SITHOM Exhibition – An Interview with Zoë Mongey

Why Street Photography?

“I love that Street photography captures a moment in time that will never happen again. An expression, an emotion, a moment in history. We don’t think of our lives day to day being history but that’s what street photography captures – a moment in history…”

What do you shoot with?

“I use Nikon. I have a D800e and a D7000. My go to lens for street photography is my 24 -70mm Nikkor lens. It’s a great lens and its light and unobtrusive. I also use a 20mm Nikkor lens for wide angle captures and rarely but occasionally a 50mm Nikkor lens.”


Your best tip?

“You do have to be very careful when you have buildings in your shot if you’re using a wide angle lens or a telephoto lens because it can create distortion of straight lines. So zooming out to wide on your telephoto or using my wide angle lens can have its challenges. In those cases I try to move myself rather than zoom out – but that’s not always possible.

What’s your favourite “go to” spot?

“I love Melbournes lanes,  Degraves and Hosier Lane in particular. ”


What got you into Street Photography?

“I consider myself to be a visual story teller so I love telling people’s story like in my image of The ‘Modern Day Robin Hood’ John Murray.



MSP : This image from Zoë is a pearler. Firstly, I love the fact that she has really gone out on a limb to take the image, fearlessly. Too often, street photographers are too tentative to take a shot like this. Get in there, take the shot, and get out. Be quick. If you are using a rangefinder, pre-focus. If you have an autofocus, make sure you know exactly where you want the focus point to be in frame. Check your light. Then go for it. Take two or three shots in rapid succession, then immediately turn and move away. I have not had anyone come after me. Things happen so quickly, that your photography doesn’t even really register to the subject. And they find it difficult to respond quickly if you move off. Don’t linger.


The contrast of the main subject handing out his tracts, looking slightly “loose” and the young guy wandering along looking very in control brings some real interest to the image. There are some very nice natural lines to lead the viewer’s eye. The corner of the building really anchors the action. The direction the young guy is walking on naturally forms a second intersection that only occurs in your imagination.

The main subject has a strong figure to ground ratio – the dark wall provides an excellent contrast to his face and the tracts he has in his hands. His arms also provide a final parallel line in the image.

Thanks for taking the time to talk about your photography Zoë.

Zoë is Exhibiting at SITHOM 2015

Exhibition Link Here.

Exhibition details

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



  1. Featured Street Photographer – Zoe Mongey 2.0 | Inconspicuosity - May 20, 2017

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