Photography Tour with Darren Bradley

Sunday, November 12, 2017

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Learning about photographing the Menzies Library.
Inside Robertson House
Chairs from over the years awaiting restoration in Robertson House.
Curvy and straight inside Robertson House.
Stunningly restored bench seats in Robertson House.
Love that planting.
Darren says that architectural photographers sometimes have to double as furniture removalists.
Getting the chairs at just the right angle to reveal the legs.

Today I had the pleasure of taking an architectural photography tour around the Australian National University (ANU) with Darren Bradley of Mod Architecture. I won a ticket as part of my 3rd place prize in the Design Canberra Festival photography competition.

This is my photo that won 3rd place.

It was a fantastic afternoon and I enjoyed it immensely. I had my reservations about going back to the ANU after a miserable 6 months of study way back in the day. It has changed so much since then, in addition to some really unique modernist architecture, there are now some really interesting new and even futuristic additions.

Darren talked us through how he got started and the cameras he uses. Most importantly, he talked about what he believes makes a good photo and a bad photo. You can probably guess, it is a lot to do with having the right lighting. I was interested to hear that direct sunlight works better for modernist architecture rather than the overcast light that all brides dream of! I think he is right, direct sunshine highlights the lines, curves and shadows of buildings really well. You just have to wait for the right time of day.

I also learned a few technical tips about things I never knew how to fix, cue Photoshop. But most of all, especially at my stage of life where I am looking at my second career, I decided to stop being so hard on myself for never pursuing a purely creative profession straight out of school. During this tour and during the Creative Careers presentations (also part of the Design Canberra Festival) I have been able to see Year 12 students considering starting creative professional careers and reminds me what an anxious time that can be! 

More and more each day I am learning that when I was 18 I didn't know what I believed. I was interested in so many things and I was confused. I also thought that a creative career was not going to be challenging enough for me. Now I have life experience, perspective, beliefs and wishes for how I want the world to be. 

It was great to hear how Darren's photography hobby started alongside a full-time job that he still maintains. I think sometimes when you are working on a creative endeavour without the pressure of having to live off the income you can create new and beautiful things. That's because the creativity is about curiosity and pressure can kill that. Maybe its not so bad to have a full-time life that is a duty and a part-time life that is creative. That can really work.
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