Feature Friday; Anne McCallum

Our feature story today is on Advanced Diploma of Photography student Anne McCallum who journeyed to Zambia in June to help promote conservation of wildlife. We sat down with Anne to speak about her experience.

Anne McCallum, 2017

How did you come to be involved in this trip?
Last year, my daughter and her friend came up with the idea to head to Zambia to make a short film about the Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust (CWET). My daughter’s friend had been to Zambia with a school group about 4 years ago and was telling my daughter about the experience. This organisation runs groups within schools and into the communities promoting conservation.
I became involved when my daughter got a job in Iceland and couldn’t get time off to go to Zambia. The girls asked me if I would like to be involved and be part of the team.
Can you tell us about your experience?
What an amazing experience!   This was my first trip to Zambia, actually my first trip to Africa!  We travelled to a town called Mfuwe, which is right on the edge of the South Luangwa National Park.  This is one of the best National parks in Africa as it always has water – there are several natural springs, so the animals can live there all year round without having to do massive migrations to follow water.    Consequently there is a huge range and population of many animals species. Due to this there is a blossoming tourist industry which creates employment for the local people, however this leads to the need for education about caring for their environment and living sustainably (to keep the animals safe and encourage eco-friendly tourism). This is where CWET comes into play with their education and community programmes. The aim of the video is to show CWET at work and the importance of their contribution.
Some of the best moments while in Zambia, included the opportunity to actually go on drives into the National Park and see the animals in their natural environment. My biggest thrill would have to be seeing 3 leopards in one morning. We also had the joy of seeing giraffes and elephants just wandering by the side of the road, and one night we actually had a hippo in the garden of our lodge. Of course there are lots of vervet monkeys and baboons, if you happen to leave your room door unlocked they do like to get in and investigate everything. There is a now a monkey roaming around with a nice tinted moisturiser – not sure if it is the right colour for her.

Anne McCallum, 2017

What was it like getting an insight into the local culture? 
The local people are absolutely charming and so welcoming and the children extremely adorable and happy. Education is considered very important, but it is not always easy as both uniform and books have to be paid for and they are not always affordable. Another problem is that the children cannot move to the next grade without completing the current one. Some years they can’t afford to go to school so the classes end up being multi age groups which they all find quite acceptable and normal. Any student wishing to further their studies can’t do so without sponsorship.
In reflecting on your trip since you arrived back home, have you noticed a change in your perception? 
This was an amazing opportunity for me and I feel that I have gained insight into their community. I think the biggest question is how do we as a developed nation help a developing nation to develop, without making all the mistakes that we have made?? How can they skip the pollution problems, the diet and health problems and the conservation problems?
We hope that our video and photographs will help provide an insight into this community and maybe help solve some of the problems.
I would definitely love to be involved in other projects along this line!

‘Children playing with motion sensors for animals’, Anne McCallum, 2017

Friday Feature; Melissa Cachia

With quite a number of PSC students, past and present exhibiting at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale this year, we thought we would take a closer look at their work. Featured today, Friday the 18th of August is stage 2 Advanced Diploma of Photography student Melissa Cachia who will be having a solo exhibition titled ‘Frozen Flowers’ at The Elephant Patch (location) opening Saturday August 19th at 3pm.

Melissa Cachia, Frozen Flowers

 

 

Why did you decide to present this work?  
After a few inquiries, interest & sales of my frozen flowers series I decided that this was a good enough incentive to get them from the computer screen to print for exhibitions.
What got you started in photography?
I have always loved Photography, my late father & his partner were keen photographers  so after his passing I decided to take it further!
When you started at PSC, did you have an idea of the kind of photographer you want to become?
I love documenting events, exploring regional towns & markets, showcasing what they have to offer.
What is the most beneficial thing you have learned up to this point? 
 Life is short. If you have a passion or interest-go for it  It is the best therapy.
What has been your most challenging moment at PSC so far?
The Digi lab!!! Im still at layering the pizza stage!!lol
What has been your most rewarding moment at PSC so far?
Way too many to mention, meeting so many talented artists, the friendships that have been made, the tutors & the expertise they bring to class, just to name a few!
How has your style developed? 
Thinking outside the square in terms of  Photography, 2nd year has pushed me beyond just taking a “photo” it’s the image, processing & printing that I take into account now, how I want my audience to feel. Evoke emotions
So far, what body of work have you been most proud of?
Frozen Flowers, Yr2 Semester 1, This was a product of exploring my creative side encouraged by my tutor.
What are you working on at the moment?
My industry folio & personal expression folio
What do you do when you’re not taking photos?
Go to work (nursing) cooking, “thinking about my folio”, photography workshops!
Where do you find your motivation?
Not sure, I surprise myself most days lol
Who/what inspires you?
Many people inspire me, but mainly people who just get out there & pursues their dreams regardless of age & or capabilities!
What is your dream job/shoot?
To one day own a home studio & do freelance work. Did I mention a café/ gallery!!
Remember to head along to the festival-opening tomorrow- to see more work by other PSC students, including Kathryn Vinella and Sean Mc Donald’s exhibition , Sharon Hughes, Stella Nguyen, Marie Watt, Project 17 Collective, Todd Walker, Ian Kemp, and the PSC Alumni.

Melissa Cachia, Frozen Flowers

Feature Friday; Kadek Thatcher

For Friday August 4th, we are featuring final year Advanced Diploma Photojournalist major Kadek Thatcher.

Kadek Thatcher

How did you get into photography?
Well I originally wanted to be an actress but mum told me I wasn’t going to step out of high school and be in Hollywood, so I picked up the camera in year 10 and have never looked back.
Did you have any plans of what sort of photography you wanted to get into? 
When I started I knew I needed to learn my camera and the basics of photography back to front before I really thought about what I wanted to do but also always knew I wanted to do sport photography particularly AFL.
What is the most beneficial thing you have learned in your time at PSC?
Probably networking and experience are definitely the main things I have learnt in life and photography. As well as do something that you love and not what someone else would want you to do.
Have you had any challenging moments? 
My most challenging moment would be stepping out of my comfort zone. I am not one to go well with directing people when doing studio shoots but have learnt a lot through the past 3 years at PSC to overcome and be the master of the camera.
What about rewarding moments?
 Most rewarding moment would be seeing my photography improve each time I shoot. Knowing that I have come so far since starting has been amazing to see.

Kadek Thatcher

Have you noticed a development in your style of shooting?
Well before PSC I didn’t really do much sport and I used Auto, which let’s just say was not a proud moment. Now using Manual, and over the years at PSC I have seen that through shooting each week for footy, I try to be different and capture moments that people may miss in the games as well as trying to make them look different and stand out from the usual footy photos you see. I am still learning and experimenting each week.

Do you have a body of work you are most proud of?
Can I say my football photos? All of them. Especially really starting to get into it last year and being able to volunteer with AFL Victoria and seeing my work out there makes me so proud. But also getting to shoot the first season of TAC Cup Girls was a proud moment to be a part of that history making competition.
Are you working on anything right now?
At the moment, I am photographing each weekend for AFL Victoria, shooting VFL and VFLW.
What do you do when you’re not taking photos?
Literally shooting every weekend but pretty much going to the AFL. I am a massive Hawthorn supporter, watching Netflix like any student would be and hanging out with my two dogs.
Where do you find your motivation?
 I find my motivation with seeing my work being out there on the AFL Victoria website or VFL website and their social media pages. Knowing that my work is out there makes me feel motivated to know where I could be in the next few years.
Who/what inspires you?
I am inspired by everyone in my class everyday. Seeing their work being improved from 1st year to now is amazing. As well as AFL Photographers, I absolutely love seeing their photos each week from the weekend’s games. Also my mentor Darrian Traynor, a past student of PSC; his work in AFL/Sport and Photojournalism is why I wanted him as my mentor.
What is your dream job/shoot?
My dream is to be working for the AFL as a photographer and even for an AFL club as a photographer for them. That is the main goal for me.
 To stay up to date with Kadek, follow her on Instagram 

Kadek Thatcher