In the early 90s, like a lot of my slacker generation, I took off my suit and tie and decided it was time to take my delayed “gap year” reward for keeping my head down, doing everything everyone had ever wanted of me, and being the “responsible one” amongst my group of friends.

I had a bumpy ride through my university degree but I’d got through it, and after 5 years racing up the corporate ladder in the public service, I wanted to see what was beyond the white walls of my office.

Along with the best backpack money could buy, and a long series of shots for diseases I thought had died out in the middle ages, I went to a shop to get my first camera. I don’t remember ever owning one before that. In fact, I don’t remember any of my friends owning one either. My Mother had a tiny one that looked a bit like a spy camera, a gift from my Dad when he had a conference in Hawaii and incredibly cool and state-of-the-art at the time, and she must have used it when we had celebrations, but I don’t remember that either.

I lucked out, because I went to a camera specialist rather than a department store and the owner, who must have sensed that I was a total noob, steered me well. “This one is a bit cheaper”, I remember him saying, “but this is the one I’d like you to walk out with”.

And I did. I can’t remember what brand it was, but it was compact, with a small zoom Carl Zeiss lens and it was solid and sturdy and I think ran fully automatic.

It was my constant companion for two years as I slummed around Asia. If I was in a place for more than a couple of days I’d drop all my spent film in and look forward to getting back the 6x4s, usually in a little book of plastic sleeves with covers that changed from town to town. Sometimes they’d come back gloss, sometimes matt, sometimes with rounded corners and sometimes with a white border around them. I’d keep them with me for a few weeks and then I’d find a post office somewhere and post them home, addressed to myself. When I finally did get back there was a whole shipping carton of unopened post-packs waiting for me, with a visual story sorted by postmarks, documenting my growth from who I was to who I’d become.

Traveling taught me to see things, but it was the Multimedia Design Diploma I enrolled in when I got back that taught me that I could harness the power of the tools and use it to extend my vision.

It was an exciting time to be in multimedia. For years it had meant kiosk design, but I’d arrived just on the cusp of the internet. The web was still ruled by Netscape’s grey pages with plain text and the occassional blinking gif, but everyone was seeing the potential.

The lecturers were young industry professionals, and the course was designed with rich, broad brushstrokes. Every semester included units on different periods of art history and design history. There was video, editing, studio management and broadcast audio. There were hands-on classes for drawing and design techniques, which at that time included scalpels and bromide cameras (though Macs were really starting to show their power, and the one I had at home was probably the most expensive bit of furnishing in the house).

And, luckily for me, the diploma included three years of photography, taught by a young, talented and very inspirational photographer who always looked like he’d dropped into the job by accident and wasn’t quite sure why he was there, except that he loved photography and he loved his job. We had two studios and two darkrooms at our disposal, along with an equipment library that was so keen to get their equipment out into the open that they almost pushed it on you as you walked past their counter in the basement.

So, I learned about apertures and shutterspeed and ISO and lighting. And, more importantly, about why the things that I see look like they do. Depth of field and repetition and rhythm and the way empty spaces can be just as important as full ones.

I never did become a professional photographer. I did OK in my classes, but it was never my intention to do it for a living. It’s a calling, and I admire people who dedicate their life to it (you’ll find a bunch of my favorites on MY BLOG and in my VISUALIZEUS BOOKMARKS), but I was always going to be just a hobbyist.

Current Kit

I’m shooting mostly on a Nikon D90, although there might also be shots from my D70, Canon PowerShot S5IS or iPhone on here. I have a Polaroid Spirit 600 but no film to load into it, and an assortment of Holga, Lomo and Blackbird analog cameras, but I’m not using them much at the moment so if they show up I’ll probably make a big woohoo about it. Mostly I’m digital right now and I don’t feel nostalgic about it, although I do miss the Polariod.

I have a Nikkor 18-200mm lens that seldom leaves my camera. Occasionally I swap it for a macro 60mm or a prime 50mm.

I use Photoshop CS5 and all my pics go through Noise Ninja. I seldom crop or filter (though I’ve been enjoying the filter apps that make iPhone photography so much fun). I try to do everything in-camera. I’m a bit old-school that way.

Back in the day, when I was studying, I used to do all these extravagant mis en scene setups, trying to cram an entire novel into a photo. It wasn’t terrible, but I look back now and I cringe a little.

I still occasionally do some studio work, but my real pleasure these days is street photography. I like to throw my camera in my bag, get out and capture the things that speak to me.

I do have a few subjects that I’ve been exploring over a long period of time. Street art, juxtaposition, unintentional humor, decay and the history spoken by objects are some of my favorites.

If you read all the way to here then wow, I admire your stamina! Thanks for dropping by, and thanks for being interested enough to read. Being on the internet is a bit like being in a vacuum in outer-space, so if you took the time to comment on one of the pics then you’d make my day (and I’d know you were here)!

If you’d like to get a pic a day in your email box, you can get the daily CreativeSpark newsletter HERE or the RSS feed HERE.

I also have a blog where I talk about creativity, art, design and an eclectic bunch of other stuff, and show off the work being done by my agency Electrotype HERE.

Thanks again for dropping by. Hope you like the pics.

If you have any questions or want to chat about anything, drop me SOME EMAIL. I’ll try my best to help.

38 comments on “About”

  1. Hi Marc
    Love to read more about you.

    • Marc, I don’t know of any other way to reach you. I’m worried about Liz – have not heard a thing from her in over 2 months. Is she OK?

      Lindy in AZ

  2. how much wood would a wood chuck suck if a wood chuck could suck wood?
    how much blog would a writer blog if a writer got writer’s block?


  3. Welcome to the internet Marc! 😛

  4. I have an e-friend in Singapore who is very, very dear to me. I LOVE to read your posts about Singapore! They help me know what life is like in her corner of the world and feel close to her somehow. ~smile~ (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  5. nice blog site……..

  6. Hi Rhosie
    Thanks for finding me, and thanks for the note! 🙂

  7. was surfing info for my project.
    happened to bump by…
    fell in love with ur blog site and photos!


  8. Hiya MJ
    Your sweet comment warmed my heart. Thankyou! Hope you found something useful to your project!
    =) Marc

  9. Hi Marc, I’m a fan of your sister, Liz – I read her blogs on a regular basis from my current home in Arizona, USA. Haven’t heard from Liz in quite awhile so I thought I’d check with you to find out if all is well with her. Funny how we begin to relate to and think about the people we blog with even if we have never met and possibly never will.

    Lindy Barnes

  10. Cool site… enjoyed reading it… 🙂


  11. James!
    Thanks for dropping by! I know it takes a lot to get you to read anything that doesn’t weigh more than 2kg, come as a trilogy and involve magical powers.
    Actually if I can just solve the trilogy thing I’d almost fit the bill.
    =) M

  12. I actually looked through some of your pictures, and you sure have a good eye on capturing shots. Especially about your friends with natural expressions…

  13. Hi Endoh
    Thanks for the kind words 🙂
    Now… if I could just get someone to pay me well to fly around the world snapping for them…
    😉 Marc

  14. Surfed in from Walter’s. Interesting and nice blog you have here. Keep writing. 🙂

  15. Marc, you are an inspiration to many of us. We enjoy the photos that you share. I enjoy your blog so much and have recently made a blog of my own. I am adding you to my blogroll, and hope that if you enjoy my blog you might add mine to your blogroll as well.

    We hope you don’t tire out, and know that many appreciate what you put out there each week for viewing and thought.

    Sincerely, Dee

  16. Hi Marc, I love your post on “Fine Art Meets Commerce” and am honored to share you with my readers via my blog roll!

  17. […] Marc Garnaut was kind enough to write about Jame5 on his blog: I’ve been immersed in a book recently. It’s a […]

  18. Marc,

    I love your description of yourself, and especially find it wonderful that you have multiple hobbies, interests and boundless creativity.

    Thanks for being you.

  19. This blog serves as testimony to the quality of your aesthetic taste and intelligence.
    With gratitude,

  20. Hi Mark!


    Please check us out. We’ve just started.


  21. Hooray for half finished projects!

    Please take a look at my latest half finished project if you get the chance: http://pencilmation.com/2009/09/30/pencilmation-9-love-at-first-write/

    Animation. Yep.

    See ya!

  22. Heya Rock The Boat… love the stuff being posted on INFX. =)

  23. hi just mew to wordpress and having a wander wandered onto yours i may be back lol xxjenagoth

  24. thats new in english lol

  25. Thank you for your kind comment on my blog. In response: New York City bagels contains salt and malt and are boiled in water prior to baking in a standard oven. What also gives them their unique flavor is New York City tap water. My homemade bagels pale in comparison to bagels from my favorite delis.

  26. Nice to see you still exist Marco. I doubt you can even guess who it is from so long ago. Still use a mac?

  27. Fantastic visuals ! Awesome site you have here …

  28. Hi Mark

    I am based in Singapore and i must tell you that your work is mind blowing.Unfortunately I can not access 15 Sep 2009 Pictures…:-( Is it possible for you to share a picture which is tagged as “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”

  29. […] time with my Thai family who I haven’t seen since 2005. A blogging pal of mine in Singapore, Marc of Creative Spark, has given me the names of a bunch of funky cafes to visit in Bangkok. So Lalida and I are planning […]

  30. Wonderful work – looking forward to delving in more deeply.

  31. Hi Sir,

    I have been following Your blog but doesn’t know why didn’t come and read the ‘about’
    It’s so great to hear about Your life story. As boy always like to listen about everyone life story.

    Very inspiring and Thank You Sir.

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