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Camera House : Better Pictures 13
Photojournalist Brian Cassey’s photographic journey began at a very early age when he picked up a little plastic camera for sale in Woolworths while on holiday at the seaside. The fifty-cent purchase, which his parents described as a waste of money, stood the 10 year old in good stead. “The camera – a Bakelite VP Twin – was just two pieces of plastic with a rectangular piece of tin as a viewfinder, and it needed a coin to open the back to load the roll of 127 film,” remembers Cassey. “One of my very first pics was of the Cunard ocean liner RMS Queen Elizabeth. I still have both the camera and the image.” Cassey’s interest in photography continued to grow and by his late teens and early 20s photography was his main passion. The self- taught shooter admits that a career as a photographer “was always number one on the agenda”. Still, Cassey says he never desired a staff position on a newspaper or magazine, preferring the life of a freelancer. “My first gig was as a teen and a rank beginner armed with a secondhand Yashica SLR. The manager of the football team I played for was the editor of a small local newspaper. I casually mentioned that I’d like to photograph football. He said “Off you go then” and sent me to a match to supply pics for the next week’s edition. I didn’t even have a clue how to process and print at that stage. It was a very steep learning curve! The photos were rubbish but the paper still used three.” From this inauspicious beginning Cassey spent many years as sports shooter before making the move to photojournalism. “Sports photography was my mainstay,” comments Cassey. “I was lucky enough to win the Kodak Adidas Australian Sports Photo of the Year in 1985” [we think luck had little to do with it]. However, he says the life of a sports shooter can eventually wear you down over the years. “Eventually my market circumstances changed and forced me to make a decision. The advent of digital photography, cameras and scanners came around, and a few good gigs for Associated Press changed my direction to photojournalism.” Working as a photojournalist has taken Cassey all over the globe and he’s witnessed some monumental moments in history, as well as spotlighting the plight of the less fortunate. The variables of each project are never the same. “Some projects take months of research and preparation, but end with just a few short hours shooting,” says Cassey. “A case in point is my work on the ‘cage homes’ of Hong Kong. Cage homes are INSIDE STORY Nikon Walkley award-winning photographer Brian Cassey shares his sharp shooting expertise. Feature photojourNalISm 10 010_Bpics13_photojournalism.indd 10 28/05/13 9:09 AM
Better Pictures 12
Better Pictures 14