After following his passion almost every day for the past 30 years, local photographer Marc Payne received great recognition recently.
One of his works was selected in the Top 101 portrait photographs of the year from 948 entries from all over the world.
Marc entered three portrait studies in the International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021 competition with two photos getting over 80%. His portrait study of Dusty was included in the Top 101.
“It is an honour to be recognised with some of the best portrait photographers,” said Marc, who learned a lot about portrait studies from the late Jim Buckley, who owned a photo shop in Parkes.
According to Australian photographer, known internationally for his landscape photography, and chairman of judges in the competition, Peter Eastway, the main aim of the competition was to be selected in the Top 101 and be published in the exclusive annual book.
“That’s why we put more emphasis on being in the Top 101 as there is plenty of room for a variety of tastes, approaches and styles. And any of the Top 101 photographs could be a prize winner on the day.”
Marc said it all started with his older brother David, who introduced him to photography when he was looking for something for his art unit at school. “He is also a landscape photographer and we still do a lot together and go on road trips. I think we both got our ability from our late father Alan who was a very talented cartoonist.
“I used to draw cartoons and would zone out from everything around me. That is why landscape photography is my passion as I can zone out in nature with no one around me, destress and relax.”
He said his love of nature first started watching David Attenborough documentaries when growing up, and his passion for landscape and nature photography, including Astro photography, has since taken him all over the world. “I’ve travelled extensively, mostly to Europe and Asia with Nepal one of my favourite destinations.”
In 2008 Marc entered a portrait of a Nepalese girl in a US-based competition and he ended up in the top three.
“My main goal for entering competitions is to score well and get feedback from the judges.”
He said the feedback on his entries in the International Portrait Photographer of the Year competition was all very positive with the judges remarking on his old school or traditional style of portraiture.
Marc met Dusty through a mutual friend, and “after a few beers I asked if he would sit for me as he had an interesting face with a lot of character. At the time I never thought it would be a winning photo.”
He used his Sony at the time, but has since switched back to a Fuji medium format camera. Marc has his own studio at home and prints his own photos too.
Marc, who is painter and decorator by trade, describes his love of photography as an addiction. “I have to go out and shoot at least four times or more per week. A day without taking a photo does not feel complete.”
By Maggi Barnard