Dockside Media: Blog en-us (C) Dockside Media (Dockside Media) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:01:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:01:00 GMT Dockside Media: Blog 90 120 Our Own Extreme After the terrible attacks in Belgium yesterday, we are yet again presented with a choice. We can choose to think things through, be reasonable, and be a tolerant society who doesn’t judge based on skin colour or creed. Or, we can choose to be dominated by fear, make irrational decisions which make us feel safe, but really achieve nothing. We can move into our own fantasy, where everything the “west” does is correct, without question, and anything the “other” chooses to do is quite obviously wrong. But is that really going to solve our problems?


Terrible events like these, which we have seen far too often over the past few years, test us. They test how tolerant we are, how patient we are, and how judgemental we are. At first, the choice seems obvious: act without mercy to protect our own way of life. But when you think about it, doesn’t that make us just as bad as those who we label as terrorists? In some ways, they are acting without mercy to protect their own way of life. The only difference is the side we’re on. It makes sense that we should be on the right side, and therefore anything we do to protect ourselves can be justified. Is that the way we should be acting though, without thought or reason?


Please don’t take what I just said as condoning the actions of these people who have acted without remorse and killed hundreds of innocent civilians to further their own beliefs. The point is, that instead of immediately acting in whatever way first comes to mind to protect ourselves, perhaps we should think about what we’re doing. Think about who we’re demonising, and who we might be harming.


After events like these, it’s easy to call for extreme actions to protect ourselves. But in doing so, we too become extremists, just on the opposite side of the story. You can argue that these extreme views serve to “balance out” the views on the opposite side, but all we’re really doing then is dividing society. Dividing society kills the progress we’ve made over the past century to become a more tolerant and accepting society. We’ve settled our differences before, but usually only after great suffering, so why can’t we try and avoid that suffering by settling our differences now, before it’s too late? What’s stopping us from acting as a coherent society and bringing people together in unity, rather than alienating them for their differences.


As I’m sure many people do, I feel fear after attacks like these. Nowhere near the kind of fear felt by those who were in Belgium yesterday, who saw horrors that no person should have to see. The fear I feel is for the future. Because if we make the wrong choice today, and choose to make irrational decisions and divide society, we slide further down a slippery slope. The more divided we make society, the further we push our own “extreme,” the more normal that becomes. It begins a vicious cycle, where our actions need to be more and more extreme to avoid seeming complacent. But what will that achieve? A futher divided society, pushing people further to the edge, alienating even more, and still not creating a feeling of safety.

Now is not the time to be making decisions about our future. Now is the time for mourning the loss of life seen in Brussels, and coming together to support each other. I’m not claiming to have the answers to the problems that are plaguing our world, there are people with a lot more knowledge than me who are better positioned to figure these things out. I just hope that they take the time to think things through, and act in a way which doesn’t divide or discriminate without reason, but really does make us all safer, now and into the future.

]]> (Dockside Media) article opinion Wed, 23 Mar 2016 09:07:59 GMT
OPINION: Giving Up The Race to the Bottom Today is Ash Wednesday, and begins the season of Lent for Christians around the world. For most, the thought of Lent brings back memories of giving up something for six weeks until Easter. Perhaps this year, instead of something trivial like chocolate or sugar, our politicians would considering giving up their race to the bottom, even if only for a few weeks.

For years now, the major Australian political parties have been engaged in a race to the bottom, and no policy area has shown that more than the handling of refugees and asylum seekers. Nothing is too ridiculous or too inhumane for politicians to promise, justified in their minds by the thought that Australians are egging them on, waiting to see just how low they can go.

The past few years have had no shortage of disgusting immigration policies. From keeping Christmas Island running at well over capacity, to sending some of the world’s most vulnerable people to Nauru and Manus Island, where other people can do our dirty work for us. And more recently, threatening to deport incredibly vulnerable children and adults who had settled into Australian society, and giving medication to refugees that is known to exacerbate mental health conditions even more than their surroundings.

So perhaps in this season of reflection and giving, we can join together to help all those in need, and maybe then our politicians will be inspired to do the same.

]]> (Dockside Media) article fremantle opinion Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:34:21 GMT
OPINION: Trying to Make Sense Humans are insatiably curious by their nature. Everything needs to be explained. Every question needs to be answered. It just doesn’t make sense when we can’t explain why something happened. We become trapped in our own world views, unable to understand why somebody would do something that we wouldn’t.


As we age, the world can seem like a boring place. Everything around us has been explained, and we simply exist in our own little bubble, following the same routines day in and day out. But sometimes that bubble bursts. The world outside comes flooding in, and we become like that small child we all once were: asking questions and trying to understand why things happen.


In these times, some people become overwhelmed. There are too many unanswerable questions, too many possible moulds that just don’t fit. People get lost in their own minds, trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. Others turn to religion, hoping that there’s something bigger than they are who can give reason to the unreasonable. They adopt particular beliefs that, to them, explain why the world works in the way it does, and that brings them peace. But sometimes even those answers don’t fit, and religion can become as unhelpful as everything else.


At the end of the day, humans don’t make sense. Every single one of us, and all those before and all those after us make different decisions that have irreconcilable effects. There are billions of variables that led to you being where you are right now, reading this post. Not all of those decisions have meaningful reasons behind them, and they don’t have to. Sometimes things just don’t feel right, or something really does happen for no reason.


Sometimes though, life presents us with reasons for situations that really don’t make any sense. Sometimes, the reasons come from so far outside of our world view that they make even less sense than that. We try to understand how somebody could be shaped to be so different to us, and we just can’t find an answer.


Personally, I don’t think there’s anything that can logically explain the horrors of what happened in France today. There is nothing in my world view that even comes close to being comparable to the thought processes of those who terrorised a peaceful city. Trying to understand why those people acted in the way they did is an impossible exercise, and only serves to distract us from what’s most important here, and that is to stand together with our common man, and help in their time of need.


France is a country grieving for the 126 innocent lives it needlessly lost today, and even though it seems as though we are helpless bystanders to this tragedy, I am sure the simple act of letting the world know that we stand in solidarity with France is of great comfort.


I find it an incredible coincidence that in the English exam I sat only yesterday, the following quote from Maya Angelou appeared: “Disasters remind us we are world citizens, whether we like it or not.”


]]> (Dockside Media) article opinion Sat, 14 Nov 2015 08:42:31 GMT
OPINION: The Problem With #IAmAnthony In recent days, the hashtag #IAmAnthony has taken off, with thousands of people coming out to support teen photographer Anthony Mazur, who was forced by his school in the US to take down his Flickr page, which contained images he had taken at school sport events. As someone who also shoots extensively for my school, his case stood out to me, but not for the right reasons. Unlike many online, I don’t support Anthony, and am siding with his school.

Anthony was part of the yearbook class at his high school, and as part of this would often go out of his way to shoot sporting events, mostly after school. He says that a turning point was when he attended a seminar and learnt that he owned the images he took, despite them being taken on school equipment. Following this, he quickly began posting them online, and even sold some of them.

“whoever took the picture owns it, and can do what they want with it.”

He claims that the trouble started when he was called into the principal’s office and was told he needed to immediately remove the images since he did not own them. He says he was then threatened with an in-school suspension if he did not comply. The principal explained to Anthony that the main issue was privacy, however he did not accept this argument, instead saying that “whoever took the picture owns it, and can do what they want with it.” He was then given an Administrative Directive which stated he had “posted images with the intention to profit,” something which he claims is perfectly legal.

While the words used by the principal here are not entirely accurate, he is right. Anthony had no right to post the photos, and certainly did not have the right to sell them, just because he is the one who took them. Unfortunately, the law is not as simple as “whoever took the picture can do what they want with it.” What he was using the images for does not fall under ‘fair use,’ which does not necessarily require permission of the subject or subjects. Examples of fair use include commentary, parody, criticism, news reporting, research or education. Since Anthony was posting the images online and making a profit, he most definitely needed a model release, something which he has not mentioned at any point while spreading the word about his case. The school was most definitely in the right to ask him to remove the photos, as they have duty of care over their students.

"Anthony had no right to post the photos, and certainly did not have the right to sell them, just because he is the one who took them."

One of his major arguments is that photographers shooting for newspapers and other news outlets regularly attend games and have not been punished for doing the same thing as him. The difference is though, that they are not doing the same thing as him. He is shooting to post online and sell, both of which need permission of the person in the photo. The news photographers are covered by fair use, as the photos are being taken as part of editorial coverage of the event.

I regularly take photos for my school, but I never post any of them online. The first reason is from a business standpoint: you never release images you took for someone else before they have released them or before you have been given permission to release them. But the second reason is that I am aware of the legal complications around photography. Increasingly, photography is becoming less about the photos and more about the administration, which includes more legislation and rules to comply with than ever. An understanding of how to deal with clients and the laws around photography is a crucial skill to have for anyone wishing to pursue a career as a photographer.

As much as I feel sorry for Anthony and the heavy handed approach the school has taken, he is in the wrong and sometimes it’s better to be taught a lesson sooner rather than later. 

]]> (Dockside Media) article opinion photography Thu, 28 May 2015 03:17:26 GMT
OPINION: Why All the Misinformation?

In the past 12 months, our screens have been filled with images of horrific events from all corners of the globe unfolding in front of our eyes. From the disappearance of MH370 and the shooting down of MH17, to the Sydney siege and now, the Paris massacre. All of these events have had one thing in common: the media, in their race to be first with the story, regurgitated misinformation, only to correct themselves in the minutes and hours that followed. The news climate is changing before our eyes, and we are beginning to see outlets that care less and less about whether or not the information they are putting to air is correct, but more and more about whether they are the first to release information. Never was this more evident than during the Sydney siege, with the Seven Network's offices directly across from the unfolding drama, wildly inaccurate reports begun circulating within minutes. Reports of an ISIS flag in the window and multiple gunmen begun spreading, only to be corrected in the hours that followed. This kind of rush to have an exclusive, even if only for a short time, is what is dominating the reporting of major events in the world that we live in.


"In the initial wave of (mis)information, people cared more about sharing and seeing the events unfold than actually caring about what had happened."


And all of this is for good reason. The majority of people want to think they know what is happening, regardless of the validity of that information. And as TV audience numbers dwindle, and hundreds of 'news' websites compete for views, outlets will do whatever they need to hang onto the numbers on paper which investors crave. Which is fair enough, when people invest in a company, they expect to see returns. For a major investor in a news source to proclaim that they value facts and journalistic integrity over viewership would be a bold move, and one that I hope will come sooner rather than later.


This fight for viewers isn't just limited to commercial organisations, however. Australia's own ABC is facing a tough fight with the Federal Government for funding, and, they too, must show that people will watch their coverage before the Abbott Government decides to cut their funding further.


"The news stopped informing us, and started smothering us."


As details of the Charlie Hebdo shooting begun to filter through, outlets latched onto every tiny skerrick of information they could get their hands onto, calling in analysts, experts and whoever else proclaimed any knowledge that could potentially be relevant. As the fight for viewers raged on, the news stopped informing us, and started smothering us. Vision of masked men escaping from police, and gunshots being heard in the streets was replayed over and over, almost daring us to be scared, instructing us to be worried, reminding us that this could have happened anywhere, and could happen again as the masked gunmen drove away calmly. In the initial wave of (mis)information, people cared more about sharing and seeing the events unfold than actually caring about what had happened. From the other side of the world we watched, and we waited to see what could possibly happen next, almost completely disconnected from the situation. The media stopped delivering us valuable information, and instead was creating an unfolding TV drama, and, at first at least, ignoring the value of the lives that were lost.


This rush for information is not just damaging the previously proud profession of journalism, but also hinders the response of authorities to these horrendous events. As word spread that MH17 had been shot down over Ukraine, journalists from all over Europe rushed to the scene, breaking through and getting access to areas which police and investigators had not yet seen. A similar occurrence happened as the Sydney siege unfolded. On numerous occasions, journalists were moved away to give police better access, and even had to be asked to not show live images, or images from certain angles in case the gunman was watching. In the rush to be first, there is no time to consider the possible implications of reporting on events which are unfolding, especially when people's lives are still hanging in the balance.


I sincerely hope that in the coming months and years we see a change in the way that news and current affairs are reported. I believe that one day we will see news which ignores the rush of facts, and instead of reporting first and apologising later, considers what they are doing, and makes informed decisions about what the audience needs to know, and separates real fact from fiction which has become so much easier in this day of social media. How far away that day is, nobody knows. We can only hope that it comes sooner rather than later.


This post was inspired by a chat with a close friend last night. Thank you for inspiring me, and giving me hope for the future.


]]> (Dockside Media) article opinion Thu, 08 Jan 2015 00:06:12 GMT
United In Faith On Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of attending an inter-faith service following the Sydney siege, organised by Suresh Rajan at Wesley church in Perth.

The service was attended by a number of Perth's religious leaders, as well as the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests, Mike Nahan. Also in the crowd were members of the Western Australian Police Force and people of all cultures, nationalities, walks of life and religions. The service begun with an Acknowledgement of Country, before a speaker representing the WA Muslim community took to the microphone. He was followed by speakers from the Anglican and Uniting Churches, as well as Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh and Baha'i community leaders, all expressing the need for Australians to remain strong and remain as one, rather than try to distance others from ourselves.

Mike Nahan, who also fills the role of WA's Treasurer, spoke at the event on behalf of the Western Australian government, reiterating what the other speakers had said; that we must all remain strong, and try to avoid create divides within society. He also expressed his support of the #illridewithyou campaign which was born out of the fear that some Muslim's had of riding public transport while wearing their religious garments. Since Monday afternoon, thousands of people have showed their support for the campaign, not just in Sydney, but all over the world.

Once the service had concluded, a group of people began assembling a display of candles at the front of the church, featuring the words "Love" and "Peace" alongside a peace sign and two love hearts. The unity of Australia was demonstrated as crowds gathered to watch the candles being lit, with complete strangers discusssing the events of the previous days, helping each other to get through a tough time for the entire country.

Seeing over 200 people from all different walks of life gave hope to all those present that Australia would not be reduced to a country of racism and intolerance, instead showing that Australians would support everyone in their time of need, knowing that one day, their kindness would be returned to them.

Sorry for the quality of the images. I was unable to bring my camera, so I had to use my phone.

]]> (Dockside Media) article faith perth Thu, 18 Dec 2014 03:56:21 GMT
ViPA 2014 ViPA is CBC Fremantle's annual performing arts festival, and this was the second year that I was asked to capture the event. It's always a challenge because the lighting isn't great, and trying to freeze the action, especially the drama performances, can be very difficult. Luckily, I was able to attend rehearsals this year, meaning I could get a feel for the lighting, making the night much easier.

A major concern when I was shooting was noise. The settings that I chose were really all about balancing a low enough ISO, and freezing the action without the need for a tripod. I did have a tripod set up at the back of the hall, but to get the best shots I needed to go handheld and get close to the stage.

As a rule of thumb, my ISO didn't go above 1600, requiring a wide aperture and a slow shutter speed. For the shot above, I had an f-stop of f/5.6, and the shutterspeed was 1/100th of a second. Luckily, the actor was sitting to the side of the stage, allowing me to capture a close up without getting in the way of the audience.

Another advantage of having attended rehearsals was that I knew what the actors would be doing and when. This meant I was able to position myself in anticipation for a pose that I wanted to capture.

As I mentioned earlier, the lighting in the hall is far from optimal. This photo is a good example of this, with the musicians in the back row blending into the background. Unfortunately, there wasn't much I could do. I couldn't use flash, and by exposing for the back row, I would have blown out the other musicians.

Perhaps my favourite part of the venue that the performance took place in is the fact that there is a balcony. This creates some flexibility in angles, leading to photos like this.

After a combined six hours and over 1,700 photos, ViPA continues to be one of my biggest events of the year.

]]> (Dockside Media) cbc fremantle performances vipa Mon, 08 Sep 2014 02:29:50 GMT
Snapshots of Fremantle Over the past few weeks, I've been taking my camera with me as I walked around my home town of Fremantle in Western Australia. Sometimes one of the biggest challenges in photography is photographing your own town. Until I begun looking really closely, the town seemed really boring, simply because I saw it so often that it lost its value. One of my favourite photos from all the ones I shot was this one of Market street, the main street that runs straight through the town. Usually, it's difficult to cross from one side to the other because of the amount of traffic. Fortunately, as I happened to be walking across however, the traffic just stopped! Anyone who has visited Fremantle knows just how rare this shot is!  

This is another one of my favourites, which pretty much sums up the town. The statue in the foreground is of Bon Scott, lead singer of AC/DC. Bon grew up and spent much of his adolescnece in Fremantle, where he is now buried. In the background, are the fishing boats of Fremantle, which were and to a certain extent still are the heart and soul of the town.  

This is the front of a building, which was demolished a number of years ago. Behind the wall is a carpark, but the facade was kept intact to comply with heritage laws. This is one of the oddities of Fremantle, the history of which is only known to some locals.

This final image is one near the Maritime Museum. The town is composed largely of migrants, many of whom arrived around the time of World War Two. Unfortunately, some of those who came over were children, most of whom were sent over by their parents, hoping for a better life. This is commemorated by this statue, and the names of all those who migrated displayed on the 'Welcome Walls,' which can be seen in the background. 

Over time, there will be more posts of my images from Fremantle, as I continue to discover the town in which I live.



]]> (Dockside Media) fremantle Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:17:00 GMT
The ANZAC Legend Lives On Late one April evening I flew out of Perth, destined for Istanbul, Turkey, the gateway to retracing the first ANZACs.

After a night’s rest in Istanbul, I travelled to Eceabat, the closest major town to Gallipoli and the beginning of a profound travel experience. From the moment I stepped onto ANZAC Cove I was moved. I walked up to one of the many cemeteries in the area, which held special significance to the Australians as it was the site of the only cricket game between the Australians and the Turks.

After wandering through row after row of graves, I continued up the hill towards Lone Pine. The single tree stands to symbolise a solitary tree which was left standing in the area by the Turkish troops, to be used as a landmark. I was immediately overwhelmed by the number of graves and the number of lives lost in such a small area. Sadly, as I wandered further I realised that these graves only represent a small fraction of the lives lost, with hundreds more names written on the boards closer to the memorial.

I continued walking to The Nek, where nearly 400 Australian troops died in a matter of minutes, due to the timing of advances. Again, I was overwhelmed, but this time not from the number of graves, but rather from the lack of graves. Of the hundreds who were killed in this small area in such a short time, very few bodies were recovered, meaning that these sacrifices go completely unnoticed.

As I looked out from the cemetery I saw one of the most beautiful views of the Gallipoli coastline, but the memory of what happened only a few meters behind me made this beauty a bitter sweet picture.

After walking along the coastline and seeing ANZAC Cove from the water, it was clear how much of a suicide mission the landing was. As I stood there it was not difficult to imagine what it would have been like in that same spot nearly 99 years ago. Being the same age as many of the ANZAC troops, I could not however comprehend is how those soldiers felt, seeing their best mates dying all around them, on what they thought would be a great adventure.

ANZAC Cove provides the Australian historical tourist with an experience that is humbling, confronting and inspiring offering more understanding of our heritage in a glance than any history book can provide. I returned to Perth with a greater understanding of Turkish cultures and a new perspective on the ANZAC legend, which is something I’ll never forget. 

]]> (Dockside Media) anzac gallipoli turkey Tue, 20 May 2014 01:46:00 GMT