Feature Image by: Krystle Wright, Canon Professional Photographer

Celebrating World Photography Day

We’re lucky to have a bunch of talented photographers within our community, who share their images with us every day. But it’s often the stories behind the images, and passion for photography that inspire us most.

This World Photography Day we took the opportunity to find out what photography truly means to a few faces from different parts of our community, and why being curious with a camera in-hand is such an important part of their lives.

Stephen Finkel, Canon Collective Community Member

“Photography is not just a hobby it has been a big part of my life, on all my travels, and at social and major events in my life I have always had a camera with me. It’s been a way for me to share those events with others, but it’s also given me a way to show how I feel; by capturing the bits I thought were important or interesting in my life.

Gloomy trees
Stephen Finkel

Photography allows me to see things other people miss, or don’t get the opportunity to see. I do see the world differently, and photography is the outlet that allows me to share this with others.

Photography is total freedom to express yourself, you can venture out anytime with camera with a blank memory card and capture the world around you. And when you see something interesting or unique you can almost instantly share with the world. That’s the power of photography today.

Cars
Stephen Finkel

One of the things I love about the Canon Collective is the opportunity to shoot a wide range of subjects, some of which you may never have thought to shoot yourself or had the chance to shoot, but being part of the Canon Collective community pushes you to get outside your comfort zone.

In the last 3 years, I have been to every Collective event I could possibly get to, and because of those experiences, I have grown as a photographer.

With constant innovation, I wonder what will be possible with my Canon in the next 10 years? I still remember as a 7-year-old, processing my first roll of film with my father and the excitement of printing out the photos in the darkroom. Even today, fifty years on I still get excited seeing the images captured on the back of the camera, and when you capture something special in an image, the feeling is hard to describe in words.

But that feeling is the reason – the one I can’t explain - is why I keep picking up the camera and shooting the world around me. The very next image I shoot could be my best yet.”

Anita Zerk, Canon Community Member

“Photography is my soul food. It allows my creativity to flow, supplying sustenance to my soul. It enables me to fly free and escape... into light, colour and structure. My creativity knows no bounds to hold me back. I grasp photos that capture a mood, a moment to last forever. Every shot is taken with my viewpoint, whether impulsively within seconds or structured with dimensions to create the outcome I desire. I believe in capturing the photograph exactly as it is; a future memory to review, relive and re-energize one's soul.

Close up photo of bug
Anita Zerk

My photographic influencer was my Dad. His movie camera and still photographs form some of my earliest memories. I remember when my sister was given a camera as a child. I yearned for one of my own to explore our world and teach myself how to capture.

Spiralling architecture
Anita Zerk

But it’s not just an individual pursuit. Photography is to be shared and to truly capture a moment for others is magical. I have been lucky enough to take their wedding photographs and those tender moments of taking the last photographs for friends cradling their beloved animal. For our community photography provides a rich history of times gone by; moments of significance captured for eternity. To take a photograph is so much more than capturing an image, it is life in another form, from an individual’s viewpoint. It can bring laughter or tears, joy or sorrow, it can tell a story without words... which to me is soul food.”

Krystle Wright, Canon Professional Photographer

Landscape of mountains at night
Krystle Wright

“Photography is a language itself where even without words spoken, its visual importance truly has the ability to change the world. I believe wholeheartedly in the importance of storytelling and perhaps the greatest lesson I've learned is vulnerability. It’s easier said than done but when the walls are broken down, it's a fragile place to be or to ask of others but in that raw honesty, it allows us all to connect and resonate with each other's story.

Person surfing on clear blue water
Krystle Wright

The beautiful thing about being an artist is that there is no end goal, or as they say 'reaching the top.' Instead, it's a continually evolving journey that even though it can be frustrating at times or scare the living hell out of me, it also brings me such a joy that I'm not sure I could ever articulate how much photography has given me.”

Marianne Purdie, Canon Collective Community Member

“I’ve climbed volcanoes to watch the eruptions. I’ve had lava bombs fly over my head. I’ve watched naked men jump off wooden towers. I’ve dived with sharks. I’ve snorkelled with whales. I’ve slipped down rocks, holding my camera high, while photographing waterfalls. I’ve had an elephant seal charge me while photographing at Gold Harbour on South Georgia Island. I’ve had a seal splat into my back, while I was sitting in a zodiac, as it skimmed the waters of the Antarctic Peninsula.

I’ve always had a yearning to travel but ever since my first camera, a 300D, photography has taken me places I would never have gone, and given me memories I’ll never forget.

From my 300D to new and exciting camera bodies, like my 5D Mark III, the camera has been the gateway. Then there’s my long love affair with lenses, or as I like to call them my lovelies’: the EF 11-24mm f/4L USM, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II.

Portrait of woman
Marianne Purdie

But photography started new passion for me: wildlife.

I started my love affair with marine critters a few years back. I haunted aquariums where I’d spend hours watching and photographing stunning creatures through thick, curved, scratched Perspex. It became an obsession. I wanted more. I was drawn to the water, I wanted to get in and get close. I took up scuba diving so that I could leave the Perspex behind.

I discovered Canon Master Photographer Darren Jew and his introduction to underwater photography workshop in Brisbane. My excitement tripled when he spoke about snorkelling with whales in Tonga.

I had to go.

Person walking on dark sand
Marianne Purdie

The biggest discovery I’ve had in my photographic journey has been the Canon Collective. I’ve lost count of the number of events I’ve attended, the things I’ve learnt, and the friends I’ve made. And now we’ve started a new journey together with Getty Images and the “This is Australia” project. It’s opened up a whole new world of experiences for me.

Yes, my world changed when I picked up my first Canon.”

Scott Stramyk, Canon Collective Ambassador

“For me photography started out as an escape from the daily routine. It enabled me to be creative while getting back to nature and discovering new locations and places. Along my journey, I found I wasn’t only discovering new places and interesting locations, but meeting amazing people.

Man studying the ground
Scott Stramyk

During my time working in this industry I’ve found that photography has the power to move, enlighten and educate people. It’s a powerful medium that can change people’s lives, and bring them out of their shell personally and creatively.

Photography is a constant learning process on skill, and about yourself as a storyteller and artist. There isn’t one photographer on this planet that has learnt everything, so don’t ever give up.

Rocks by the ocean
Scott Stramyk

I enjoy sharing my knowledge on the art of photography. Seeing the instant gratification on someone’s face after they’ve captured the image they envisioned in their mind is priceless.”

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