Always Walk Forward

caroline de costa at cairns hospital
Dr Caroline de Costa at the Cairns Hospital, far north Queensland, Australia

To stay relevant as a professional artist you need to be constantly pushing yourself. To stay interested as an amateur artist you need to be constantly pushing yourself.

For me, this image represents a major step in my development as a photographer and my ability to create different types of imagery.

This is actually the first time I ever used off-camera flash. For the previous twenty years I had been a totally natural light photographer, relying on that utterly unpredictable light source lying high in the sky.

More importantly, this represents the first time I had ever pre-planned a shot right down to the light I envisioned. Up until this point I simply had been hoping that the light would be nice and making do with whatever the day threw my way.

The subject of my first ever flash-lit portrait was Dr Caroline de Costa. Dr de Costa is a gynaecologist, and was the spokesperson for AMA on the RU-486 abortion pill. She was a woman in the spotlight, hence the use of the flash, but was also seen by many women as providing both a light at the end of the tunnel, and an exit.

I planned the light at the end of the tunnel bit, but the EXIT sign was pure serendipity!

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