Five years ago when I first began this journey I couldn’t have guessed how far it would take me, both creatively and professionally.
The incredible landscapes of the Byron Bay Shire and its surrounding areas, with lush semi-tropical hills, hidden creeks and the sensual
lines of the blue and white coast, have always inspired me.
I am also an enormous fan of the male body, with its strength and power, yet like any landscape, its vulnerability. I decided to combine
these two loves in a large format picture book as an artistic celebration of these two forms. Manscapes was born.
Over the last five years over 25 courageous men have taken the plunge, handing themselves over to my creative vision and revealing themselves
to the camera lens. They were farmers, tradesmen, uni students and personal trainers. Ordinary guys who had not been professionally
photographed before. But what they had in common was a quiet knowledge of the splendour of their bodies, and pride in the hard work it
takes to build and sculpt a masculine frame.
Saying yes to the project meant they had to place their trust in me. What they didn’t know is that I could see something in them that perhaps
they couldn’t see in themselves. Some began uncomfortably, but there is a majesty in the shyness of a strong man. I didn’t want to shoot
egos. I wanted to capture the beauty of the tentative.
As we progressed, frame by frame, a transformation occurred. They began to build confidence and see the results of our work together,
exposing boldness and fragility. So in many ways, while this book is a celebration of all men, it is equally a tribute to each of the
individuals who participated. Now their hard work is on the record for all to see.
The book is also a celebration of the beautiful art of photography. I’m an old-school photographer trained on a film camera. Some of the
images were taken on a 1965 model Mamyia C33 medium format 6x6cm film camera. These square format images feature in the centre of
the book. They have a texture and grain that digital technology doesn’t allow, revealing a raw beauty.
Mother Nature has the best equipment for these outdoor shots and I didn’t need to interfere. The light is natural.
I feel so lucky to be presenting this work because it shows I’ve been living my dream, shooting the subjects of my choice in my favourite
studio, the landscape.
I sincerely hope that you get as much pleasure from these images as I did creating them.