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Thursday, August 04, 2011

If the world needed an Enema

From our Natural Light Portrait Workshop, Blackwater QLD. Not bad for an Alpaca Shed as a location...

The lovely Megan Walker
A couple of weeks ago I recorded another episode of Shutters Inc with my good friend, fellow photographer and podcast host, Bruce Williams. In it I mentioned that I would be heading off to a place in Queensland called "Blackwater". When he asked "Where!!?" I told him to imagine a place where, if the world needed an enima, that is where they would put the tube. Blackwater, QLD. Hey, it was only a joke, ok?
Why was I going to Blackwater? Well, my wife and I had been invited to come to this mining town to represent Creative Photo Workshops and run workshops up there for the photographers who live in this 8000 strong town. While it is normally Glynn who accompanies me, my wife had been invited especially from the host of this invitation - our good friend Di Collins. Di and I met years ago when I first went to Rockhampton to run workshops there. But since then she has become good friends with Tash, and so the workshops were really only a front for her chance to catch up and giggle with my Mrs. But hey! What do I care? Any chance to roam the world and teach photography and I am there - especially when I can take my wife along and enjoy the crazy quietude of her lovely company.

What distressed me was that I had heard from people in the town that there had been some resistance to our workshops being held there. Apparently some fear arose among some photographers in town and I heard that some even went to the point of tearing down the posters that had been put up to advertise our events. If this is true - and I have no reason to believe that it isn't - then I am deeply saddened by that mentality. If there is one thing that we all need as photographers it is education. I have been shooting for over thirty years and I long to attend more seminars and workshops. My problem is that I am usually running them instead. But to so grossly object to an internationally welcomed team of photographers coming to your part of the world to run workshops because you are afraid that other photographers may learn something that you don't know is so small-minded it beggars belief.

The photographers who attended the workshops there were all lovely, and their spirit of sharing and gathering as fellow photographers was not one I would worry about at all! They were very interested in getting together, shooting and sharing ideas, catching up and having fun with their cameras. I can only say to those photographers whose reason for not attending was your small-minded objections to outsiders or your fear of others learning something you don't know, then you should have come to them yourselves. You would not only have learned a thing or two about photography, you would have been given a polite lecture about the greatness of sharing and the elevated level of thought that the more professional photographers have in this world - one of giving, sharing, teaching and encouraging.

I hope to return to Blackwater to run more workshops. The profit in it would be irrelevant. The message to those nay-sayers and persecutors would be everything. Thank you Di for being positive in the light of your opposition. Thank you for being strong. Thank you for making it possible for us to come and have some fun with you and your fellow photographers in Blackwater. I stayed there for days and didn't see any tube coming down from the sky. Hmmm, I must have been wrong.

From the second of our two Film Noir events in Blackwater. A local locomotive in a nearby park becomes an ideal location for this fabulous event


Anonymous said...

You seem to have much to learn about the country it seems. I am not from Blackwater myself but I can understand the opposition.

BTW I hope you had a gun license for the gun photos!

John Matthews said...

Seems a shame that one feels that to make any sort of comment they have to remain anonymous. If you have something to impart, identify yourself, to make it more meaningful.

Erin said...

Yup. No one should have a monopoly on a location just like no one should have a monopoly on teaching.

Anonymous - being from the country is no excuse to be that pathetic. I personally thought people from the country wanted to shed their country-bumpkinisms. This sort of small-mindedness doesn't help their cause.

Yort said...

Oh my gosh we are having the SAME problem in our mining town ... makes you wonder the maturity level of the people hey.

Its the blatant lies and rumours they spread around thats the most damaging.

foxy-foto's said...

To anonymous - Do not be alarmed Yes we did have a licence because TOYWORLD sell them with the capguns :)

foxy-foto's said...

To Anonymous - Please rest assured that TOYWORLD sell the gun licence with the capguns!
We could not be seen simply by driving past and if anyone had walked in closer to see what we were all doing I am certain they would not have been confused by the scene; therefore we were in no danger of breaching the laws pertaining to "inciting public fear" either.

Anonymous said...

Good intentions are often misunderstood.

Sorry I can't chat more as we're about to watch Deliverance oink!

Deeds said...

All I know is that when CPW comes to my town, everyone is thrilled to see them and to learn their dynamic yet accessible techniques. We eagerly anticipate their arrival, and we miss them when they're gone. The team leaves us energized and capable of creating photographic images that we couldn't do before. And we have a ton of fun as well. What's wrong with that? Nothing!

Shelton Muller said...

Thank you for your comments, everyone. Your kindness is appreciated.
To our 'Anonymous' friend, I can only say that I don't understand your comments and your feelings, but that does not make me right or wrong on the matter. I agree with the principle that Erin espouses in her comments that there are no monopolies. Why our presence in Blackwater created such fear and hostility is beyond me. We came, not to take, but to impart, to give, to encourage and build.

I hope we can change your thinking one day, Anonymous.

The Life, Times and Images of photographer, Shelton Muller

Images on this blog are copyright Shelton Muller