Visovac by Ante Badzim

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 Summer walks, swims and boat rides all centred around this magical place. This is a playground that brings back so many fond memories.

There is nothing like being in your homeland. It’s like you reset and you feel every breath. The last few days I have felt so alive it has has brought me to tears.

My mama was born not far from here and it’s a place that makes me feel like no other.

#croatiafulloflife

Slavka by Ante Badzim

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Slavka

One of the sweetest ladies you will ever met. A smile so pure and affection that is so tender. She kissed me multiple times with tears in her eyes and an embrace that made you truly feel loved and welcomed.

Every question she had for me she looked me directly in the eyes and stayed focused on my every word. Even her cat and dog where swept up in her endless love and affection.

Every interaction I have in Croatia continues to fill my heart.

 #motherland

Motherland by Ante Badzim

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Croatia is home away from home. Since my first visit at the age of 2, I have been back more times than I can remember.

Visiting Croatia stirs up many memories of reconnecting with family, crystal clear waters, donkey rides, prosciutto, more prosciutto and my fondest memory in life is being in the village with my grandma and auntie for a year at the age of 5.

My Baba and Tetka were my second mums who fed me endlessly and didn’t cut my hair. I forgot how to speak english and came home chubby with long curls. I also gained a nickname ‘porky’.

Here I am back in the motherland. I have so many emotions that some I am unable to describe. This visit is a special one as I spend the next few weeks alone with my mum and dad.

My parents left Croatia in 1967 in search for a new home for the family and life they dreamt of. Their journey to Australia started when they went to Austria to watch an ice skating show as part of a group tour. They were joined by my uncle and his wife and while in Austria they all seized the opportunity and fled.

After spending 2 months in a Vienna camp they were granted the opportunity to call Canada or Australia home. The rest is history.

Proud of my Croatian heritage, proud of Croatia and proud of my parents.

BLOW-UP awards by Ante Badzim

Mala reading up on daddy's award winning photograph in Blow Up print annual.

INTERVIEW /

Tell us about your winning photograph.

I was in Manyana on the South Coast of Australia, as I was walking along the beach I noticed a surfer searching and waiting for the perfect wave. As I am a fan of big clear skies and isolating my subjects within the environment, this shot naturally presented itself to me. Entering the water and with little effort I was able to fulfil my minimalist aesthetic with this image. One important thing I took away from capturing this shot was always have your camera with you, I was close to leaving it behind that day and it serves as a beautiful reminder that great things happen when you least expect or plan them.

What do you think makes a good photo?

Personally a good photo is when you are able to show the true beauty of the subject. I always look at removing any surrounding distractions and introduce space to compliment, emphasise and demand attention from the subject. The simplest of things when isolated can represent something beautiful and are often taken for granted. When you bring attention to these elements it can function as a reminder to appreciate the simple things and can form part of a strong visual.

Who are your inspirations?

My inspirations are generally not visually creative people but rather the people that play an important role in my personal life. The people dear to me challenge me creatively and push me out of my comfort zone, when I am challenged in this way it is truly then my creative output develops and shines.

Where is your favourite place to shoot?

Wherever there is space and water I am home. As I am drawn to capturing components that make up a landscape and capturing people within their surroundings, I naturally thrive in locations and places that present big skies and an abundance of space. Locations with a muted colour palette is also ideal to compliment my aesthetic and style.

Who would you most like to take a portrait of?

My beloved sister Nives who left us too early. I once did a series of black and white portraits which were deliberately raw and emphasised on removing any emotion from the subject. My only wish is that I had done the opposite for Nives, she was full of life and had an infectious smile. If I could do it all over again I would capture the energy she had and that smile and laugh that made everything ok.

Which photographers do you most admire?

Kyle Thompson has always intrigued me with his poetic images that emphasis the human element and their surroundings. The imagery at times can be confronting but always embodies a sense of calmness, I find this fascinating and beautiful at the same time. Nan Goldin is another artist that even though the influence on my work is not obvious, still plays part in creating images that convey some connection to the subject and space. They both have a unique way of finding beauty in the most unexpected situations.

Where can people see more of your work?

www.antebadzim.com

www.500px.com/antebadzim

www.instagram.com/ante