Trent Parke- Magnum Photographer
If you want to be a better photographer you
need to study the masters. Buy their books, look at their photographs,
find out how they work and think. One of the masters for me is Trent Parke.
I'll skip the bio note here. All the information can be found on the
Magnum website (his photographs as well) My favorite work of his is the
series of photos taken during a trip around Australia (Minutes to
Midnight) which took more than 2 years to complete. The scale of it is
amazing. Australia is a huge country and in the outback distance is
measured in days. In western Australia (where I live by the way) you can
drive for days in one direction and still be in Western Australia. Your sat nav will be giving you directions like : in 237 km turn left.
This must have been a great journey and the photos Trent brought back
from it are great too. I know a place or two that Trent photographed: I
live a few minutes from Cottlesloe, I passed a sign for Wiluna on my way
from Broome once. It makes his work even more special for me.
He shot black and white film and processed the negatives on his own. It
reminds me of War World II soldier-photographers developing the negs in helmet baths and drying them on tree branches (something that Parke did too)
He captured things that are truly Australian, a difficult thing to do for an Australian. Parke managed to recognize the distinguishing and unique aspects of Ozzie life and capture them on film. There is a great story behind these great photos. Enjoy