BLOW-UP awards / by Ante Badzim

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


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?