about Trent Parke

Trent is the next photographer I thought I should post about as he is an Australian who produces consistently inspiring, unique and well thought out work. And because I'm a massive fan of his. 

About Trent

Starting his career as a photojournalist, Trent is the only Aussie represented by Magnum Photos (just getting accepted as a full member is a mammoth undertaking). He was born in Newcastle in 1971 and currently lives in Adelaide. I would describe him as a documentary and street photographer and all of his work that I have seen is from the streets, backyards and countryside of Australia, with most street images in black and white and documentary style images in colour. That is however a loose generalisation! A testament to his recognition by the Australian art scene was the acquisition of his entire 'Minutes to Midnight' series by the National Gallery of Australia in 2006. If you can ever check it out, do so, it provides an amazing snapshot of the country.

What I like most about his work

As an Australian photographer who has also been to many of the places that Trent has taken some of my favourite photographs, I am amazed at how he can see / find interesting images in otherwise mundane settings. He has an uncanny ability to know the potential for an image and from what I have heard about his approach he will work hard at a particular scene for many hours until he is close to happy that what he has captured is what he had foreseen. Basically, good work is hard work. 

There is a series of his (AUSTRALIA. Gold Coast. 2006) that he took in the town where I grew up with many of the pictures taken of places I walked / drove past a thousand times  – sometimes with a camera. It is both inspiring and deflating to see strong images taken in places that you would never have thought to take one. My Queensland friends should definitely have a look and a laugh at the familiar scenes. 

The first picture in the set of my five favourites of his is truly an amazing image. There are so many elements that Trent has managed to foresee, compose and capture. From what I can tell it is the morning light casting shadows from pedestrians onto a passing bus. Because of the angle he has shot it, it almost looks like the shadows cut out the people across the street. I have never seen another image like this. Original work is always hard to believe at first.

The second image is also a favourite. I remember being able to recall it clearly in my head after seeing it only briefly for the first time. Oh, and all of his work is shot on a manual camera using film! No photoshop here. 

Five of my favourite pictures

Videos

  • 2002 ABC Australian Story about Trent and his wife – www.youtube.com/watch?v=62JZqs1iHUM
  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A5NSHHefgQ
  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Xpzl3UCsgM
  • 40 sec snippet of Trent teaching on the street – www.vimeo.com/67874195

Links

Social Media

  • www.facebook.com/pages/Trent-Parke/140290992674014