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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Alex Frayne

An interview with the photographer.

The 70 year old jetty jumper, 2011 by Alex Frayne
The 70 year old jetty jumper, 2011 by Alex Frayne

Trevor Murphy spends endless days in summer jumping from the jetty at Glenelg, South Australia. He says it keeps him young and fit and he's un-phased by his age in comparison to the other divers. A baker by trade, he starts the working day early which leaves ample time to don the bathers and head out to 'the zone'. As a photographer, I find the atmosphere on the jetty to be electric. Male competitiveness, performance and swagger rule the realm and I am reminded of a kind of Hellenic sporting tradition.

Questions

1. What image of masculinity and Australian culture is represented in Frayne's portrait of Trevor Murphy?

2. What role do the anonymous figures in the background play in the photographer's framing of the portrait?

3. Frayne advises younger photographers to focus on emotional impact and not 'megapixels'. How would you describe the emotional impact of this portrait?

The photographer and the portrait -
an interview

How do you define your own practice?
Artist.

Do you have a website or are you represented on a website?
redbubble.com

What is your relationship to the subject?
No prior knowledge or friendship with subject.

Was the photograph a result of a constructed or candid encounter?
Candid.

What are the ideas or themes underpinning your portrait?
Masculinity, summer, Australian notions of pastimes and jetties.

Describe the technical aspects of your photograph?
Shot on Nikon FE2 SLR, 28mm lens, Fuji slide film 100ASA.

How was the final print made? Is this print one of an edition?
Digital print. Print is one of an edition (1/1). Printed from 300 dpi tif file.

Describe your consideration of scale, mounting and framing in the presentation of your portrait?
I wanted A2 as it suits the perspective of the jetty and involves the viewer, without overwhelming the viewer.

Who would you nominate as your influences?
David Lynch and Robert MacFarlane.

Do you have any advice for young photographers (eg. students)?
Stop being obsessed about gear. Stop talking about megapixels and start talking about emotional impact.

Related information

Jack Charles, 2011 Rod McNicol
Jack Charles, 2011 Rod McNicol
Jack Charles, 2011 Rod McNicol
Jack Charles, 2011 Rod McNicol

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2012

Previous exhibition, 2012

The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition is selected from a national field of entries that reflect the distinctive vision of Australia's aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects.

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The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.