Local Lenses: A Chat with James Blakeney
With photography being an oversaturated market at the best of times, even in our small country region, I used to think there was a fierce competition I had to fight through just to be noticed. But what I’ve come to realise is that the people I thought I had to compete with all have a unique way of seeing and capturing the area. So, rather than pushing and shoving each other out of the way, one of my goals as a photographer is develop and build upon this community that photography is known for by chatting with a few of my favourite local togs that forced me to push myself to be better. James Blakeney is definitely a stand out inspiration for me, especially for my early days of learning how to compose and as a guide of what stood out in my home town photography-wise. Lucky for me, James took a few moments out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions and share a few snaps.
So James, where are you based? I am currently living in a small coastal town called Berrara, near Sussex Inlet. My parents are based in Moruya and I travel back and forwards regularly between the two. What gear do you use? I am currently shooting with Fujifilm cameras, I am using the medium format GFS 50S and the XT-2 and a wide variety of lenses.How did you get started in photography?I was introduced into photography through my family, my aunty was a professional portrait photographer and she would always have a camera in her hands. But of more recent times the ocean has really inspired me to chase the hobby further, capturing seascapes or mates having a great time in the water.
Secret Falls near Hobart, Tasmania. Although not really a secret, it's definitely on my bucket list! What do you like to photograph? I love to photograph seascape and landscape and I find Moruya seems to have that perfect balance of both. What’s your favourite local photography spot? My favourite local location would be the south end of the Moruya bridge, to the west you lookout over a boat shed lush paddocks and a glowing river in the right conditions. Something about that spot in particular really sums up Moruya for me.
Berrara, New South Wales. Colourful skies and fast waves are a great combination if you ask me! What’s your favourite photography spot? For my favourite place I have traveled to for photography would be the south island New Zealand. I love being surrounded by mountains and in autumn when all the colours are out it is truly an amazing place. Is photography your full-time gig? At the moment photography is a passionate hobby for me as I work full-time in Nowra, but it is something I incorporate in all my travels and a lot of my spare time.
Diving deep in Vanuatu for this stunner – even family holidays don't stop James from getting those bangers! What are your photography ambitions for the next year? As for my plans for next year I would still like to travel as much as possible, both locally and internationally capturing some fun moments along the way. What advice would you give to someone who wants to start photography? My advice to someone wanting to get into photography would be to enjoy self with it, modern day iPhone cameras and DSLR kits have come along way and affordability is becoming more attractive. But it is also a hobby that sometimes requires a lot of patience but well worth the reward. Don't forget to check out James on Facebook and Instagram! ***** First Published in Jake Traynor Films