While not a professional shooter, Bud Dunn is a keen amateur who has always enjoyed taking photos, initially with a point and shoot, until he moved on to an SLR a decade ago. The camera, a Pentax, kicked off his photographic passions but it wasn’t until about five years ago that Dunn began to take his hobby seriously. “That’s when I started experimenting with settings and when I got my first DSLR,” he says. “That was when my passion for storm and landscape photography also really grew.”
Dunn admits that he loves the freedom photography brings him, especially its ability to transport him: “I love escaping and losing myself in setting up and taking shots,” says Dunn, “be it from storm photography or an amazing sunset – it is like meditation to erase the stresses of the day.” Several years ago Dunn helped to set up the popular Newcastle and Hunter Valley photographers (NHVP) group on Flickr and confesses that “meeting others of all different experiences and spending time with them on group meets and bouncing ideas around” is another bonus of his ‘hobby’. His best advice for the novice shooter hoping to capture great action shots is to “practise, practise, practise”.
Dunn says that the bonus of shooting with a digital camera is “you can see the results instantly and change the settings to suit.” He suggests shooting at events like motorsports or surf carnivals help to develop a practised eye. “Going to the local park and panning while shooting birds especially seagulls is also a great way to learn.” According to Dunn, to create a great photo it’s essential to capture a memory accurately, “so when people see it they can see exactly what you saw that day, like they have stepped into your memory”. As for his winning shot in the Photo Friday comp, Dunn admits that he had racked his brain all week before coming up with his perfect Aussie pic. “During a conversation about the local surf club’s new surf boat I thought ‘Oh I know what shot really says ‘This is Australia’. “I managed to enter it with around an hour or so to spare.”
Dunn has been involved in Surf Life Saving for some 20 years, so it’s only natural that as a photo enthusiast he would have spent some time shooting his local clubbies. Dunn says his winning pic was the result of being in the right place at the right time. “This was my ‘practise, practise, practise’ time and I ended up with some shots I was really happy with.” With his experience running the NHVP Flickr group, Dunn happily embraces the camaraderie and friendly competition that is found on Camera House’s Facebook page. “Seeing what other people are coming up with through their posted shots and as with the NHVP Flickr group, one of the best things is watching people grow with their creativity and style.”