Award-Winning Shooter Scott Barbour

What’s your earliest photographic memory?
Probably the excitement of opening the packet of prints after my first rolls of film had been developed, and flicking through the prints to see how they had all turned out. It was a magical experience. I am 34 years old now, but I am astounded by how much photography has changed in my time.

How did you become a photojournalist?
In 1999 I moved to Sydney to become a staff photographer for Allsport, which was later to become part of Getty Images. During my time at Getty Images I spent six years in London covering a variety of news, sports and entertainment assignments, including the Sydney and Athens Olympics, the British Royal family and the 2005 Tsunami in Asia… Photojournalism has always interested me. I like the variety and how every day is different.

What are the challenges you face shooting an assignment?
One of the greatest challenges is to capture the key moments in the event, whilst at the same time transmitting photographs on my laptop, so that customers can access my images as quickly as possible.

What’s the most demanding situation you’ve been in to capture a shot?
Probably when I was photographing a cricket tour in Pakistan in 2004. News broke that Osama Bin Laden may have been, or was about to be, captured by the Pakistani army in Pakistan’s tribal region. I happened to be in a city that was near the border of this region, so I was asked to leave the cricket and head into Pakistan’s northwest tribal region of North Waziristan and see what was happening. Many people were carrying large guns over their shoulders, and didn’t seem too keen on having their photograph taken.

Could you tell us the backstory to your Nikon Walkley Awards Daily Life Feature Photography entry?
Spring in Melbourne brings the annual Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. Having done a fair bit of horse racing over my time, I really enjoy covering these racing meetings. As you can imagine, a typical day of coverage consists of photographing all things horses and racing, and after a while, it can become a bit repetitive. I find the best and most rewarding images can be found at the end of the day.

So, after the last race has run, after I have finished shooting the newsworthy images of the day, I load my gear in my car, take a single camera body and go for a wander… As anyone who has attended a race meeting will know, a lot of racegoers arrive looking a million dollars and leave looking a little worse for wear, after a full day of drinking in the sun!

I shot this particular image at Crown Oaks Day at Flemington Racecourse in November 2010, the last race was over, the light was good and the racegoers were more relaxed. So much rubbish was left behind that as soon as the race was over a large flock of seagulls engulfed the track to scavenge. The two racegoers walking hand in hand completed the picture.

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