Some news and setting challenges.
To start with, a little bit of good news for this little enterprise. I've sold my first photo from my website. It's gone into the post so the customer should have it in the next day or so. It is quite exciting.
Also exciting is the time I've been spending up at Parliament House in Canberra lately. I haven't gone back to my previous job as a reporter, but I've been kicking around with one of the highly talented photojournalists up in the Press Gallery.
Mike Bowers has been working as a photographer for a long time. He's spent a lot of that time in Parliament House but also managed the Sydney Morning Herald photographers and more recently been a star of the ABC's Insiders - hosting the Talking Pictures segment. He's also an old friend and kindly offered to have me tag along in his job as photographer for The Guardian.
I was, quite happily, the oldest work experience person up there and had a simply fabulous time.
The photographers/photojournalists and the camera operators are some of the hardest working people in the Press Gallery. They have to be at the events whereas their journalist colleagues, if they don't want/need to go and ask questions, can watch it on TV or catch up on it later. It's a lot of moving from event to event with all the equipment you need to put it down, set it up, get what you need and move on to the next thing.
Yet they do it with (mostly) good humour and (always) an immense amount of skill and creativity. They are also some of the best journalists in the place. They know the people, the relationships, what is going on and they can pick up on things that their colleagues don't always know about.
I was busy tagging along, happily making photos, until I realised that what I hadn't been doing was listening to what the politicians were saying. I'd been concentrating on the photography - the body language, the light, the angles etc - , but it's a whole extra thing to take in what is being said as well. To do both well at the same time, so you can get your shot and go back and brief the office on what was said, is what the photographers and camera operators do each day and they are marvellous at it.
It is a pleasure spending time in their company and I will see if they will have the work experience kid back some time!