Peter is the News Photography tutor. He is a Central Victorian tree-change photographer, after working for 30 years as a Newspaper Photographer in inner Melbourne. Until recently Peter was the Chief Photographer at The Bendigo Advertiser working and mentoring graduate photographers and journalists with daily newspaper operations. Prior to that, he was the Chief Photographer for FCN in The Age building in Collins Street. Peter’s vast photojournalist experience will assist students to develop the practical skills necessary in covering news events. Peter’s images have appeared in many Fairfax publications and Royal Auto Magazine. He now works as a freelance photographer.
Give us a quick run down on your background?
Self-taught newspaper photographer, started taking images on B&W film then developing the film and printing in my family’s laundry. From this came 40 years of employment as a newspaper/magazine/online photographer.
How did you get into the industry?
Starting in the media business at the Swan Hill Guardian in country Victoria selling advertisements. Finding my passion was photography, I started taking images for the newspaper. Then I progressed to working at the Golden City Gazette in Bendigo, as a photographer and advertising graphic artist. In 1980 I became the photographer for ‘The Melbourne Times’ where I remained for many years. During this time I trained cadet photographers. As the paper grew and changed owners, I ended up working for Fairfax as the chief photographer managing a staff of 10 and producing images for 7 weekly full gloss newspapers.
What is the biggest difference in the industry since you were at university?
Starting at a small regional paper in the 1970s enabled me to experience the end of the hot metal & letterpress printing. From this to online news services I have experienced it all: typewriters and copy sheets to word processors and paste up: rolling my own B&W film and printing in the darkroom to uploading straight from a digital SLR to your iPhone and publishing. A great photo still catches the eye and has an emotional effect on the viewer this remains constant. The same basic skill just with changed technologies.
What do you do when you are not teaching?
Taking photos and videos on a freelance basis for fun and money. As well as working on my rural property/accommodation business with my wife.
What do you enjoy about teaching at Macleay?
Getting to know and teach the students, seeing them progress in confidence with the photographic skills they will need for working in the media industry.
What subjects do you teach at Macleay?
News Photography and Photojournalism
What is the best advice you give your students?
The effort you put in will result in better outcomes.
There are no dumb questions, asking now may save you doing it wrong in a newsroom or after you’ve published online.