Member of the Month – Warren Knower

This is a new idea that I had for the BLOG, a member of the month. At one of the club judging nights, someone said to me who is Warren Knower and it got me thinking about whether we all actually know each other well enough. This article is for those of us who can’t attend every meeting, it is difficult enough with our ever changing membership to keep up with who is who so if we have a member of the month article it will help identify these elusive people and tell us more about who they are, what they do and where they are going. I hope you enjoy the new article and I would ask that you will provide feedback regarding this either by comments at the bottom of the post or an email to me at the editors address.

As you may have already guessed, this month it is Warren Knower as the featured member. I think you’ll agree when you’ve read this that Warren has done a fantastic job of his article.

Hi everyone,

When Dave asked me to write something for the blog I was more than happy to agree as I think the blog is a fantastic resource and something we should all support! But before I start telling you about myself I would just like to say how much I enjoyed last Tuesday nights (7/7) club competition. After the stress of finalising and handing in my folio last month (see below) I have had camera fatigue (is that possible?) and have not pressed the shutter for over three weeks. However after being inspired by the work I saw on Tuesday night, especially in the B grade category, I was out and about the next day doing what I love…..taking photos. So thank you!

Q: When did you first take up photography?
I guess you could say I was a very late starter. My first photography memory was as a teenager when I borrowed my dad’s camera and headed out to the zoo to take images of the animals. I remember feeling quite happy with the results and placed the prints in a separate album proudly showing anyone who would bother to view them. Inexplicably, however, I did not pick up another camera for about 20 years (slight exaggeration as occasionally I would take happy snaps with other people’s cameras at parties etc. but you get my drift!).

One day, about two years ago, I was overcome with this urge to take up photography again. I can’t explain it but I think it had to do with the right side of my brain yelling “Let me OUT!” (you see as a day job I work as a nerdy scientist at the CSIRO). So I listened. I bought my first camera, a digital SLR (WOW!!) and enrolled in a 4 year Advanced Diploma of Photography degree at Photography Studies College in the city. It was one of the best things I have ever done. Now I live and breathe photography, constantly reading everything I can get my hands on and scouring the web for inspirational images. The process has also been extremely therapeutic allowing me to finally release all those creative juices that had been suppressed for many years.

The genres of photography I really enjoy are portraiture and photojournalism. My passion is the staged photo. I really enjoy the process of coming up with a concept, finding suitable models, sourcing props and locations, directing the models and controlling the lighting. When I am doing a shoot like this I feel like I am this mini Spielberg in my own fantasy world.

Here are some of images from my first year folio. They are from a series titled “Film Noir”.

These images are part of my latest folio (second year), titled “Twilight Zone”.
I also did a second folio this year, a photojournalistic piece, documenting the lives of commercial fisherman. I had quite an adventure spending many long nights on the ocean coming back after dawn. Here is an image taken at dawn of the crew cleaning themselves after a nights work.

Q: What equipment do you use/prefer?
I use Canon. I can’t stand it when people go on and on about the make of camera they use; that whole Canon vs Nikon saga. We’ve all seen amazing images taken with pinhole cameras and even 2 mega pixel phone cameras. A great image is first seen before it is ever captured.
Q: How has WCC had an effect, if any on your photography?
Also see my introductory comments (above).

I joined WCC in early 2008 because I wanted to meet and learn from like minded people. It has been a great experience. It has allowed me for the first time to submit a photo for judging. I also get to listen to valuable feedback and critiques on images given by some fantastic judges. I really enjoy listening to the invited guest speakers (for instance Jeremy Daadler).

Q: What direction do you think the club should go in the future?
It is fantastic to see the club expanding so rapidly. The proposed move to a larger venue would be welcomed. I think the club is doing a great job in catering for everyone’s need and has to be commended. I remember at the start of the year a lot of changes were invoked and these have been a great success: the blog (all three of them!), beginners classes, more outings, competition format and grading systems etc After such a successful year I think we should not rest on our laurels but try to keep coming up with new ideas to make WCC a great place to be and learn.

Being a lover of all things Adobe (Photoshop, Lightroom and Bridge) it would be great to see all members get a better understanding of these tools to better their photography. I am not sure how much is done in the beginner classes but more tutorials to understand the basics and beyond should be a priority.

(NOTE: If anyone needs help in Photoshop etc please don’t hesitate to send me an email)

Q: Where do you see your photography in 5 years time?
The next 2-3 years will be aimed at finishing off my photography course and trying to absorb as much information as I can. I would then like to go on and do a final year at RMIT to complete a Bachelor of Arts in photography (that all depends if by then they start offering it part time). A scientists doing an arts degree, who would’ve thought!!!

I also have plans of starting up my own blog in the near future tailored at beginners to teach them the basic fundamentals such as composition and image design.