My name is Angus McLaren, I’m a photographer, and I live in Melbourne with my wife Michelle.
The first camera I ever owned was completely plastic and very flimsy. You wound the film forward using a sliding button on the right hand side of the camera.
Then, when I was in fifth grade, my uncle started to teach me how to use his SLR camera. I remember how it was difficult at first to focus on the light meter inside the camera and to align the two halves of the focus circle so that everything was in focus. I remember taking my first landscape shots around the farm of my uncle’s friend. The first photo my uncle ever printed and gave to me was of an old miner’s shed near the abandoned coalmines in the Chichester State Forest. I still have that photo to this date.
These days, photography to me is more than just taking a picture. To me, photography is about conveying something to the viewer: something unexpected.
Two of my favourite photographers are Max Dupain, who actually taught my uncle how to use a camera, and the ever-awesome landscape photographer, Ken Duncan. My grandmother lived next to Max Dupain’s daughter for many, many years. I remember the day he passed away. I was about to go to school, where my first lesson of the day was photography. I confided the news to my photography teacher. It was a strange, sad experience. That day, I realised that I’d never have the chance to meet my idol.
Later in life, I discovered the landscape works of Ken Duncan. I’ve never had the chance to speak with Ken Duncan, but one day, I’d love to let him know how much the beauty and colour of his landscape work inspires me.
My first ever SLR was an entry-level Pentax P30t I took to America on student exchange. My very first foray into digital was a little disastrous – a one megapixel Kodak that was slower than a turtle. I stepped up to a PowerShot A70 that gave me the options of an SLR style camera in a point and shoot but I could never be that creative with it. I then switched to a full digital SLR, but again at the basic end of digital SLRs. Then finally in 2009 I switched to the Olympus E-30. Each year I add a new lens or set of filters to my kit.
My favourite style of photography is landscape and also black and white. A lot of my schoolwork in photography was black and white, which I also learnt to develop.