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Affinity. Closeness. Longing for connection. These shared experiences are what elevate our lives beyond mere existence. Good or bad, they are the muse for poetry, the rhythm of music, and the ‘heart’ in our heart. This body of work is about exploring just that: our humanity seen through how we connect with something outside ourselves. That moment when we bare our souls and open our hearts.

A Photographer's Playground

The Mushenko team went to the AIPP Nikon event last week in the Hunter Valley. Anyone who was thinking of going and didn't absolutely must go next yr, it was so inspiring and worth every cent (as it wasn't cheap).

The event was like an amusement park for photographers, the weather was glorious and it was set at the Cyprus lakes golf course. Meals were all served on lush green grass overlooking the pool with a back drop of the vineyards.  Add to the mix talks by the some of the world's finest and renowned photographers, workshops, trade shows where you could be hands on with the latest equipment, cocktail parties, wine tours, spa treatments and it makes for the perfect week for any photographer.

Some highlights: The importance of the story; Interacting with your subjects; Getting behind the image to the message.

Vincent Laforet explained (since our cameras all shoot video now) that the 3 most important things in film making are the story - beautiful images won't cut it alone, vision - knowing what you want to achieve and communication - communicating your idea clearly and concisely.  Anyone interested in film needs to check out his amazing blog,  http://blog.vincentlaforet.com.

War photographer, James Nachtwey http://www.jamesnachtwey.com/ received two standing ovations after his talk. He didn't speak about photography at all, but instead he shared stories about the people in his photos. The images were so hauntingly powerful that you couldn't help but want to make a difference.

To quote another speaker I enjoyed greatly, Peter Adams, "Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field."  Documentary photographer, Conor Ashleigh similarly said that for him, the most important process is without his camera, his work depends on the relationships and general interactions.

Does anyone remember reading the book, Who Moved My Cheese?  Advertising photographer, Urs Buhlman spoke strongly about the need for adapting to change by looking at the market and applying your skills accordingly.

And lastly Matt & Katie Ebenezer reinforced that with so many brilliant photographers out there the only thing that sets you apart is you.  Photography is a luxury not a necessity and stressed that you really need to show you're worth the money.

We're already looking forward to next year's event, I wonder how they'll top this years?