Peter Williams is Australian photographer, currently based in Melbourne, Victoria. He create contemporary work which explores the everyday as well as more traditional subjects. He take his surroundings as subject matter, commenting on the everyday, frequently create work using the seemingly mundane, but looking deeper to find interest and beauty.
He worked in photography for around 40 years and have been published in several journals and been participating in group exhibitions over the the last four years.
My current projects include a photographic exploration of Melbourne's Bolte Bridge.
What inspired you to become a photographer?
Reading all the books about photography I could find in the library as a young child. The magic of recording your surroundings and being able to show others what you saw.
Whats inspires your photography?
Noticing the everyday, the things that many people pass by as mundane and ordinary. The way light and colour, lines and shapes and frame boundaries interact and interplay.
What does it mean to you?
It's a creative outlet and an opportunity for artistic expression. I've had many hobbies and interests, but photography is the one thing I keep coming back to. It is just “my thing” in life.
How did the project start?
I didn't specifically start “a street project” as such, but since a large part of life is what we see and experience out in public on the street, it just seems natural to make a lot of pictures in that situation. I also make a lot of urban landscape and industrial images, as well as some more traditional landscape work. Many of my street images happen during travel by walking and public transport to an area I intend to make some urban landscape work in.
How did you approach the subject matter?
I try to approach street closely and without fear (not always successfully of course). I typically use a wide-angle lens, mostly a 24mm on a full-frame digital body, and sometimes a 35mm lens. I try to observe situations as they develop and come together, then frame them quickly in the viewfinder and make the image without delay.
Some situations are static and can be worked around for the best angle and composition, but often you must act almost intuitively/reflexively.
What cameras did you shoot with and why?
Mostly with my two Nikon full-frame digital bodies, a D3s and a D800E. Not typical street equipment I know, but they work well for me and give me usable results in a wide range of situations and conditions.
I pair those bodies with; 24mm and 35mm lenses and a 24-70mm zoom lens when doing urban/street work. I also occasionally use an infrared modified Nikon 1 V1 and 10mm lens, as well as a Mamiya RZ67 medium format film camera.
Any anecdotes you can share?
I love to travel to an unfamiliar urban area and just wander around, getting a bit lost and not caring how far I stray. The magic of rounding a corner and seeing something special appear and unfold is a great feeling and I can lose all sense of time and immerse myself in the situation.
What are you looking for in street photography?
To show others what I have seen and observed, the fun of being out shooting and using your wits and vision to create interesting images from the everyday scenes we all exist in.
Any closing comments?
Thanks for the opportunity to be featured in your blog. I've been a subscriber to Inspired Eye and have enjoyed seeing all the varied and interesting work you've presented over the years.
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