Conference Breaks

These photos are from a conference I went to today in Melbourne.  I took these on my way there and during breaks.

It was held in a very impressive building, the Melbourne Convention Centre, in a very impressive part of the city, that seems to have just popped up out of nowhere.

Unity Fashion & Accessories

"... I have been wrestling with my History all my life – I am an Aboriginal Australian who grew up in a time (I am 56) where Racism was accepted, it was normal. Aboriginal Australians were ‘Boongs’, ‘Coons’, ‘Blackfella’s’.
My Dad, Colin Lester was forcibly taken from his Mother as a baby as his birth Father was White. He was placed in Colebrook Home – run by the Salvation Army. Here he was brought up under a strict regime and probably never saw my Grandmother again – luckily he was with his 5 siblings..."

-Kym Lester (2016)

Belonging - Has pushed me to start a brand - Unity, Unity Fashion and Accessories

Kym Lester has launched a premium brand of scarves and accessories that draw on his heritage.  I am honoured that he chose my images to feature on these exquisite silk scarves that will be retailed worldwide by exclusive fashion outlets.

Kym and I met today, where he showed me the scarves and told me his moving story as an Aboriginal Australian who has only in his later life embraced his heritage.  His creative work is enabling him to heal, and I was humbled to hear how the work that I have done with the Aboriginal models that feature in my photography has played a part in this process.

Source: http://unityfashionandaccessories.com/belonging-has-taught-me-to-start-a-brand/

Did I tell you about Interchange's (Outer East) work at Lurg?

Matt Howard and Geoff Slaughter deserve a medal.  Matt works for Interchange Outer East and every month he transports, mentors and has a great time with people with a disability who work at a farm in Lurg.  Matt is a quiet, gentle, respectful, hard-working young man, and his dedication is unsurpassed.  His skill at promoting the engagement of all of the participants is quietly unobtrusive, natural and a pleasure to witness.  

Geoff is the owner of the horse stud, who coaches and challenges the men to work in the invigorating open air doing what any farm-hand would do.  He is a bit of a rough diamond, has the respect of the participants and delights in their growing skill and self-esteem.  He's also a pretty talented painter!

And I get to take photos of all of this!  

Here's a sample.

Some of these photos, and others I took on the day, are already available for licensing at my Stock Photography website while others are in the inspection queue at my agencies here and here

Walking in Nature

I listen to a podcast called "The Savvy Psychologist" by Ellen Hendriqsen.  I find her to be an entertaining gatekeeper of evidence-based findings in the psychological literature.  In her 100th episode she related five tips for a happier life.  One of them I found very interesting.  A 2015 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that walks in nature led to improvements in happiness as a result of such walks leading to a reduction in rumination.  When participants went on the same 90-minute walks in urban settings, the researchers found no such effects.  The results were based on the self-reports of participants but also brain imaging which found decreased activity in the part of the brain (the subgenual prefrontal cortex - wherever the hell that is!) linked to unhealthy rumination.

Maybe that's why I am so drawn to landscape photography in our beautiful Victorian countryside.  I find it meditative and sometimes get to experience the elusive "zone" while immersing myself in the activity. 

Here's some snaps from Monday and Tuesday this week when I went on my monthly visit to a farm in the beautiful, but oddly named, Lurg.

Great Company on a Sunday Arvo

Caught up with Dootrule this afternoon.  It was lovely to catch up, meet some new people for the first time, and have a chat. It was also great to hear about where others not present were these days and what they were doing.  But, as always, there was sadness.  I heard of the passing of people loved and missed, and gone far too early.  

Some of these photos are already available for licensing at my Stock Photography website while others are in the inspection queue at my agencies here and here

Docklands and Melbourne Stock Photos

I had a great day yesterday, and not only because StKilda beat Melbourne at the football.  I took the opportunity of leaving before sunrise to go to the football at the docklands Stadium in Melbourne, so that I could get some photos before the game at 1.45pm.

I just finished processing the snaps I took and have uploaded them to two of my stock agencies: Austock and Stocksy

I had a heap of time to wander around the Docklands precinct and around Melbourne.

 

For anyone interested, I got these with my little Sony RX100

 The Sony RX100 - mines a Mark IV - it's a little beauty!  Fits in a front pocket and doesn't scare people.  I'm sure they just think I'm a tourist.

The Sony RX100 - mines a Mark IV - it's a little beauty!  Fits in a front pocket and doesn't scare people.  I'm sure they just think I'm a tourist.

Here's a sample:

Max

Sure, Max loved the camera, but he was really excited about the deadcat on the microphone!  

I photographed Max and his family about a year ago so I could add to my collection of portraits of people with a disability for my stock photography library (which you can find here and here).

Today I was with Max and his family to gather some commissioned video footage for the Tizard Centre’s revision of their ground breaking Person-Centred Active Support Training Pack.

Person-Centred Active Support is all about promoting meaningful engagement in people with a developmental disability, by finding and creating opportunities and skilfully supporting the person.  To date it has been aimed mostly at the support workers of adults with a disability.

Now the authors, Julie Beadle-Brown and Bev Ashman, are extending this approach to include children with developmental disabilities and their families.

And what better exponents are there of the value of engagement, and how to skilfully promote it than Max and his family?

In a later post, I will show you the videos, but for now here’s some photos I managed to get of Max and his wonderful family.

If you are interested in licensing any of these, or other similar stock images, you can do so at my website, or at Stocksy United (I have different images at both sites).

Lurg Again

Once again, I spent time photographing and videoing a group of men with developmental disabilities working out at a horse stud. I will write about this once I have edited the video, which I will post here.

However, I wanted to show you some of the photos I took on my way up, and early this morning.

I hope you like clouds, cows and horses.

Stocksy United

It hasn't happened for awhile, but four of my photos made it into the curated front page of Stocksy United It is thrilling when this happens, as the stock photo cooperative is filled with talented photographers, with 500 new ones from around the world being invited each year.

I blogged recently about the sessions in which I took these photos here, and here's where you can find my Stocksy Portfolio and here's where you can find my Showcase of Photos up on Stocksy.

 

Here's how we describe ourselves:

"Stocksy United aims to set the bar for creativity. We offer a tightly curated collection of high-quality stock photos to anyone seeking modern, relevant, authentic images. We are a cooperative driven by our core values to offer photographers a supportive community, fair pay and equity in the company as co-owners."

My focus in my stock photography is photos of people with a disability and of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  These are available on my stock photo website.

 

Meaningful Engagement

Had another great day at a great place, photographing men with a disability working at a farm up in Lurg.  I have been going there to get photos and video for my work as a psychologist, which I will use when training others in how to promote engagement in meaningful activities.  I will also use some of the photos to add to my stock images, and to make a promotional video for Interchange, the agency that supports this fantastic work.

If you want to purchase Royalty-Free Licenses for these images, you can do so here and here

Central Australia

Trawling back through my old photos from 2008, I found these from a trip to Central Australia.  Doing this was both satisfying and disillusioning.  The latter because it was from my first year at doing serious photography and I think they are pretty good.  Probably just as good as I would take if I was there again right now.  It's sad to think that I haven't really improved!

Lurg

This week I travelled to Lurg in the North East of Victoria to photograph a group of men who spend a week in every month working on a horse farm.  They are supported there by Matt from Interchange Outer East.  The owner, Geoff, is thankful for the help they provide in doing jobs like feeding the horses, mending the fences, collecting firewood, making and tending gardens, and fencing the horse arena.

On the day I was there, Geoff asked the men to paint wooden toy trucks, that were made at a local Men's Shed, that will be given to kids for Christmas.

Joining us were other friends of Geoff, Terri and her son Jason.

I was there not only to get photos for my stock photo library curated at Stocksy United, and my own website, but also for my visual materials when I provide training in Person-Centred Active Support

I was also blessed with some amazing light and fog on my way there in the morning.

Stuck in Barrow Creek

After doing some work in Alice Springs I got a hire car from Alice to drive to Tennant Creek for the next job. About six or seven hours into it, I got out of the car for a stroll up a hill (in the first photo you can see the car parked off in the distance). 

When I got back to the car I realised I lost the keys. First time ever in my life. I tried to retrace my steps. No good. The situation: car locked, no water, singlet and shorts, no sun screen, middle of nowhere. An hour or so later luckily I flagged down a car, and they drove me to the nearest "town" at Barrow Creek. The town was a pub. 

Before ringing Hertz, the lone patron of the pub came up with a plan that would mean I could claim I was not at fault. He implored me to go with him in his ute back to the car, break into it, hot wire it, and drive it over a cliff. He said I could then say it was stolen after I stopped at the pub for a drink. He was perplexed as to why I wouldn't (adding to his puzzlement over "why the f---k would you lock it up in the first place?")

Instead I rang Hertz in Alice and they said they didn't have a spare key, and had to send a tow truck up to bring it back to Alice (probably about a 12 hour round trip) and so I was stuck there overnight. They said I would have to pay ($1000+) coz it was my fault. 

Quite the experience.

Cobh's Light

Cobh just didn't stop giving when it came to amazing light. I thought the morning light was finished and was on my way back to Eileen's place for breakfast when this scene just materialised out of the flat light that was there just a few minutes ago. Within a few more minutes it was gone.


Frank

Getting up at 5.30am on both mornings in the charming seaside town of Cobh, I strolled to the town centre and just wandered; waiting for the early morning light to transform the place.  

I first encountered Frank when he said it was a lovely morning to take photos.  I told him I had just photographed a cat in a window, and he laughed.  He said he had seen me pointing my camera into a window and wondered what I was taking a photo of.  Then he turned and was on his way again.

I crossed the street, and photographed him outside a pub called Connie Doolan's.  He then called me over and explained in detail how his mate bought the pub for a steal.  He said it was a great establishment and asked if I drank.  When I said I didn’t he asked what was wrong with me, and then said I should still go and say “Frank, sent ya”.  He then went off laughing and saying something about me not drinking.

iStock Photo Portfolio

I have a large range of stock photos with istock...

Posted by Gary Radler Photography on Friday, 7 August 2015

New Photos

I just uploaded some new photos to my stock photo library here and here.

Citizen Advocacy

People with a developmental disability are vulnerable.  They get abused emotionally, physically and sexually more often than the rest of the population.  They get exploited and taken advantage of more than other citizens.  They get incarcerated more often.  They have their basic human rights abused.  They are vulnerable to loneliness, and a lifestyle where their only connections are with their family and people paid to be in their lives.  As a result, they are subject to the quirks and unpredictability of an under-funded service system that has ever changing policies, personnel and agendas.

When a person with a disability and another citizen join with each other in a committed, long-term, freely given relationship these vulnerabilities are lessened.  These relationships protect people.

Citizen Advocacy Organisations promote the development of such relationships.

Over the past couple of years I have worked with two such organisations to promote their work through these films that we made together.  The films showcase six such relationships and highlight how much both parties gain from them.  

It is my privilege to share their stories.

Tanya & Jaret

Starting at Greensborough, then to the frenzy and festivities out at Wollert, on to Essendon, followed by the North Fitzroy Town Hall, the Napier Pub ("absolutely no photography" - what's up their arses?!), and finishing at the Melbourne Town Hall, this was Tanya and Jaret's Wedding Day.

Resolutely relaxed (they both told me that they slept better than me the night before), they were determined to drink in all the day offered.  

And for a photographer who loves the combination of reds and greens, Vanessa and Stephanie's emerald gowns were perfect!  As were they.  Hey, great job by you blokes too, Sean and Ben.

Without a doubt, the Greek traditions that were infused throughout the day made it memorable.  The photos hopefully encapsulate the emotion and events of the day.