How capturing meaningful images went from a pastime to a passion

Kaylah Joelle Baker

Inspiration can come from a range of different places, and for Photography Studies College (PSC) student Peter Waters the moment that sparked his interest in photography came during a visit to the NGV exhibition, An incomplete world.

Blown away by the works that not only captivated him but also triggered a strong emotional response, Mr Waters left the exhibition and purchased a camera.

“I went away inspired, and so I bought my first decent camera shortly after with the modest goal of documenting a family trip to Europe and it became a serious pastime on holidays,” he said.

“Then I began entering The Age and Sydney Morning Herald Clique competition and had some early success, culminating in winning Clique Photographer of the Year in 2015 and an internship at the newspaper.”


Now I’m most passionate about making intentional, crafted, meaningful images, and creating something that would not have otherwise existed.


As photography quickly turned into a passion, Mr Waters knew there was just so much more to learn, and one way to access more information was through Photography Studies College.



“I wanted to learn from scratch, in an organised way, to fill any gaps in my knowledge. I also enjoy the technical side of photography, so I was surprised at how much I didn’t know,” he said.

“I have enjoyed learning and there is access to so much information, it’s like drinking from a fire hydrant.”

While undertaking an Advanced Diploma at PSC, Mr Waters has also had many opportunities to showcase his work outside of the college and its exhibitions.

And after putting in lots of time and effort into a project series called Empyrean, Mr Waters was both “chuffed” and “relieved” to find out he was selected as a finalist in the 2022 People Category of Australian Photography Magazine. This dedication to capturing meaningful projects has only continued to strengthen through his studies.

“Working hard on a series, iterating, receiving feedback and encouragement, not just from lecturers but classmates too, culminating in work that I feel proud of, that I know I couldn’t have produced without the course, are some of my highlights,” Mr Waters said.

And as for the projects Mr Waters wants to continue to cover, he said, “Whatever the subject matter, portraiture, conceptual, documentary, I want my images to evoke an emotional response in my audience or convey some meaning.”

In the short term, he will be continuing to work on his series titled 100 seconds, that he started at PSC, while also finding endless amounts of inspiration and subject matters where he lives.

"I feel very fortunate to live in the City of Port Phillip, to swim daily in Narrm as an Iceberger [open cold water swimmer], because it’s a boundless source of inspiration and subject matter." •

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