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Below is an interview with yours truly, for the Renderosity  Photography Forum's "In Focus" series. My good friend Michelle A, who I got to know through Renderosity, and the PhotoForum in particular, conducted the interview. If you would like to know more about where the nick-name "PunkClown" came from then read on here: The story behind the name! and for more Graphic examples go here!

by Michelle A.

Welcome to the latest in our In-Focus series where we turn the spotlight on some of our amazing forum members and friends. Our newest victim, er-ummm guest, is the lovable and often laughable PunkClown. PunkClown has a talent for presenting things in new and unusual ways. His unique perceptions of the world around us have inspired many of us to see things for more than what they appear to be. So without further delay, here is the man from down under.

PunkClown, what does photography bring to your life, does it bring you satisfaction on a deeper level?

Photography has brought a profound satisfaction to my life in many ways. Most importantly it has taught me to see. I feel that often in our lives we are in a state of ignorance of the potential beauty of everything that is around us. Whether it is a fleeting expression across someone's face, or an everyday object we barely look at through the anaesthetising effects of familiarity, Photography asks that I look rather than just passively experience a view. Then there are the captured memories and moments of loved ones, visited places and emotional events that can be preserved by the photograph. These are irreplaceable.

When did photography become a serious hobby for you?

The first photograph I ever took was of Queen Elizabeth when she visited Melbourne when I was quite young, I would have been about 8 years old I think. The horizon was tilted 30 degrees (a foretaste of my future style?) but I managed to capture the whole of the royal personage in frame! I must chase up that photograph to share with you all... I have always loved photography, and despite having the occasional break from it, I seem to return to the viewfinder again and again. The favourite family quote about me is from my Sister-In-Law Beth: "There goes Cameron, capturing the bloody moment again!" *Grin*

How would you define your style? Do some subjects get the creative juices flowing more than others?

My style? I would say I have no clearly developed style yet; I tend to work on instinct. Inanimate objects fascinate me, and capturing something familiar in a different perspective has always been one of my goals. I also love photographing people, and the personality that shines through a characters face or the way they hold their body, for example, attracts me. I don't post many personal shots of people I know, as I am a bit shy, and a rather private person, despite the impression I may outwardly give!

Who are some of the photographers that inspire you or influence your style?

I would say Edward Weston inspires and influences me a great deal. In my opinion his natural studies, such as his Pepper and his marvelous nudes, to point out just a few of his photographs, are a great example of how photography can be fine art. Dorothea Lange, and her studies of humanity also profoundly impress me. I also admire Man Ray's works, Ansell Adams and all the Photo Journalists whose names I don't know but whose images over the years have burnt themselves into my memories. Recently I have discovered the attraction of photo manipulation and photo montage. Slynky has introduced me to Jerry N. Uelsman, (thanks Ry) and there is also John Paul Caponigro, both produce examples of darkroom wizardry. Renderosity, and the wonderful friends I have made in the Photo Forum has had a great deal of influence on me and been a source of inspiration for my photography recently also. There are some marvelously talented people here!

What equipment do you use?

I have a trusty SLR, a Ricoh KR-10 Super. A Pentax M 1:1.7 50mm lens is my usual choice but I also have a 35-200mm SICOR zoom lens that I use occasionally, often for its Macro capabilities. My choice of film varies but usually Kodak ASA 100 or 400 colour print film depending on the conditions I am going to shoot in. Recently I have been using an Agfa CL34 digital camera, which is wonderful for capturing photographs "on the fly" so to speak, but its clarity and resolution come nowhere near the SLR's capabilities.

update: PunkClown has been fortunate enough to purchase a Canon G5 5 megapixel Digital Camera in late 2003, and uses this for most of his photography now.

Have you had any formal art or photography training or are you a self-taught talent?

All self taught, through trial and error, I did complete studies in art to the end of my secondary schooling, then went on to college to study nursing. I won first prize in the Royal Melbourne Show in 1978 for one of my paintings in the school entries, but since then art has been a hobby, an escape from my usual work. As far as learning photography is concerned, well, I've read a few books... and learnt a lot from participating in the photography forum, and the monthly challenges. I hope I am improving a little bit with every photograph I take.

You seem to dabble in so many other things besides photography.... what other interests do you have... share them with us.

Ohhh... How much time have we got? My wonderful family, my wife and daughters, engage a great deal of my time. We love walking in the bush and visiting the seaside. I like body surfing and swimming. Then there is Astronomy. My other creative hobbies include Graphic Art, sketching and painting and more recently discovering computer graphics through programs like Photoshop, Painter, etc. Woodwork, I enjoy woodwork, so far I have made Rebecca a Doll's House and Hobbyhorse... Music. I also love Music, both listening to it and playing the piano (Brilliantly of course). On a different tack, I often dance naked in the backyard when there is a full moon... OK! I lied; I'm really not that good a piano player! ;-)>

Well.... That's it! Thank you for sharing a part of yourself with us Punkie. I know that your work here on Renderosity has been inspirational for me and others on many levels, and most of all thank you for being you