writing potential I felt lurking beneath the bad english grades and knockers that lingered from way back at high school. My monthly ramblings seemed to attract favourable responses as I would file my stories from internet cafes as we stopped in to re provision before heading back out to sea. Magazines liked my stories but wanted higher quality pictures than our little cannon powershot 2mb camera could provide.
Upon our return I lashed out and brought a digital SLR that provided the quality the magazines were looking for. I will always remember the guy from Harvey Norman saying to me as I handed over the cash “You don’t have a clue about photography do you” and slipping me a little booklet about the basics of photography!
Even on automatic settings I was constantly frustrated by the haphazard and undesired results I was getting in anything other than bright and broad conditions. In the end the camera was parked in the back of the wardrobe and life rolled off on other tangents. It wasn’t until I committed to taking a photo of the sunrise each morning and after 2 years of snapping away on my I phone that the photography bug kicked in and I would find myself sitting up at 3.00 in the morning mesmorised by internet tutorials about shutter speeds, ISO settings and aperture configurations that I dragged out the Olympus hidden away and began trying to figure out what it all meant. Im not usually one to dive into newer technology just for the sake of it however I found myself much more comfortable with a Nikon and my confidence soared. At the same time I met Jo Joyce from ABC open and she lit my imagination regarding video production, and what immediately fell into place was the realization that this was a perfect medium for me to be able to tell the stories that had eluded me in music, fostered in writing and expanded upon with still photography. Under her patient guidance I garnered self belief and began to see the extension of my appreciation of photography and the goals I had set at the beginning of the journey.
All my life I have just done things. I have bypassed the formal training and just got on with doing stuff. Even career wise I couldn’t see the issue with switching from being a sailmaker to office equipment sales to boat sales and into medical sales. It was just different technology to get my head around and communicate. In the end people are people and telling the story they could understand and relate to is what is important. I have applied the same commitment that saw me winning sailing regattas to learning whatever technical information was required to communicate in the field I had turned my hand too.
With video production I drew a new line in the sand. With such a varied and technical process I knew I needed to get down into the trenches of learning if I was going to wring out the best and most interesting stories I know are waiting to be told. Hopefully in the process they will inspire people, open peoples minds, see new possibilities and clean up our environment. With that in mind I enrolled into university and set out to complete a 12month diploma in Film and Television.
My final piece in the course was to make a documentary which is what I would like to continue doing. With the completion of the course this week I have included my final submission on the link above in this very long winded story about my journey into the fascinating world of this medium of sharing a good yarn.