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Australia’s Contribution to Photography and Cinematography

Updated on April 22, 2015

With its rich flora and fauna, and abundance of natural beauty, Australia is a photographers dream. From the monuments of Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Aboriginal people of the Blue Mountains the countryside is a continual array of landscape panorama. This photographers dream not only presents overwhelming waterfalls and plateaus, but also a plethora of different animal and bird species that are not common anywhere else in the world.

It’s no wonder that Australians photographers, artist, and film makers are so well known in all parts of the world. Their inspiration for creative photography and art has a stupendous foundation. Living in a country with readymade urban landscapes, seascapes, wildlife, outback landscapes, country life and rainforests, Australia is the perfect place to enhance and perfect their photographic talent.

The APA, Australian Photography Association, is a professional organization dedicated to promoting quality in all aspects of photography. It provides programs to develop artistic, presentation, and promotion skills. The Association offers access to photography contests, training, educational services, marketing, exhibition opportunities, seminars, workshops, mentoring programs, website development, planning events, exhibitions and consulting services.

To this end, Australian photographers offer a natural blend of artistic and creative photography film, and art recognized by many people worldwide. Other organizations such as Art Australia help promote and recognize the creative talents of photographers who excel in their field and offer them a chance to show their talent through exhibitions and organized display. The organization invites photographers from all over the world to explore and experience the diversified panoramic country

One of the mainstays for Australian photographers is their vast landscape photography. Ken Duncan, one Australia’s most renowned landscape and panoramic photographers, became interested in photography in his early teens. After leaving school, his interest and desire led him to become the senior "technical" representative for Australia's leading photographic supply house. His insatiable thirst and interest in panoramic photography was fueled when the company imported the Widelux camera, which had the ability to produce panoramic shots of his favorite landscapes.

In 1982, Duncan left his home now in Sydney, and began to travel across Australia photographing its celebrated landscapes. After a venture of about five years, he had produced over 80,000 images. Since that time Duncan has written and produced several books beginning with his first major pictorial publication in 1987, The Last Frontier—The Australian Wild. Outside of his many awards for his work, Ken Duncan was awarded the Medal of Order of Australia by the Australian Government for his services and contributions to the arts as a landscape photographer, and, for his service to the Central Coast community. When asked his inspiration for his photography, he stated that through his photography he sees himself as an interpreter of God's creation. Thus was born the vision statement of his company is "To show the beauty of God's creation."

One of the byproducts of so many successful Australian photographers is the flood of websites that promote the development and enhancement of photography skills and expertise. With Australia being the central focus and the platform, you can find everything from types of cameras, suggested areas to shoot, new photography technology, photographic how-to(s), and even classes and seminars sponsored by the best photographers Australia has to offer. Whether as an example or a gallery pictorial, very seldom can one find any website that does not include at least one extraordinary or breathtaking Australian landscape.

I could not conclude this article without also mentioning Australia’s contribution in the development of camera technology. Throughout its history it has focused on improving picture-taking ability and technique as well as teaching to others a clear and concise method of doing it with the equipment in their possession.

In the early 1980s, Jim Frazier, a wildlife photographer became adamantly frustrated of the camera lens available on the market. It was very difficult, especially with insects, to get both the subject and the background into focus. His frustration was that he wanted both. After consulting professional experts inclusive of a physicist, and being repeatedly told it was not possible, Frazier set out to develop his own lens.

After much trial and error over the next 10 years, Frazier eventually formulated a lens that could diffuse his frustration and solve his photographic needs. Little did he know that his complex invention would revolutionize both the film and photography industry. No one, not even the film industry had seen the depth and clarity that his invention achieved, making his work the most unique and profound of that time.

It wasn’t long before Panavision, the foremost lens maker during that time, was pounding on his door. The rest as they say is history. As of today, almost every commercial made in the US uses Frazier's lens. If you were to ask professional and renowned filmmakers about Frazier’s lens they would tell you, they won’t go on a set without one.


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    • The-Quietwarrior profile image

      The-Quietwarrior 4 years ago

      I agree Ericdierker. Australia has been on my bucket list for some time now. Thanks for the comment...

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Not at all my fields of endeavor but a great read. Hats off to men of "vision".