Meet The Winner - Ben Whitmore
2018 PHOTO COMP WINNER: Meet the Winner of the 'Inner Relm' FILM category - Ben Whitmore. Based on Australia's Gold Coast, Ben Whitmore is a documentary-style photographer who's work largely centres around his home and Australian beach culture. Be it on the street, on the beach or in the water, Ben's work offers a unique documentary take on his surroundings.
Hey mate, happy new year and congrats on taking out the Inner Relm Film Category in the 2018 Photo Comp. Hows the stoke?
Really stoked to take out the film category, so often you get one shot at a decent photo when you’re shooting film, so it’s super rewarding to make something that other people like. It was also really cool to see the category sponsors get involved and put up the prizes.
It was hands down the most perfect image that was submitted this year, a defining factor to why this image took the cash. How did you come to take this?
It was a Sunday afternoon and my 4-year-old was busting to head down to the skatepark with his scooter. I normally have a camera with me and have had a few attempts at this frame before but none have really worked out the way I wanted to. A plane comes in once maybe every 15 mins so I’d watch to see how many people were sitting on top of the ramp. this time, their placement was perfect and I happened to hit the shutter at the right moment to get everything in the one frame.
The people and the plane were epic. Was there any inspiration for this composition?
Not specifically no, but the groms on that skatepark always just seem to stop dead in awe when these planes streak in so I like the idea that these young kids have such a future ahead of them and those planes are a ticket to a big wide world they’re yet to explore.
Would you consider this the best image you’ve ever taken, or do you have others?
I’m not sure really, it’s definitely one of my favourites for sure. I think the ones I treasure most are the photos I have of my kids.
If you had to keep an image from a burning house what would you save?
The beauty of shooting on film is that you have negatives that can always been rescanned or printed so if there’s a fire, the first thing I’m saving is my box of negs. If it were that box that was burning though I’d be screwed! Haha. The most important ones by are the photos of my kids though. I guess we’re lucky that in a world where we showcase our work on social media, there’s always going to be some kind of photos to refer back to online.
Who as an artist brings you the most inspiration?
There’s the usual suspects like Trent Parke or Alex Webb, but Matt Abbott, who is an Australia photojournalist (also shoots quite a bit on film) is a huge inspiration. People like him have this uncanny ability to freeze time with their chronicle of Australian culture.
Whats your plans for 2019?
No huge plans, I’m slowly wrapping up a fatherhood portrait and interview series I’ve been chipping away at over the past few years. I’ve interviewed and photographed maybe 50 or 60 fathers from different backgrounds, marital situations or stages of fatherhood which has been really interesting. Other than that, more time at the skate park with the groms I guess!
The cash – wheres it going?
More film! #staybrokeshootfilm