David Magro Diaries 2017

2017 was a great year for photography. This year started with me deferring the fourth and final year of my Bachelor of Science Education degree. I began pursuing photograph and learning what is takes to become a professional photographer. The year started slow but erupted after winning the Exposure Photographer of the Year award for "Field of Stars".

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This year I began focusing on workshops on the Central Coast. I ran a series of night photography workshops at the start of the Milky Way season in March with sellouts occurring quickly. The response was amazing and the workshops filled months in advanced.

I did not focus on my own photography as I was busy with workshops. It was amazing to see so many people interested in night photography! 

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In April I received a painting from a young fan who duplicated "Sapphire skies". I was extremely happy to see this young girl artwork from the USA. It looks amazing doesn't it!

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Submissions for the 2017 Exposure Competition were coming to a near and I had not entered. I received messages to enter but ignored them as I did not know which photographs would be worthy as I deemed night photography "too surreal". I eventually caved after many Facebook tags to enter "Field of Stars" and additionally the a photograph rare auroras from Terrigal. "Field of Stars" was shortlisted whereas the auroras did not.

I had not RSVP the event and I received a call from Ellen Bridge about having to be there as a friendly reminder. I am still unsure if she knew who the winner was when making that call to me.

There were many familiar faces and amazing photographs on display at the ART House. I hadn't imaged winning and when my name was called, my friend Jeremy looked at me and gave me a pat on a back before I realised. That's when I knew it was real. 

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Not long afterwards, a mural on the main road on Wyong Road was put on display. And a large framed print is hung with others in Erina Library.

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Gosford Library also showcased past artist from the Exposure Competition with artworks surrounding the building. Seeing the support from the community pushed me to take the next step with photography and begin travelling Australia with the Masterclass workshops.

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First I organised a series of Masterclass Workshops at The Superman Barn with 4 consecutive dates selling out fast. And Dubbo the following week was the same. In the photographs above, mine is the left whereas a participants is on the right.

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My family lives across Australia and I had organised workshops in Dubbo. I was able to spend time with my brother and his new addition to the family!

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In July, I received a phone call from The Australian Newspaper about a story they were wanting to write for "Field of Stars". We had a good laugh chatting and I slipped out one of my secrets of scouting far away locations.

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Next was Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton. The response was amazing.

Being new to Cairns, I was told repeatedly about the local crocodiles residing close to the location we will be shooting. Luckily we did not see any!

 

Often on the Masterclass workshop I am too busy to capture my own photographs but at the end of the night I did a mandatory portrait with the stars at Saunders Beach.

Also had my first encounter with a Australia's cutest koala on Magnetic Island.

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On the Cairns Masterclass I was receiving continuous calls from Pascale. She informed me I had won North Shore Beast Photographic Competition. I was away to receive the award but once I flew back to Sydney I went to Bondi to celebrate with Pascale.

This is also when I realised I may need a new haircut. Not just yet!

Next was Western Australia visiting Perth, Rockingham, Mandurah, Dunsborough and Albany. It proved to be cloudy on some nights and I had back-up dates to ensure we co-operate with the natural element. My goal is to provide an amazing experience under the stars and at times clouds coverage will make the workshops be held on secondary dates. You have to chase the stars.

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Above is a photograph from Kathleen Smith, a teenager who came on the Masterclass from Rockingham. He is producing amazing images of the night sky today. This is his first stitched photograph from the Thrombolites of Lake Clifton. Since then his photograph keeps improving.

While having lunch in Fremantle I received an email about Western Digitals Sharp Shot Competition I had entered months prior. It informed me that "Field of Stars" had won and I would become the 2018 Western Digital and Sandisk Photography Ambassador. In November a was anointed in Sydney.

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At the end of the year, the annual Geminids meteor shower was on display with up to 120 meteors an hour. Andrew Murrell and I hosted a star party at Glen Worth Valley with 200 people photographing the celestial event. 

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I read about the ME20F-SH Canon low-light camera and had an idea of filming the Geminids Meteor Shower. After contacting Canon, they quickly sent the camera from Melbourne to Sydney for me to borrow the light eating equipment to create the short film above. I travelled to cloudless locations nearby to chase meteors.

With the Milky Way season over for the year I got ready planning 2018. I had deferred from University and began pursuing a career in photography.