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Shimmer photographic exhibition

I recently opened my Shimmer photographic exhibition ‘The Real Japan’ being held at the Aldinga Library as part of the Onkaparinga Shimmer photographic biennale. Last weekend and unfortunately it seemed that not many people were able to come, so I figured id post the images on display on here in the hope it entices some of you to pay a visit to my Shimmer exhibition. Remember all works on display are available for sale.

Shimmer ‘The Real Japan’ Exhibition info

Having lived in Japan for over 2 years, and being currently employed as a Japanese teacher, much of Steven’s work portrays a landscape of Japan not many people tend to associate with the country. Steven enjoys showing people the vivid colours and rolling landscapes of the countryside of Japan, along with traditional architecture and her vibrant people.

Too often people automatically assume the country consists solely of Japan’s cities, generally because that’s what most people’s experience of Japan is. This exhibition’s goal is to give a glimpse into the ‘real’ Japan. That is, the country that Steven has explored and learnt to love outside the concrete metropolis stereotype. Some of the images on display have won awards through the State AIPP and National AIPP photography awards and also have gained recognition through the inaugural Federal government initiative ‘Art’s in Asia’.

Remember the exhibition is open until the end of the festival on the 28th of September at the Aldinga Library.

Also please make sure you vote for my exhibition so I have a chance on winning the Robert McFarlane Prize as best of the festival.

Real Japan – Shimmer Photographic Festival exhibition

I’d like to announce the opening of my first ever solo photographic exhibition titled ‘Real Japan’. I was contacted by the Onkaparinga council around 2 months ago asking if I would be interested in exhibiting  in this year’s Shimmer Photographic Biennale and I was quite excited to confirm my eagerness. Thanks to the council, I have been allotted the Aldinga library’s gallery space for my exhibition which will showcase a selection of my award winning landscape work from living and travelling in Japan. All the work on display will be for sale.

Opening will be just after lunch, 2pm at Aldinga Library on the 31st of August.

I will be there with some friends, and hopefully I can organise some small refreshments for those of you who can make it.

To download a program of the Shimmer Photographic Biennale, including information on my ‘Real Japan’ exhibition, click here. The official launch for the festival is on the 29th of August, 7pm at the Arts Centre in Port Noarlunga where a selection of exhibited works will be shown with talks from people invloved.

Join the event on facebook so you don’t forget.

Sixth Daily Deviation on DeviantArt

I’ve just been awarded my sixth ‘Daily Deviation’ Award on the website that has really laid the foundations of my photographic career, DeviantArt. I have been a member of Deviantart for almost 12 years now, quite an achievement considering the website itself is only just over a year older than that itself. In that time I have used my account to showcase anything I have created from 3D animation, to sketches and of course my Award Winning photography. In fact I’ve probably spent more time on DeviantArt than any other website on the internet over the last 12 years.

I started out with my artistic career, as many other have done on DeviantArt with drawing and digitally colouring Japanese animation (anime) characters, then moved to more design and fine art paintings, and now finally photography. If it weren’t for DeviantArt being there over the last 12 years of my artistic development, I very much doubt I would have had the determination or support I have needed to come as far as I have. DeviantArt is the world’s largest community for artists of any genre, and being awarded a Daily Deviation allows my work to be showcased on the front page for a day, causing any recipient of a Daily Deviation to receive a huge boost of traffic to his or her account page and better exposure of their work. I’ve very privileged to have received the Daily Deviation honour 6 times now, and I appreciate each one.

My sixth Daily Deviation

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My Sixth Daily Deviation is an image I captured at the summit of the Kashima port lookout tower in Japan while I was on a voluntary program to learn about the after effects of the devastating 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami. The body of work I put together during the trip, including this image was recently ‘highly commended’ by the Australian ministry for the Arts in the government’s inaugural ‘Australian Arts in Asia’ Awards. The image has also won multiple individual honours such as a silver award at both the South Australian and Australian National Institute of Professional Photography Awards.

Silver Award at the National AIPP Awards

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This weekend showcased the most recent National Professional Photography Awards run by the Australian Institute for Professional Photography (AIPP) whereby I again was successful in procuring another Silver Award. These particular awards, known as ‘APPA’ are the most prestigious on offer in Australia where some of the very greats of the photographic industry showcase their very best work from the past year.

I haven’t gone a year yet without winning at least a silver award and this year has been no exception. The APPA only allows an entrant to enter 4 prints, so one must choose to either attempt to win a category with a portfolio of 4 prints, or spread their entries across multiple categories in order to obtain more individual print awards, such as the silver award I won today. I approached this year with the aim of pushing for the ‘Travel photographer of the year’ title by winning the Travel photography category with the 4 prints below. The state-based ‘SAPPA’ awards however allow an entrant to submit up to 12 prints, allowing for further flexibility. This years SAPPA awards I won a silver award 4 times across the Travel, Wedding and Illustrative categories. It appears I made the wrong choice in submitting only Travel prints this year. Oh well 🙂

Travel Entries

Score: 81 – Silver Award

Kashima, Japan. This port was hit by the Tsunami in 2011. Thankfully no one was hurt. I visited here while volunteering in Japan to learn more about the after effects of the earthquake and tsunami. This area was damaged, but quickly rebuilt as it’s a huge trading hub for essential fuel resources in Japan.

Score: 78

The stern end of the largest cruise liner in the world, the Queen Mary 2. Comments from the judges in the state awards indicated that the reason why this wasn’t an award print was due to the sky. I removed the sky for my APPA entry, but obviously wasn’t enough to improve it’s score.

Score: 78

This was another print I had entered in a previous state awards, and it unfortunately came out with the same result of a score of 78. Shouldn’t really be surprised, especially given that this is such an iconic scene of the Itsukushima shrine on Miyajima in Japan, it’s not exactly breaking any new photographic ground having me replicate the scene.

Score: 77

This print however turned out to be a little disappointing with a score of 77 as this same print won a silver award in a previous state awards with a score of 80. It’s a priest going about his duties on the same Itsukushima shrine in Japan, and it actually quite a rare shot to be had. Oh well.

A score of above 70 indicates that the work submitted is at a professional level standard, so I’m quite happy with my silver award and my other 3 prints scoring in the high 70’s. Especially when considering that this was the national awards which have a reputation of being a tough nut to crack when it comes to winning awards compared to the state based competitions.

Highly Commended in the Arts and Asia Awards for my recent Japanese photography

I’ve been highly commended by the Australian Minister for the Arts Hon. Tony Burke MP for my Japanese photography work I undertook while on the Kizuna project as part of the ‘Arts in Asia Awards‘.

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The Arts and Asia Awards celebrate the important role Australian artists and arts organisations play in enhancing Australia’s relationship with Asia. I was nominated for the community relations category due to the nature of the work I undertook at part of the Kizuna project run by JICE and the AFS. I was able to develop a body of work showcasing life in japan after the devastating 2011 tsunami that vastly affected life in Japan. In particular, the North East areas of the island of Honshu. I used this body of work to develop a book showcasing the program of which 3 copies have been published for the AFS Intercultural Programs Australia who ran the program.

Being employed as a Japanese teacher in South Australian primary schools, I have a direct link to the community through it’s children. As such I utilised my photography project developed through the program to develop units of work and discuss the cultural impact of the disaster on the Japanese people. We sent letters to a school in Japan exchanging stories and personal ideas, while viewing the photographs I developed and learning about how Japan as a country; and the Japanese people as individuals reacted to the event. My photography has been displayed around the schools and local community coupled with written and spoken anecdotes explaining what I learnt of life in Japan after the 2011 disaster. In Japanese class, we also learnt what a tsunami is and looked in detail what life is like in Japan, both in the tsunami affected areas and other areas. I have also showcased my photography both in online galleries such as National Geographic and print media through the AIPP, through which individual photographs and garnered industry awards.

Kizuna program photography

“The Youth-Exchange Project with Asia-Oceania and North America (Kizuna (bond) Project)” is a project run by the Japanese government with the objective of promoting other countries’ understanding with regards to Japan’s revival efforts in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake. The project invites young people from 41 different countries/regions in Asia-Oceania and North America, allowing them to participate in exchange programs, visit disaster-affected areas and engage in volunteer activities. It also involves sending young people from Japan to target countries/regions. Over 12,000 people are to become part of the exchange through this project.

I lived in Japan from 2006-2008, where I developed my passion for photography, in particular Japanese photography. My landscape Japanese photography provided me with the first success I needed in Australia to really develop my skills which I now utilise in my award winning wedding photography services. Much of my Japanese photography were developed into award winning images in both State, national and Internationally-based institutions. As such I was very happy to participate as a teacher chaperone with the Kizuna project to help Australian students better understand the plight of the Japanese people due to the 2011 tsunami and hopefully further spread awareness through my own Japanese photography and teaching talents.

Previous Japanese photography