All photography on this site ©2018 Scott Donkin
The thrill of photography, capturing a moment in time, has stirred a passion in me, deep down, since I received my first camera as a child.
I'm an Australian photographer, born, raised and still living in Sydney. These days I shoot with Canon DSLRs and Canon L series lenses. I say "these days" because I had much more humble beginnings in photography. Though I've been shooting commercially using Canon film and digital gear now for about 35 years.
My parents bought me my first camera for Christmas when I was six years old - a Kodak Brownee Flash III. The camera was a lot older than me at the time. I imagine it came from an Op Shop because it was already well-loved. I had little idea how to use it but my Mum gave me probably the best piece of advice that I use to this day: have the sun behind you and gently press the shutter button, all while holding very, very still.
The Brownee took 127 medium format paper-interleaved film that had to be carefully unrolled, just a little, to load the leader paper onto the take-up spool in the camera. If you mishandled or dropped the roll during loading, the film would unravel and be exposed to light, ruining it. Unloading was a similar adventure but this time, a similar mishap before getting a chance to lick the adhesive tab to seal the roll would end up costing you all your photos.
My finished rolls of film were taken to the local pharmacy on my way to school with my Mum. They'd send it off to Kodak in Melbourne and then I'd wait a week or two for my images to come back as black & white prints in a yellow and red envelope.
I still have what I call my "first" photo because it's the earliest surviving print from those beginnings with my first camera. It's a small B&W photo of the lighthouse at Norah Head on the New South Wales Central Coast, taken during the weeks after I received the camera. I still remember the moment I took that picture. I was seven and the fascination was just beginning.
My first commercial gig was 1982 when I followed a motor racing team to Tasmania to cover a story for a few magazines. The team raced jet-powered drag racing machines that did 400kph over a standing quarter mile. In 1984 I was travelling the country, shooting for a publisher of magazines and their year book. I spent about 15 years of my life as a freelance commercial photographer shooting interiors and architecture, catalogues, people and products from my city-based studio. Later I joined the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum) in Sydney as a photographer and got to work alongside some incredibly talented people. I still regard those times as some of the best in my life. The Museum bought one of the world’s first DSLRs at that time. The Canon/Kodak EOS DCS1, a 6 megapixel DSLR. Such resolution was unheard of in pro-sumer bodies for at almost another 10 years. The body alone was about AUD$55K. It was fantastic for its time. I shot an entire gift catalogue for the Museum on that camera and prepared the pics for commercial printing in Photoshop version 4. The catalogue won me a Bronze for Photography in the Australian Catalogue Awards that year which I didn’t know about until someone mentioned it later.
I went on to manage the Museum's Digital Imaging Centre and got to play with some very nice, bleeding-edge high-resolution scanning and printing equipment and looked after the team capturing the Museum's film-based photographic images into the new Image Management System.
Since then I’ve freelanced commercially and I've been a Colour Management Specialist for a sign and display bureau and later, a printer hardware reseller. I’ve also worked in large format printer hardware sales. More recently I was Product Manager for Australia and New Zealand at a Sydney-based Japanese manufacturer of large format printers managing their product portfolio, trade shows and their website.
Most of all, I still love to take pictures and currently have a Lightroom catalogue of over 120,000 images. It never gets old for me.