Melbourne Fractal Project ~ Exhibition ~

I'm very excited to announce that this week the Melbourne Fractal Project Exhibition is up at the Air Gallery in Federation Square. Opening night is Thursday, 24th November at 6:30pm - I really encourage everyone to go and check out the wonderful photography! If you're on Facebook you can like the page, or share the event.

Graduates of RMIT University's Bachelor of Arts Photography program have taken part in a project that extends itself beyond the traditional graduation exhibition.

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Music by Tronikelesch

A map of Melbourne's city center has been divided into segments inspired by the geometric "fractal" patterns of Fed Square. Each student worked on their own segment of map by shooting their photograph in their specific area. The result is a collection of connected images that span across documentary, fine art, fashion and commercial photographic genres.

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I was assigned to Fractal #34, so I decided to stage one of our "Misunderstood" photoshoots in the area. We photographed beautiful Mia (and her brother, King) on the corner of Swanston Street and Flinders Street. Mia was fantastic - such a sweetheart and so well behaved despite being in the middle of the city on a very busy day! I fell instantly in love with her - she is a very shy, quiet girl whose heart was won with yummy baked treats from Mutts Be Luv Barkery and lots of cuddles. Mia had a rough start to life - she was left on the side of the road as a puppy. But now she and King are totally adored by their loving parents. She's definitely a Daddy's Girl!

King posing in the middle of the city

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Although her Mum and Dad love Mia like crazy, the media and the public tend to have very different ideas. Despite her soft, sweet, gentle personality, Mia is constantly judged by the way she looks (read more about breed/appearance prejudices in my post about our Misunderstood series). I'm so proud to see her portrait printed HUGE for everyone to see - she is a wonderful, positive representation of bull breeds. Go Mia!

My Fractal Image

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Some of my favourite outtakes from Mia's shoot - are you starting to fall in love with her too??

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Mia and her Dad - pure love

Click here to read more about the Misunderstood series.

Anti-BSL Series ~ Melbourne Pet Photography

  The final series of portraits for Ragamuffin Pet Photography's "Misunderstood: A Plea for Sense and Education" project.

Mia's Portrait will be exhibited in Federation Square for the Melbourne Fractal Project - read more about that here, or check out the awesome exhibition in person from the 18th-30th November.

You can also purchase a 2012 Calendar here: 100% of the profits raised go towards Halfway Home Animal Rescue, so you're supporting two great causes with one gorgeous calendar!

I have to wholeheartedly thank all the beautiful dogs and their families who were involved in this project. It was touching to photograph such love between the dogs and their parents, and to meet such sweet souls!

Breed Specific Legislation in Victoria (and around the world) is dangerous and unfair. By focusing on the appearance of a dog, the legislation endangers public safety by failing to promote responsible dog guardianship, failing to punish bad behaviour and failing to listen to the science or the experts. Breed Specific Legislation propagates media-driven hysteria and misunderstanding about certain dog breeds (it's the Pitbull now, but previous breeds have included the German Shephard, the Rottweiler and the Bull Mastiff).

Breed Specific Legislation has never been shown to reduce the number of dog bite incidents. It has been tried around the world, and failed repeatedly. This legislation also unfairly punishes the owners of well-behaved dogs. These owners should not have to worry because their dog is deemed dangerous based purely on it's appearance.

The Calgary Model, and other "deed not breed" legislations, promote stronger enforcement, tougher licensing programs and better dog safety public awareness (thank you to Brad Griggs from K9 Services International for the links). Deed Not Breed laws have significantly reduced the number of dog bite incidents (attacks in Calgary are the lowest they've been in 25 years).

We need to focus on Deed not Breed. We need to establish fairer, safer systems. We are pleading for sense and education.

Click here to see more about the exhibition. 

Shar Pei ~ Fine Art Series

        

During the Shar Pei Play Day in September, I took some time to photograph these six fine art portraits. I'm always fascinated by how much character is packed into one face when it comes to the Shar Pei, so I wanted to capture six simple, monochromatic close portraits. I ended up printing these large of gorgeous Canson BFK Rives paper - perfect for fine art prints and made from 100% cotton rag. I love them! They feel like velvet - the perfect way to show off those beautiful faces full of soft wrinkles.

These portraits are available for purchase for a limited time only, from the Ragamuffin PhotoCart. 50% of profits raised from print sales will go toward Shar Pei Rescue Inc.

    

Click here to see more photos from the Shar Pei Rescue Playday

My Bachelor of Arts in Photography

I actually can't believe it's finally over. Finally!

I have spent the last three amazing, exhausting, interesting and, of course, FUN years completing my Bachelor of Arts in Photography at RMIT. The course is notoriously demanding, known to cause a complete lack in social life, nervous breakdowns and serious self-doubt. But it's also known as one of the most highly-regarded photography programs in the world, and I feel privileged to have had the chance to study with such talented peers and wonderful lecturers. It's crazy to look back to the wannabe-fashion-photographer circa 2008 and see how much I've learnt and changed.

 

And I just had my final assessment. The very. last. one.

 

It was really, really exciting (and maybe a teeny bit nervewrecking. Okay, okay - I was sh**ting myself!)

We each had an panel of assessors come in for 25 minutes to listen to us talk about our work, give us their critiques and walk away with our final marks. On my panel was: Sally Brownbill, Chris Budgeon, Mark Galer, Greg Elms, Alex Syndikas and Pauline Anastasiou. I'm super happy with the feedback I received on my work - very positive and very helpful! It makes me even more excited to launch Ragamuffin officially next year. No more excuses not to give 100% of myself to this little business that I love so much :)

 

The Melbourne Fractal Project Exhibition, showing from the 21st to the 27th of November, will be the final exhibition from the class of '11. It's being held in the Atrium of Federation Square  (cool hehe) and I can't wait to see all the awesome photography from my classmates. Hope to see many of you there!

So I'll finish this post thanking you all for your friendship, patience and support. Bring on 2012!!!

 

 

Click here to read more about me - Caitlin McColl - the owner and photographer at Ragamuffin Pet Photography 

San Pellegrino ~ Cafe Society ~ Exhibition

Last week I had a blast when I tottered along (I always totter in heels. Very graceful and ladylike, that's me!) to Sketch in Docklands for the annual San Pellegrino Cafe Society Exhibition. Several months ago I collaborated with Faye Colls, the wonderfully grand and theatrical lady who runs Coffee Darling in South Yarra. I wanted to capture the iconic Coffee Darling metalwork and contrast the elegance of South Yarra with a certain scruffy pup. Faye was an absolute daaaaarrrrrrrlllllliiiiinnnnggggg (drawled in an oh so South Yarra manner, of course!) when it came to letting us take over her gorgeous cafe. The final piece was, of course, titled "Lady and the Tramp".

Some outtakes:

Lyra loves to share kissies :)

Channelling her inner-calf

At the exhibition:

 

p.s. the lovely model, Kirra, does not totter in her awesome heels...

 

Click here to see more of my fine art work and exhibitions.

Waiting ~ Fine Art Series

I'm one of those people who can't resist dogs waiting patiently, and sometimes not to patiently, outside stores. I spot them ahead of me, tied up to a nearby lamppost, bench or bicycle rack. My eyes widen. My pace quickens. I approach the pup, hold out my hand to get a sniff of approval and *YES* a little pat to brighten my day. I love it when I see dogs waiting. It'd be AWESOME if we could take our dogs into stores with us. Since they can't, at least waiting dogs get a nice little trip out and about. I have to admit I don't take my girl out nearly as much as I should (lazzzzzzyyyyyyy).

One thing that I love noticing about waiting dogs is the fact that they will NOT tear their gaze away from the direction of their beloved owner. That gaze is so full of unconditional love! It's one of the sweetest expressions I've ever seen, so I couldn't resist shooting a little mini-series. I've called it, of course, "Waiting".

 

So thank you to the lovely owners who took their furbabies out for a trip, and thank you to the sweet dogs who put up with the crazy-dog-lover :)

 

Click here to see more of my fine art work.