Livonne first came to my attention when she started commenting on some of my posts. We got to know each other a little and then I started watching what images she was doing. I really enjoy her work. I have been keeping an eye on it for a while with the hope that I would be able to feature her in one of these Introductions posts, and this seemed like the perfect time. I’m afraid it was short notice, and she didn’t get much warning, but she agreed to let me show you some of her images today.
One of the first things I noticed was how very Australian some of her images are. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, just that I am always attracted to images that are from Australia, especially if they are places that I recognise. LIke this one above, I knew as soon as I saw it that it was Southern Cross Station. I’ve been there and taken photos there.
I asked Livonne why she takes photos.
I’ve always loved photographs, especially the old beautiful portraits that our grandparents had. I’d always taken a lot of photos but never had a good camera. When my daughter died at age 10, I realised that I didn’t have enough photos of her, let alone good ones. It made me very determined to get as many good photos of my sons as I could. I got given a Kodak digital camera for my 40th birthday and I became a bit obsessed.
When I started making slideshows for birthdays and other celebrations, I began to really curse the instamatic and polaroid cameras that robbed whole generations of their right to beautiful photos. I started writing a blog nearly 2 years ago and as I wanted photos to go with what I’d written, I felt I could either feel guilty about “borrowing” google images or I could learn to take something decent of my own.
I enrolled in a Certificate IV of Photoimaging at Nepean TAFE and became completely hooked. As soon as I completed that I started at Diploma level and am now only 2 months away from finishing that.
When you go through her blogs, she has two very similar ones, you can a large variety of images. You never quite know what you are going to get, like this one, abandoned silos. She does a lot of the challenges and I think this one was in response to the theme of Abandoned. I hope I got that right, I’ve been looking at so many images.
Inspiration always comes next.
My inspiration changes daily. When I started I was positive I’d be a portrait photographer as I love people. I love the style of Australia’s Peter Adams who takes everyday people and brings out a bit of whimsy in them. It is certainly a style of photography that I aspire to. I used to find landscape photography rather boring to be honest, but since learning to use a DSLR, I’m thrilled with what I see everyday. I live in the Blue Mountains of NSW, so am blessed to be surrounded by absolute beauty everywhere I look. I love capturing the beauty that we’re surrounded by. I also love urban landscapes and the work of Trent Parke. I think photography has changed the way I see the world as I used to worry a lot and look for bad stuff.. Now I am always framing the next photo so am looking for beauty everywhere.
There are also lots of photos of places she has visited from overseas. After seeing what her inspiration is or what inspires her, I can see a lot of that in the images that she takes. The images she seems to like a lot are really the images I enjoy too, lots of buildings. Not always pretty, but still there is something about humans and our architecture.
I asked Livonne if there was anything special about the way she works.
I don’t know that I have anything special about the way I work. I do love color so I don’t usually do black and white photography but will occasionally do some selective color. I like a touch of fantasy or romance in my photos which I guess takes me away from the reality of an often harsh world.
There is something about her work too, the world around her, how she sees the world. I see some of her images and wish I had taken them, or wish I had been in the same spot to take them. There is a moodiness to her images that I really enjoy as well. Many of them are dark, and everyone knows how I find dark images.
I asked about her gear, which was interesting when she told us what she started with.
I started the photography course with a Nikon D80 with just one lens which I bought second hand on ebay. I have since progressed to the Nikon D610 and am slowly building up my lenses. I have a 50 mm prime and a 70-300 mm. I still have the 18-55mm that came with the D80 which I use too but am looking to buy a more versatile lens soon.
As I said, Livonne has two blogs, Livonne is her main blog and she also has one that she used for particular subjects, Livonne Photography. Both are great and I would encourage you to go and take a look at either or both of them. I would like to thank Livonne for giving me permission to feature her blog here and also for answering my questions so quickly, I really appreciated that. I am glad I showed her blog and I am sure you will all love her work as well. Here is a gallery of some images from her blog. I need to go and starting working on my image for the MMC this week.