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Friday, July 26, 2013

About Dale Neill

I know some of the participants on The Art and Photography Outback tour well and others I have just met, so a little bit of background about me.

I took my first photograph when I was six with an illicitly acquired box brownie camera. Even then, I was fascinated with cameras and the process of photography. In 1959 I worked all summer holidays and bought my first camera - a Hanimex C35 35mm rangefinder camera. It had a top speed of 1/250 sec and i thought it was the pinnacle in technology.

I missed out on a job as a  cadet photographer with the West Australian in 1962 and entered Graylands Teachers College. As a teacher my first posting was to Halls Creek in the Kimberley in 1964 where i proceeded to photograph (and teach) all kids in the school and half the people in the tiny outback town.

photo by Dafna Lambert at FACEZ Studio
In 1964, together with three teachers from Balgo Mission I drove an old Holden station wagon from Halls Creek to Balgo, across the Great Sandy Desert to Alice Springs. I carried  my newly acquired Canon FP SLR. The four of us were stranded in the desert on the return trip and almost didn't make it back.

In 1968, newly married to Margaret, we were posted as the first Government teachers to Lombadina Mission near Cape Leveque. Once again I photographed the kids, community and environs and made 8m movies as well as teaching more than 80 kids.

In the next few years I finished a degree at university, qualified as a pro photography through TAFE and secured my first teaching position in professional photography. I had short stints setting up professional videoconferencing and TAFE's first TV station.

Back in 1998 I led my first overseas photography tour and in 2001 formed Wildheart, running workshops, coaching pros and amateurs and teaching at UWA Extension.

In 2005 I covered the rescue of children orphaned by the tsunami in Andreh Pradesh in India and won the WA Professional photographer of the Year with the images.

These days I'm in partnership in FACEZ Fine Art Portrait Studio, run photography workshops and tours in Australia and overseas, teach at UWA and run a consultancy for merging professional photographers. In 2012 I helped set up the Fremantle International Portrait Prize which in 2013 attracted 1760 entries from 29 countries and raised nearly $30,000 for the Arthritis Foundation of WA.

I make time each week to be a coffee aficionado in the Freo's Cappucino strip and pedal my push bike along the Swan River every second day.

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