Early start for Noosa shutterbug pays off
MOST Noosa News readers would recognise her snappy work by the interesting angles of the Noosa Outrigger Canoe Club crews she sharply frames while in action.
But for Lesley Downie her passion to capture slices of life ranges across the world and has just seen her named Queensland Professional Travel Photographer of the Year.
Her love of looking with a discerning eye behind the lens has been with her since growing up in Brisbane suburbia after picking up her first camera aged 10.
The birthday present was a twin lens Kodak Duaflex, then Lesley moved on to a Minolta SRT101 when turning a teenager.
"Growing up with slide nights and Dad's black and white collection planted the seed for a lifetime of photography to follow,” Lesley said.
"Early photography endeavours were in stage and entertainment photography, as well as travel and magazine articles.”
Since the early 1990s Lesley has created a successful wedding and portrait business, based on a natural, candid and unobtrusive style.
She was one of the first photographers in the Brisbane region to adopt the "photo-journalistic” approach to capturing a wedding day, with the emphasis on natural expression, movement and fun.
Since 2009, her love of travel and documenting exotic cultures has again become the main direction going forward.
Lesley said her substantial collection of images from "unique, wondrous and exotic destinations the world over is now the basis of a fine art collection”.
She has also excelled in event photography and was part of the photographic staff team for Expo 88 in Brisbane, and the Indy 500 at the Gold Coast.
"As a member of the Noosa Outrigger Canoe Club, I have now become passionate about photographing this exciting and growing sport,” Lesley said.
In May 2016 she was the official photographer at the Va'a World Outrigger Sprint Championships.
Lesley said the Australian Institute of Professional Photography Queensland Professional Photographer of the Year awards are held annually to recognise excellence, innovation, and the highest achievements in professional photography.
"Each photographer enters four printed images which are judged individually by five highly accredited judges and scored based on skill, impact, technical quality, originality and print quality.
"The top three portfolios based on aggregate scores are then rejudged to determine the Category winner.”