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24 November: A Photographer’s Gathering – Nev Madsen

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Neville Madsen interview

About thirty local photographers gathered at an event at the Toowoomba Cobb and Co Museum to celebrate the work of photographers from the Toowoomba Chronicle newspaper. Featured in this event organised by Cobb and Co staff member and photographer Tony Coonan was an interview with Walkley Award winning photographer Neville Madsen. The interview was conducted by local photography identity John Elliott. John posed questions about Nev’s beginnings in photography, his early experiences in Warwick under the tuteladge of John Harrison and Gordon Brown, how he feels about working for newspapers today, and the circumstances of his making the award-winning photograph.

An animated Nev answers John's questions

As a testemony to Neville’s dedication to being a documenter of his community he was not on duty on the day of the flood – via a scanner he was aware of what was happening and went to a location he thought would provide some action. He started shooting video and soon realised that what he was witnessing was a significant life threatening drama and grabbed his ‘real camera’ to capture the unfolding event.

Neville Madsen with John Elliott

Words and photos: Doug Spowart

Written by Cooper+Spowart

November 24, 2011 at 10:33 am

22 October – Through the Chronicle Lens Exhibition

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Through the Chronicle Lens Exhibition @ The Cobb & Co Museum, Toowoomba

When you’re a news photographer there’s a tendency to think of the types of subjects you want to photograph will be wars, celebrity, massive events and international sports. But what of the reality if you find yourself as a photographer on a regional newspaper on the other side of the Great divide? Do you wake up every morning wishing you were in the big city and the big time?

An exhibition of news images celebrating the 150th anniversary of Toowoomba’s Chronicle newspaper may provide some answers. Like where are the big stories – the ones that matter? What I would submit to you is that great photo opportunities exist everywhere and great photographers can find the amazing story in any situation. This exhibition bares testimony to this proposition. The Chronicle’s photographers, and there haven’t been too many of them over the last 30 years, toil in the daily grind of regional news. Their editor’s assignment briefs include the Chihuahua ‘Taco’ at the RSPCA, the buxom topless waitress at the Five Ways Hotel and Louise at the Crows Nest Op Shop – not the exotic stuff of the dailies. The exhibition shows the range of opportunities and how these lensmen and lenswoman Bev, carry out their duties.

I found the images on show spoke of the photographer not only doing their job for the newspaper, but also doing something for the community by receiving and recording their stories. It is perhaps in this that the true value of the regional news photographer.

Photographers - Kevin Farmer, Bev Lacey and Neville Madsen

SEE Link for the Chronicle Story


Nev Madsen's Walkley Award image: Flash Flood Rescue


Great images that the world will notice do come to the regional photographers. Nev Madsen we to work on Tuesday January 11 thanking it just another day – However by day’s end Toowoomba was inundated by flash flooding an lives were being jeopardized. Nev found himself as witness to the life and death drama of frantic attempts to save people caught up in the swirling waters. He made his pictures of the dreadful moment and they were published world-wide.

Recently he was awarded a Walkley Award for Best Community and Regional Photography – Congratulations Nev.

SEE THE CHRONICLE STORY  http://www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2011/10/14/chonicle-photographer-bags-walkley/

Nev with his award winning image in the exhibition

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