Workshops a plenty, Kakadu, Timelapse and Future Plans
This last month in Alice Sptings has been busy to the point of exhaustion but thats just how I like it. I'm currently in the middle of an extend engagement for DesArt providing workshops for art centre workers on remote Aboriginal communities though out Central Australia all the way down into the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands in South Australia.
This series of workshops has involved some enormous drives or more then 700km just to get to the first community, then several more on the same trip and of course the return drive. The workshops focus on training the art centre workers primarily in photographing artworks (paintings and sculptures) as well as portraiture and data management of their digital assets. As I write I'm just about to begin another tour down to the APY lands to visit a further 3 communities and I couldn't be happier to be heading down to some of the most remote communities in Australia.
Between the workshops I've been camping out rough in the desert all by myself and shooting as many timelapse videos of the brilliant stars as possible while out in some of the darkest skies in the world. The timelapse workflow is a new one to me and I'm finding it an incredibly enjoyable process to be involved in. The elongation of time over many hours and imagining how a scene and a landscape might progress over several hours is a great new exercise in imagination. Much processing work on the computer is required and this is one part of the process that I'm struggling to keep up with as I have had an extended engagement working on a new travel brochure.
The travel brochure is for a company that I've had a heavy involvement with over the years. WAYOUTBACK.COM and its team are like a family to me so to be offered the opportunity to galavant around the desert with the best guides and the best vehicles in the Northern Territory was a bit of a no brainer to take on. 7 days in the red centre and then 7 days travelling to and around Kakadu has not been an easy gig but the very long days of shooting from before sunrise till way after sunset has been purely fantastic. This is my second time in Kakadu but it is, I would say, my first real experience of it. The tour went to so many places that I would never have gone to and probably couldn't given the fact that the 4x4 tracks to access them require the very pinnacle of any 4x4's capabilities. Shooting these images and capturing the experience of traveling through these inspiring landscapes has been a highlight of the year.
One other experience that I'm looking forward to is presenting a round of photo workshops at the 2013 National Remote Indigenous Media Festival in Hermannsburg about 140km west of Alice Springs. Being part of this media festival is an opportunity that I dream of because its where my heart is. Photography is a medium that has an intrinsic connection to story telling as dose the Aboriginal culture in Australia. In my mind the possibilities of photography on remote communities lay far into the future while harnessing the unimaginable past of the oldest surviving culture on earth. My passion for passing on my knowledge of photography is put to a very valuable use and to a people who have a wide potential to express themselves in a very consumable way.
On a slightly different note I've also just been awarded the contract to photograph this years Alice Springs Desert Festival. A 5 day festival celebrating the very best of Central Australia's talent and putting on some hilarious and enthralling performances ranging from comedy, music and theatre to cabaret and circus. The visual stimulation will be fantastic and being the guy to record it all on camera is truly an honour. These two future engagements are what its all about for me, teaching and shooting, what could any photographer want more?