Realising your passion
By Rachael Fleury
Photography Studies College (PSC) student Ray Stabey has always been interested in taking photos, but it wasn’t until he retired in 2017, after 46 years as a dentist, that he had time to explore his passion fully.
Mr Stabey, 72, said he started at PSC by doing a Lygon Street Documentary Photography workshop with Dr Michael Coyne, an honorary lecturer from Hong Kong University.
Dr Coyne has worked as a photographer for more than 40 years, covering significant events in various countries, including China, Africa, Cambodia and Indonesia. His work has been featured in magazines such as Time, Newsweek and National Geographic.
“Michael Coyne is an amazing person, both personally and with his photographic experience from all around the world. To be able to learn from someone of that stature is a privilege,” Mr Stabey said.
“He’s a terrific teacher, not just in terms of camera technique, but also in how to approach people and engage them in conversation and being interested in them. Once people sense that you are interested in them, they’re much more likely to let you take their photo.”
The Lygon Street Documentary Photography workshop runs over two-and-a-half days and teaches students how to capture significant historical events and take interesting candid photos of people in situ.
“The course teaches you to look around your environment or street, wherever you are and find interesting images to take. The course teaches you to think in a new way,” he said.
Mr Stabey said he enjoyed taking photos of animals in their natural environments. He has been on safari in Africa, and in 2017, he travelled to Svalbard, a small group of islands halfway between the coast of Norway and the North Pole.
“That was a terrific opportunity. I got some interesting photos of polar bears and Arctic birds,” he said.
Mr Stabey is now studying PSC’s part-time Advanced Diploma of Photography course, which he said had enabled him to extend his creative skills.
“I’m still learning photography, and there’s such a lot that goes into taking an image, especially one that’s recognised as being good by others,” Mr Stabey said.
“The PSC courses are very well designed, and the teachers are very experienced and really know their stuff.”
“My lecturer recently said to me, printing and hanging your work on your wall is the real test for how good your work is. Do you actually want to look at the image for a long time?”.
Mr Stabey won a recent a photography competition at the Waverley Camera Club for his image of a lemur at Melbourne Zoo.
PSC’s next Lygon Street Documentary Photography workshop runs on June 3, 5 and 6 •