Photographer refused bail on alleged rape, assault of models

Posted October 19, 2017 11:41:34

A Newcastle photographer has been refused bail on multiple charges relating to an alleged series of serious sexual assaults of models during photo shoots.

Allan Todd Cameron, 54, of Gateshead, appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday charged with 17 offences including eight courts of sexual intercourse without consent, three counts of inciting a person 16 years or over to commit act of indecency and two counts of procuring a person, who is not a prostitute, for prostitution.

NSW police said they began investigating complaints against the man after a 19-year-old woman complained she was sexually assaulted during a photography session at a studio in June.

Officers seized a computer containing more than 300,000 images — a number of which were sexually explicit — which led them to two further women.

Police inspector Steve Gallagher said those two women, both now aged 25, also alleged they were assaulted during photo sessions in 2012 and 2017.

In applying for bail, Mr Cameron’s lawyer Mark Evans said his client had no criminal history and had strong ties to the community.

Mr Cameron runs a photographic business called Primeval Edge. On his website, he said “the styles which capture my interest currently include Casual Fashion, Bikini, Pin Up, Lingerie, and Glamour [sic]”.

“I’m currently looking for challenging concepts that push my creative boundaries,” the website said.

“I am not looking to work with Diva’s [sic]. If your [sic] not about hard work while having fun and more about being as difficult as possible to get along with, look somewhere else.”

The court heard his business had been shut down because to his equipment was seized by police.

Magistrate Ian Cheetham rejected the bail application and said “individually and combined, the facts are very serious crimes”.

Police said any other women who believe they have been assaulted by the photographer should not be afraid to come forward.

“If anyone is out there who thinks that they have information … or they may indeed be a victim, they should contact Lake Macquarie detectives or Crime Stoppers and we will be very keen to speak with them,” Inspector Gallagher said.

Mr Cameron is due to face court again in December.

Topics: law-crime-and-justice, courts-and-trials, photography, pornography, newcastle-2300, nsw

Stunning acrobatic display as budgies swarm in outback Australia

Posted October 10, 2017 16:55:06

A wildlife photographer has captured stunning images of a budgie murmuration as more than 8,000 birds swarmed at a secret waterhole in Central Australia on Friday.

The thousands of green and yellow budgies twisted and turned in a stunning acrobatic display in a rare sighting of the birds.

Steve Pearce is a photographer who visits the region regularly in the hope of catching the birds flying in formation.

“I was very lucky to be close around Alice Springs and be in the right place at the right time to catch something spectacular, budgie murmuration,” he said.

“This is only the second time I’ve seen them. They are remarkable and mesmerising and fantastic, as you could imagine.”

‘Intense flashes of light’ as birds turn

Mr Pearce said the way the birds moved was spectacular because it was a “fantastic play of light and shadow”.

“We all know that budgies are very green, but when they move and are backlit by the sun, they become very dark,” he said.

“You’ll see these bright green, intense flashes of light ripple through this cloud of birds as they turn, and that bright green will turn to a very dark colour or even to maybe a black.

“So it’s like a wave of colour moving through these birds that are flying through the sky as they change direction.”

What is hard to prepare for is the sound of the birds.

“As those birds fly through the air — you might have heard them fly over your head at a waterhole — they go vooosh,” Mr Pearce said.

Opportunity not to be missed

It has been five years since the photographer first saw the budgies performing their murmuration, and he was not about to pass up the opportunity to see them again.

“This time around the budgies were just as spectacular. I got word that the budgies were back in town and I was one of the lucky people who knew where to look,” he said.

Mr Pearce said the number of birds in the flock was hard to a gauge.

“[About] 8,000 to 10,000, looking back at some of the photos. You could sit there and maybe count them, but you could never photograph all of them at once,” he said.

‘Birds go in and out of the swarm very regularly so you can never really see them all at once.

“A lot of the birds are really shy of predators. There are falcons and kestrels and all those sorts of predators waiting for the chance to catch them as well.

“To avoid being caught, many of the birds will stay in the tree line and only really come in when they think it’s safe.”

Topics: birds, photography, alice-springs-0870

Four decades of Bathurst captured through a photographer’s lens

Updated October 07, 2017 10:45:28

It’s the high risks and stakes involved in racing that inspires Zenio Lapka to photograph the action of Australian motorsports.

“It’s a sport where people put their life on the line,” Lapka said.

“The element of danger, the colour, the spectacle and the competition — the racing, I love the racing.”

For 40 years the photographer from Blayney, New South Wales has dedicated a career to capturing images of the fast-paced world beyond the crash barriers and the famous faces behind the wheels.

A keen motorsport fanatic in his youth, it was in the late 1970s that Lapka started attending races with his camera in hand to record the events.

His passion soon developed into a profession that saw his pictures regularly published in the nation’s newspapers and prominent racing magazines.

Now a veteran of the industry, these days he concentrates his efforts on more artistic projects that aren’t as taxing on his health.

“The body is starting to breakdown and my reaction times aren’t as fast as they used to be, [especially] for getting out of the way if anything should go pear-shaped,” Lapka said.

“Believe me, when things go pear-shaped it happens very, very quickly.”

Lapka is no stranger to the dangers on the trackside.

In 1985, while photographing a race at Amaroo Park, he was struck by a loose wheel flung from a damaged car.

“I was on crutches for two months then a walking stick for a further three months,” he recalled.

Lapka returned to work with a permanent injury to his leg, but as a photographer it was the damage to his camera equipment that added to the pain.

“I trashed a brand new 300mm lens, how tragic is that?”

For Lapka, there was one event during his career that clearly stood out from the others.

It was the highly emotive Bathurst 1000 held in October 2006 — a month after racing legend Peter Brock was killed during a rally crash in Western Australia.

“It was a very memorable race because at the beginning, during the one-minute silence, you could hear a pin drop and you didn’t expect that,” he said.

He recalled the days when riots involving motorcycle race spectators broke out at the campgrounds of Mount Panorama.

“It was uncivilised at times,” he said of that era.

Then there was the time when Australian rock outfit Cold Chisel performed a show at the summit.

“About an hour into concert, all the outlaw bikies turned up, pulled down the fence and just walked through.

“The security guards just turned their backs and went, ‘oh well, nothing we can do’.

“Now it’s a bit more controlled and a little more family orientated.”

Throughout the decades Lapka has embraced the evolution to digital photography and did not miss the days of having to shoot the event on negative film.

“I had to come here and process [films] in the men’s toilet, hang it up on the back of the door and say to the guy coming in, ‘look, don’t touch the negatives, they’re still wet’,” Lapka said.

After decades of making the annual trek up and down Mount Panorama, this year’s Bathurst 1000 is the first time Lapka has decided to sit aside from photographing the main race event.

Now 60 years old, he said great stamina was needed for the repeated 6-kilometre hike around the track to the best vantage points.

“The body just can’t take a weekend of punishment,” he said.

“It gives you a thorough workout.”

Zenio Lapka’s latest exhibition of motorsports photography, Beyond Sharp, is on show at the Blayney Tourism Information Centre.

Topics: motor-sports, photography, media, history, sport, bathurst-2795, annangrove-2156

First posted October 07, 2017 10:35:52

Powerful portraits empower bullying victims

Updated October 06, 2017 09:20:02

After being bullied for years for her red hair and freckles, Ali Roebuck found it hard to love the features that made her stand out.

But the 12-year-old’s self-esteem has skyrocketed since she took part in an empowering project led by a far north Queensland photographer.

How to tackle cyberbullying:

  • Take responsibility for staying safe online. Engage positively and choose consciously and make sure you pause before posting
  • Learn about and apply privacy controls. Keep passwords safe and do not share them. Set privacy settings and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing
  • Ignore and resist the temptation to retaliate. Do not respond directly to the bully and do not forward them messages
  • Block the person who is bullying
  • Seek help from friends, family, Kid’s Helpline on 1800 55 1800, eHeadspace or Lifeline on 13 11 14

Kate Stoter started the ‘It’s cool to be kind’ project after being bullied herself as a child and seeing her children’s friends going through the same traumatic experience.

The photographer takes powerful, positive images of bullying victims like Ali and shares them online.

“I have strawberry blonde hair and freckles and [bullies would] call me freckle face or ‘ranga’ ever since I started schooling,” Ali said.

“In primary school, I was very insecure about my freckles and my looks and in high school I got bullied about them but the photoshoot made me more confident and made me love my freckles.

“I think it’s good to see something positive on Facebook.”

Ali’s mum Kathy O’Sullivan described the experience as “fantastic” for her daughter.

“Ali is a beautiful child, she’s absolutely beautiful and her resilience astounds me,” she said.

“She’s had days where [bullying has] really gotten her down but she bounces back. I’ve definitely seen a change in her since the photoshoot.”

Teens see themselves in different light

Ali was the catalyst for the anti-bullying campaign, which is gaining momentum on social media.

“I wanted to do portraits of teenagers [being bullied] to make them feel better about themselves,” Ms Stoter said.

“It’s been so great for Ali. A lot of women have [commented on her photo] saying that it reminds them of when they were bullied because of their freckles.”

One young teenager has even taken up modelling since the shoot.

“The girl is 14 in the photos. She was very shy with low self-esteem,” Ms Stoter said.

“I posted them on Facebook and everyone was commenting how beautiful she was.

“Her mum said she was feeling so much better about herself and she has [since] been on the catwalk so I think she will go far.”

The far north Queensland photographer keeps the images as natural as possible.

They are all shot outdoors and she doesn’t go near photoshop.

“This is a young girl from Yarrabah,” she said.

“This girl is incredible, she wants all the other young girls [in the small Aboriginal community] to get out there.

“She is a really good role model for the other young girls there.”

Battling bulling with technology and social media

Bullying expert Dr Margaret Carter from James Cook University said bringing positivity to the online sphere with projects like photographer Kate Stoter’s was important.

“The rise in use of digital communications has increased the potential damage that can be done to an individual’s reputation, career prospects and sense of self-worth,” she said.

“For all the damage a negative digital reputation can do, it is equally true that positive, respectful posts, pictures and participation can enhance reputation.”

She said it was difficult to know whether social media and developing technology was worsening the problem of harassment in schools.

“The seriousness of cyberbullying cannot be underestimated,” she said.

“The literature reports grave consequences in some cases including victims experiencing a sense of fear, self-blame, hopelessness, sadness, anger, embarrassment, and humiliation.

“When the identity of the cyberbully is unknown, as is often the case in online contexts, the sense of vulnerability and bleakness associated with the bullying event is often escalated.”

It’s cool to be kind, to everyone

Ms Stoter suffered trauma from being bullied herself as a child and it was one moment that sparked her interest in helping young people as an adult.

“I was in Year 8 at school and a girl in Year 11 wanted to beat me up outside the tuckshop,” she said.

“I was terrified and I still remember it to this day.

“I was in a pub recently and this [same] girl came up to me and asked how I was and was really friendly.

“I asked her not to talk to me and she started crying. She apologised and apologised and said she was going through a tough time with abuse when we were kids.”

The mother of three said that’s why she wants to reach both victims and perpetrators of bullying with her images.

“I think teaching kids to be kind to those getting bullied and the bullies [is important],” she said.

“It goes deeper. Usually those bullies have something horrible going on at home so that’s what I teach my kids — to feel sorry for them because they are probably going through something tough.”

Topics: bullying, education, social-media, internet-culture, photography, human-interest, cairns-4870

First posted October 06, 2017 08:48:30

Famous smoking Richmond footballer Bones McGhie revisits MCG

Posted September 27, 2017 07:00:00

Richmond has just won the Grand Final. Their fearsome tattooed cult hero sits on the hallowed MCG turf, fiddling with his boots.

Whatever parallels might unfold in AFL’s biggest game on Saturday, there’s one detail in the photo that places it firmly in 1973 — and leaves this year’s Brownlow winner Dusty Martin looking every bit the clean-cut model professional.

Perfectly centred in the frame, dangling from Robert McGhie’s mouth, hangs a cigarette.

Who is Bones?

“My name is Robbie McGhie. They call me Bones,” announces McGhie with a bone-crushing handshake.

Forty-four years later, he’s back at the MCG to talk about what happened on Grand Final day in 1973.

The nickname comes from his childhood, rather than his exploits as a bruising backman for Richmond and Footscray.

But his tough guy reputation belies years as a lithe and talented junior.

“I didn’t think I was too scary. I mean, if you were in the road I’d run over the top of you,” says Bones.

“Not to hurt you, just to let you know I was about.”

The story behind the cigarette

Richmond picked up McGhie at the beginning of the 1973 season. The legendary Tommy Hafey was coach and the team was on the up.

Bones proved a fast and fearless addition to the backline. The Tigers made the Grand Final in his first year at the club.

As they had in 1972, Richmond squared off against reigning premiers Carlton. This time, with Bones at centre-half-back alongside team mates Rex Hunt, Royce Hart, Kevin Sheedy and Kevin Bartlett, they won.

Legendary Australian photographer Rennie Ellis was positioned on the sidelines when McGhie slumped to the turf after the final siren.

He was puffing on a cigarette that team boot-studder, Kevin McAvoy, had just handed him.

“He always had a packet of Benson and Hedges ready for me,” says Bones.

Ellis’s perfectly framed image would prompt a social media frenzy in today’s hyper-corporatised football environment. But for Bones, it was perfectly ordinary.

A different time

“There were smokers everywhere. There were about 12 of us in the team who smoked,” he says.

“I didn’t have a smoke from Wednesday to after the game on Saturday. But from Saturday to Tuesday I’d have quite a few.”

Over his 197-game career, Bones also drank with opposition players.

“We used to meet with the North Melbourne boys on Monday — because we didn’t train on Mondays — and have a few beers and lunch with them.

“Or we’d stay up in Geelong and have a few beers with those guys, and catch the train home the next day.

“A lot of them are still my mates.”

Squinting at the now-iconic photo of himself on the boundary of the MCG, McGhie says it shows how sport, and society, have changed.

“Sport scientists have taken over this game,” he says.

And despite the comprehensive evidence of the health risks of smoking, McGhie insists he’s fighting fit.

“I smoke and I drink, and I’ve got nothing wrong with me.”

Whatever happens when Richmond’s latest cult figure and his team mates burst onto the MCG on Saturday, it’s unlikely any photographer will capture another character quite like “Bones” McGhie.

Topics: australian-football-league, sport, photography, history, melbourne-3000, australia

The power of the lens for women in remote WA communities

Updated September 13, 2017 08:11:20

A West Australian project is using the power of photography to empower women and girls in communities around Derby to tell their own stories.

Jacqueline Warrick and Sarah Landro met while studying photojournalism in Bangladesh, where they bonded over a shared philosophy, before reconnecting in Australia.

“We decided that we didn’t want to go down the commercial route of photography and so Camera Story was born,” Ms Warrick said.

For the past two weeks Camera Story has been working with communities in and around Derby in the Kimberly, helping residents learn the art of photography in kitchens, playgroup centres and outdoors.

Mary-Lou Divilli, is an artist, photographer, and a mother of three who also runs the playgroup in the Pandanus Park community.

She said taking photographs, and having portraits taken of themselves, gave the women confidence.

“We’ve had mothers walking around with their children, taking photos of their kids, of people, and they have an interest in taking photographs of landscape,” she said.

“We try to be mothers at the same time as trying to take photos — we work pretty well at the playgroup, so mums take turns with children.”

Ms Warrick said she was drawn to diverse and lower socio-economic areas.

“We have been working here [Derby] for the last three years now, we also work in the south of Perth in Willagee and in Balga as well,” she said.

Ms Landro said motherhood was a strong theme throughout many of the projects.

“It’s mainly stories of motherhood and based on their kids, and life in the community. It is very community-based here.”

An exhibition opens in September at the Derby Country Woman’s Association, featuring 50 portraits taken by women in the Derby community.

Topics: community-and-society, indigenous-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander, photography, derby-6728, wa

First posted September 13, 2017 07:40:34

Wikimedia needs your help photographing Australia

Posted September 07, 2017 10:31:01

Australia has for the first time been included in the Wikimedia Foundation’s annual photography competition that seeks images for its online encyclopaedia.

Wiki Loves Monuments is the largest photography competition in the world.

Last year’s event led to more than 275,000 images of historic buildings, monuments and cultural heritage sites being added to the Wikimedia Commons library.

All entrants agree to add their images to the library under a creative commons licence, which means they can be freely used and shared by others as long as the photographer is credited.

“It is creating a visual archive,” said Gideon Digby, president of Wikimedia Australia.

“Without pictures, people don’t realise what they’ve actually lost and how significant some of those places were.”

The competition has been run every September since 2009, but entries from Australia have not been sought until now.

“With our heritage sites, the lists and availability of them are such a mess and spread over so many government departments that it has actually taken a lot of work to get a full data set that we can reliably use,” Mr Digby said.

There is now a publicly available list of sites that competition organisers hope people will use while snapping.

Places range from remote national parks in the Kimberley to the site of the Wave Hill Walk Off in Kalkarindji, as well as the Bondi Beach post office and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Although there was a small chance of winning a cash prize, most people got involved because they loved photography and recording places for posterity, Mr Digby said.

He is a keen landscape photographer and has contributed around 3,500 photographs to the Wikimedia Commons library over the past 12 years.

“I enjoy the challenge of taking photos and Wikipedia offers you a whole broad range of subjects to look at; you can really get into a variety of things from plants to buildings to scenery,” he said.

And because users of the library have to attribute him as the photographer, he has been able to track when and where they have been used online.

“My pictures have been used all over the world,” he said.

“A photo of the old North Fremantle fuel storage tanks was used in a magazine article in Egypt.

“A photo of the local West Australian Christmas trees ended up in an article about Christmas trees in South America.

“Some of them have been used by local politicians.

“I had Hills Hoist use one of mine for the packaging of one of their clothes line products.”

He said he .hoped there would be several thousand images of places on the list by the time the competition closed at the end of September.

“We have 135 photos so far,” he said.

“Someone from Broken Hill seems to have got every place in Broken Hill. We have stuff from the Bungle Bungles and the Stirling Ranges in Western Australia.

“You get the chance to put your photographs into a collection that will be around for a long time.”

Topics: photography, internet-culture, history, social-media, community-and-society, perth-6000