Paul Armour resides in Pacific Palms but has spent a lot of time in Melbourne taking photos of the notorious street culture and the cities people. He shows us his best works.
Full Name Paul Armour.
Location: Elizabeth Beach, Pacific Palms.
Years taking photographs?
I started seriously exploring life with a camera just over a year ago. Having spent a decade running a landscape design and construction business in Victoria, the move up to the Mid-North Coast was about change.
It was a spur of the moment thing: in the space of six weeks my partner and I hatched this plan, quit our jobs, sold the house and picked this area at random. Part of that was an opportunity for me to really dive headfirst into photography. I got myself a Nikon DSLR, and I haven’t looked back. Some of the skills involved in landscape design have been invaluable: composition, framing, a good sense of what works aesthetically, and what doesn’t…
I spend my time …
Taking photos, editing photos, exploring other photographers’ work online, swimming and surfing … and hanging out with my partner, Merivale, and our four boys.
Something people may not know about me:
Alongside photography, music is a passion. Since moving up here, I still make an effort to get to live gigs and music festivals when I can (even interstate), because it really feeds the soul … unfortunately, that was a little easier living near Melbourne!
Something people may not know about my photography:
I am drawn to the murkier and more obscure aspects of life that might otherwise have been missed: be it people, streetscapes or landscapes. Abandoned buildings, forgotten places, the darker details.
Some iconic photographers I like:
I seem to be influenced and motivated by images taken by a whole bunch of different photographers, rather than holding anyone up as ‘iconic’. That said, I have been privileged to have had a few terrific mentors – people who have not only provided information but have been supportive and extremely encouraging … they’ve really helped shape the path I’m on right now.
What inspires me through living here:
Living at Elizabeth Beach and making photography my life has heightened my awareness of the local environment. Noticing how natural light affects the look of a particular beach at different times of day, seeing the same patch of bushland being transformed from one season to the next …
I’ve also been fortunate to have crossed paths with lots of others in this area who are also making cool stuff – musicians, painters, craftspeople. They’ve been drawn here because of the slower pace of life. It’s inspiring to be around people who take such a balanced approach.
Why should people try photography:
Photography teaches you to slow down, pay closer attention, be more observant. Digital photography is very forgiving – there’s no need to fear making mistakes.
The opportunities for working on a photo are endless. I will often get a shot to a point where I’m satisfied with it, only to reopen it later and try out new stuff.
Creativity is about letting yourself make mistakes. I think art seems to be more about knowing which ones to keep!
My five other favourite things to do:
Surf, scour second-hand stores for vintage vinyl records, explore new areas, be around interesting people – old friends and new.
Where do I see myself in five years?
I am working towards making images that are powerful enough to stay with you long after you stop looking … images that spark curiosity, evoke an emotional response. I love the subjective nature of art whereby a photo is interpreted so differently by different people.
I’m looking forward to travelling the globe and just shooting everything … from protests in major cities, to music festivals in out-of-the-way places.
Meeting new people and learning stuff along the way. Late next year we’re planning to take off and travel Australia in a campervan for 12 months or so.
Five years from now I’m hoping to really have my work out there – more exhibitions, getting images published in print or digital media.
I am excited about the upcoming exhibition at the gallery because:
Taking photos and working on them alone is a solitary pursuit, whereas having an exhibition is more collaborative.
It has given me the opportunity to select the best of my work so far, then to consider what others might appreciate. I was also forced to consider stuff like commercial value and pricing – which is vital but not as much fun as shooting!