SITHOM Exhibition – An Interview with Andrew Wilson

Andrew’s featured image today is “Freedom” – He describes it “I think it shows how peaceful and safe Melbourne can be and how that reflects on how our children can grow without worries that children in other cities around the world have to.”

The image is beautifully stripped of any distractions from a colour perspective, enabling the viewer’s eye to be drawn across from the left of frame to the subject.


The horizon is placed at one third vertically, making sure it doesn’t distract by bisecting the image across the middle… I am still amazed how often I plonk the horizon in the middle of my images still to this day!

The subject’s figure to ground ratio is very high – her silhouette contrasts easily with the water, making it the feature of the image. This is supported by two leading lines, the ripples from her movement across the water – which I positively love! They form a natural pointer to the subject, leading the viewer’s eye easily. The additional parallel lines in the bottom left corner, created by the waves, assist in creating a dynamic image.

A great example of Andrew’s capability.

Talk to me about Street Photography.

“Big important events are recorded by anyone and everyone. Simple life in the street is missed, the interaction between people in the the street is missed, buildings old and new are ignored. This is where the Street Photographer fills the gap. He records this so that generations not only in the present but also in the future can see how life was during all periods of time.

I love photographing these interactions and changes in the city landscape, I see it as turning everyday life into art. When I walk around a town or city I do not only see what is around me, but I see beautiful art in peoples faces, old buildings, light playing in laneways.”

What do you shoot with?

“About 7 years ago i purchased a second hand Canon 5D mark 1. I believe many photographers call it a work horse. I love it. Once dropped approximately 2 meters onto concrete in New York and it soldered on without any problems. I have used it the rain, deserts, hot subways, rainforests and it has never let me down.

Lens i use for Street photography include:
– Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM (used for wide street shots and very personal close ups when subject is friendly)
– Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM ( used for very personal close ups when subject is not so friendly or i want to get a more natural look instead of posed)”

MSP : There is a lot of purist talk about wide angle lenses being “true” to street photography, and if your shots are no good, you are not close enough! I love longer focal lengths when out and about – with one of my personal favourites being 135mm in 35mm format. Longer focal lengths get more of the person, less of the street – which is the right formula sometimes.

Your best tip?

“Always have your camera when on the street, my best shots have always come at the most random times. Know the basics but forget most of the technical stuff, Look for life happening on the street, light doing something special between the buildings, and people interacting.

Explore those laneways, car park roofs, city squares, train stations. (Yes ignore the little guy who says “you cannot take photos here sir, its a train station”.) Pay the busker you just took a photo of.”

MSP : Always pay the busker! They work hard for the money… and I don’t think I own a camera without aperture priority shoot mode!

What’s your favourite “go to” spot?

“There are many favs in Melbourne. Flinders street, Hosier lane, Degraves lane, Centre place, The Yarra. Curtain House roof top bar. Try to go to all these places at all times of the day and see the differences. My favourite i think would have to be any Melbourne laneway during the winter in rush hour.”

MSP : You can often catch me with a pint at Curtain House Roof Top bar!

What is it that keeps you shooting?

“Being able to capture real life moments instead of studio posed lead me to street photography. Old photos showing the people on the street and how cities used to look intrigued me and I loved how they showed what life use to be like. I want someone in 50 -100 years time to say “wow, check out how they use to look and what Melbourne use to be like”.

What else?

“Other interests include reading on the train, watching people, travelling and playing Lawn Bowls to really chill out.”

MSP : Thanks for your time today, Andrew! Andrew is exhibiting soon – you can check out his work at the exihibition.

“Shot In The Heart Of Melbourne”

Where: Victorian Artists Society
430 Albert Street, East Melbourne VIC 3002

When: Thursday, 19 – Monday, 30 March, 2015
Weekdays: 10am – 4pm Weekends: 1pm – 4pm

Opening Event: 7pm, Friday, 20 March, 2015
Extended viewing hours: 10am to 9pm

His excellent images are also available here :



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