It's time to feature a selection of stars to have braved my lens. We feature film-maker Paul Cox, broadcaster Phillip Adams and renaissance man Michael Leunig. Actually the title of Renaissance Man applies to each of them. Taken in the mid-1980s, these portraits were part of an interview series i wrote on leading Australia's creatives.
Twenty-five years on they remain influential figures within the Australian Arts cosmos. Portraiture is much less about me inserting my personality into the image than capturing the essence of each 'sitter'. They were all generous as I recall and interested, if not slightly intrigued, by the process. Each demonstrated a playfulness and willingness not to take the 'shoot' too seriously. There's serious play though, at least on my part. Composition, chat (hopefully relaxing and not banal),remaining as focused as my camera. Incidental chat can count almost as much as a quick reflex. Subjects can quickly tire or become anxious if they sense poor preparation. And they can lose confidence that you will produce that defining image.
I experimented with a multiple exposure of Paul Cox to capture his multi-faceted, complex talent. The result wasn't intended to ape Picasso but it does share some of that fractured vision. Phillip Adams showed me around his garden and where some have gnomes or hyacinths, he had enough antiquity to make a Pharaoh weep - or feel that he had never left home. Michael Leunig was a model of hospitality. I recall his smiling eyes and love of ducks. A week or so after my visit to his rural property, one of his Saturday Reflections featured a giant thong washed up on the beach. My large thongs caught his attention during our shoot, which just goes to prove that my footwear might have stirred his hyperactive sub-conscious. Fond memories of each and every one.