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Photography by Angela McConnell

I thought for #tbt that I would go back to where it all started for me in terms of actually picking up a camera and what my photography looked like.

I had always been super into photography as a child, I had the old Hanimex camera which I took rolls and rolls of film of my cat Shandy. Of course my parents were not 100% impressed to have expensive rolls of film of the family cat developed over and over again. I must have shown enough of an interest because I was given a book that outlined the “rules” of photography including shooting images with points of interest on the thirds etc etc

Looking back I really wish I had kept shooting and actually studied photography at school (along with history and statistics) instead of all the sciences and horrific calculus, but my shooting was limited to random shots of friends at school, camps, drunken nights out in my late teens and early 20’s and then my trips overseas. I was still using a zoom 35mm point and shoot when I arrived in Australia in 2003.

It wasn’t until we moved to Melbourne in 2006, and Geoff had developed an unhealthy relationship with World of Warcraft which inhibited excursions anywhere on the weekend, and he encouraged me to start a hobby or something ๐Ÿ™‚

We had planned a holiday to Thailand in July 2007 and decided to buy a “good” camera to take away with us. We bought a Canon 400D ย DSLR with the 18-55mm (f4-5.6) kit lens after talking to a friend who shot for work and weddings. We also decided to get a kit 75-300mm lens (f4-5.6) in case we wanted to zoom in on stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

I thought it would be a good idea to actually learn to use the camera since it was a bit of a step up from the old point and shoot and enrolled in a beginner course at the Melbourne Camera Club. It was 6 sessions of theory and 2 practical “field” sessions learning all the basics about ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Right from the start I loved anything abstract, strong leading lines and small depth of field. I used to carry my camera EVERYWHERE! Driving became slightly hazardous when I would constantly be on the lookout for interesting things to shoot.

We had a fab time in Thailand and I took loads of photos, and then kept on shooting constantly when we got home. I used to force Geoff to come with me to different suburbs in Melbourne so I could shoot interesting things and he could look bored ๐Ÿ™‚

And so for my first couple of years, all I wanted to shoot was inanimate objects, anything with lines – architecture, nature, turning everyday items into something abstract. I never had any interest in people…in fact that was the last thing I wanted to do.

2nd Practical assignment – Melbourne University

Thailand trip

Thailand trip – Phi Phi Island

Our favourite restaurant just down the road from our resort at Karon Beach had the most awesome light fittings

Cracked paint from a building just down from my office on Lennox St in Richmond.

Exterior of the Melbourne Museum – which is also very similar to the architecture in Federation Square

More from Melbourne Museum

An abstract of my favourite going out top

Same top, but I changed the colour to red – I love how the satin flows but still has distinct leading lines

More lines – raindrops on a seat in Canberra I think

This is a sculpture attached to the outside of the RMIT building in Melbourne – it hangs over the footpath so I have cropped and flipped the image vertically. You can still see the reflections of people walking on the footpath in it.

I spent a lot of time travelling for work in 2007, so hotel rooms started to provide me with ideas. Lamp against a wall and then colour shifted to red. But again it’s all about the clean lines for me.

I also went home to NZ for Christmas in 2007 (we used to alternate Christmas holiday between Geoff’s family in Canberra and mine in Whanganui) so I played out in Mum garden, more lines

Spent a bit of time in the garden ๐Ÿ™‚

But I also ventured into town – this is the War Memorial Hall in Whanganui

And the Durie Hill tower – I especially do not recommend going up this at 10pm at night when you are scared of heights, a hyperactive teenager with your equally hyperactive friends and then trying to make your way down in the dark…vertigo

The Durie Hill Tunnel which always freaked me out as a kid, it always looked super scary and long, like something out of a Dr Who episode. Cool fun fact, they uncovered original painted advertisements from the 20’s at the end near the elevator which you can still see.

Tried my hand at landscapes at Kai Iwi Beach – not for me so much

The bridge at Kai Iwi Beach that gets washed away every time the river floods which is nearly every year but they keep rebuilding…

So this was the first chapter….I would constantly have my camera with me and shoot all the time! I think that experimenting really helped me to learn what I loved and what worked for me. I am not the most technical photographer ever, I tend to go by feel and what I see on the back of my screen but that’s part of the excitement, not really knowing how things will turn out ๐Ÿ™‚

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