Rocksolid Photography, a name that says it all. A rising star on the scene for Burn City Party Photography, as well as a hardworking personality with one hell of a story for us.
“If through my photography someone realises that light can be used in so many different, creative ways, then I would consider my world changed, even if its one person at a time.”
Len Weigh, www.ellway.com.au, Melbourne’s Nightlife’s most prized photographer with over 10 years in the scene capturing the dancefloor antics, smiles and munted times of the biggest raves. With his colourful and bright imagery, Ellway is a common inspiration between Rocksolid Photography and Lilly Pilly Photography.
“Visual appreciation is always something I will be a fan of. This is probably thanks to a variety of factors, like being exposed to beautiful landscapes from a young age with dad, to playing too much need for speed with cars decked out in bright colours with neon lights.”
From the town of Shepparton in rural Victoria, Raynor has a very interesting history, and you will see this through his freestyle imagery of urban and natural scenery. You get a sense of movement, time and atmosphere from viewing his fantastic style.
This is Raynor’s Amazing Story:
1. How did the interest and passion come about with photography?
Well I grew up 200km north of Melbourne, in a country city called Shepparton, surrounded by orchards, forests and national parks. Throughout my teen years my Dad was working at the Department of Sustainability as a Forest Ecologist. One of his primary jobs at the time was to monitor and document the presence of locally endangered flora and fauna (animals and plants).
The quickest and easiest way to document these species was to take photos of them, and count their numbers and location. So luckily, Dad’s work paid for (way back when) a brand new Canon Eos 400D and a couple of high powered zoom lenses.
Now using a DSLR with a fat lens on the front of it and writing things down almost simultaneously can be a bit fiddly, so occasionally I would go along with Dad to help him out. We would take turns using the camera and writing down numbers.
Photography up until then hadn't really interested me, but working with a state of the art camera (at the time) piqued my interest. Coupled with some of the most beautiful locations and creatures nature has to provide in country victoria, safe to say, I grew to love photography very quickly.
2. What particular styles of photography stand out the most to you, and why?
When I was finishing high-school, I had two main career interests that I had to decide between, Engineering or Architecture. Function & Form respectively I suppose.
So typically I find myself drawn towards architectural photography, composed with strong lines and a strong sense of design.
But on the flip side of that, I love seeing personality and colour injected into what would otherwise be a bland, monotonous landscape. Whether that is through nature retaking its hold on an abandoned space, or through the past presence of people, (graffiti, empty bottles etc..) I love to see the function and form in harmony together.
3. What sources of motivation and inspiration do you use to create your style?
My inspiration for both architecture and event photography has predominantly come from a melbourne photographer who I hold with very high regard, Len Weigh. How he fuses functional photography with rather unorthodox yet artistic and stimulating manipulation of light is fantastic. It certainly gives his work a distinctive and recognizable flavour. His ability to capture atmosphere and fun in a photo is amazing.
His website is available for your viewing pleasure,
but no facebook page yet! Come on Len!
My love of derelict spaces has been largely influenced by the work of Matthias Haker, one of my all time favorite photographers from Germany. His eye for composition and detail is second to none, the locations he manages to find, and capture for enjoyment are absolutely breathtaking.
His facebook page can be found here:
As for motivation, I firmly believe that the only person that can motivate you, is you. So I always link what I'm doing to something I enjoy to drive myself forwards. The events I usually photograph are either out of respect and enjoyment of the artist playing, or the music they are playing, and in many cases, both!
4. How would you describe your style of photography?
I was always a bit of a nerd in school from a technology point of view, so I've always loved figuring out how things work, cameras especially.
As I ventured outside the comfort zone of automatic mode, I began to teach myself one by one, how every different setting worked. Time went on I became more and more familiar with manipulating light and getting it to do what I wanted it to.
One thing I always hated though was how bland some of my photos could turn out, no matter how vivid the environment might be.
When I began forging my own style, I was determined to make sure every time that I captured the atmosphere of my chosen environment. Whether that was through a sense of movement, temperature, light, space or even sound.
When the sum of all those different settings and your knowledge of them are used to capture that atmosphere and are distilled down into a perfect photo, the satisfaction is better than anything in the world.
If I can capture the atmosphere of a location for enjoyment later on, for not only myself but for others then I would consider my purpose fulfilled. So I would definitely say the aim of my photographic style is to be atmospheric at the very least.
7. Being a photographer, you see things differently to most people. How do you see this world in this day of time?
I see it just like everybody else does in a physical sense, but when I look at something, I try to think of the potential it can offer, how can I turn an everyday object into something visually enjoyable? What angle could I view it from? How would it be lit? How thin or thick would the depth of field be? Even the most bland, boring objects can be turned into something visually appealing with the right dose of creativity. Sadly instagram has bastardised this to an extent, but on a positive note, it is awakening a photographic passion in many people, some of which will hopefully pursue it beyond the walls of their iphone!
5. If you could change the world using your photography, how would you utilize your talent?
Visual appreciation is always something I will be a fan of. This is probably thanks to a variety of factors, like being exposed to beautiful landscapes from a young age with dad to playing too much need for speed with cars decked out in bright colours with neon lights.
The thing I enjoy the most about photography is using technology to manipulate light to create something surreal and beautiful for appreciation, overcoming what the human eye alone is capable of. Not taking what you see as face value, or simply accepting it for 'how it looks'.
If through my photography someone realises that light can be used in so many different, creative ways, then I would consider my world changed, even if its one person at a time.
6. What do you want to achieve with your photography?
I always like to do well and present a high standard, I try to be a bit of a perfectionist in that regard, as for what I wish to achieve, it depends largely on the subject.
In my landscape work I enjoy capturing the beauty a place has to offer, whether that is through the location itself, or simply capturing it from a different perspective. But, bringing something unthought of, or overlooked to somebody's attention for appreciation is very rewarding for me.
As for my nightclub work, as I mentioned above, I will always do it out of love and respect for the music and the people that play it. 2011 was a very turbulent year for me, and the Bass Art crew were just starting a weekly gig at E55, spinning a relaxing array of drum and bass, dubstep and a few other bassy chilled out genres thrown in. After falling in love with their therapeutic selections I became a regular at the drop of a hat.
Becoming good friends with them was easy, they were all friendly, chilled out and welcoming with open arms to someone being introduced to relaxing bass music. I began taking photos of their nights to help out in the hope of increasing its success and longevity. They were instrumental in making me a better person, and even to this day I feel I owe it to them for that, so I like to run photography at their various events, to capture the fun and vibe they create so well.
That was where my networking began, and as time has gone on I've been introduced to and worked with many other melbourne bass music dj's and crews, and I've enjoyed working with all of them. Through my work, I hope to show others the fun and enjoyable chaos these people are responsible for, and further their success through awareness.
In particular I'd love to give big shout outs to:
Shem Weishaus (Freeform) and the Bass Art family.
Patrick Farnell (Philosoraptor) my kick ass housemate
Jason Blake (Deep Element) and the New Grounds crew
and Corey Kodiak, (Kodiak Kid) the one man army.
As for taking my photography career further, Lilly Pilly Photography is not only setting the example for me, but also setting me on the path towards success through her helpful and professional advice, and her frequently inspiring work.
Thank you very much for having me.
To view the works and find out more about Rocksolid Photography check out his facebook:
Lilly Pilly Photography