Master of Photography

The Australian Professional Photography Awards #APPA2016 were a successful one for me this year. I managed to add to my collection of Silver Awards but more importantly managed to secure enough career points to be awarded Master of Photography! Woohoo!

Massively excited and it’s great reward for effort for a self taught artist from the country to rise from obscurity and get some national recognition amongst my peers. Well, now on with business as usual again. If you want a master photographer (haha) to shoot your wedding, next commercial shoot or take you on a landscape tuition session get in touch.


#masterphotographer #appa2016 #excitingstuff


Master Photographer - APPA2016

Master Photographer – APPA2016

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Australian Outback Photography

I’ve just got back from 6 weeks away in the expansive Aussie Outback. What a place!

I love the vastness, the simplicty of subject, the harshness of the weather upon the landscape, and the unique character of the towns and people that live out there. Naturally it was a little warmer than down here in Victoria too!

This shot was taken on the drive from Winton to Hughendon in Queensland. It’s very much a “less is more” type image that I love capturing. Stay tuned for more updates as I get the chance.

Outback Photography - Marty Schoo

Less is More

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Exhibition Time!

{Exhibition Time} I’m looking forward to being Guest Artist at the Pomonal Art Show this long weekend. Come to the Grampians and check out some of my new work pictured here, as well as plenty of other brilliant work from fellow local artists. Percentage of all sales support the local community and it’s the very last show in the old town hall before its demolished. Don’t miss it! Share, share, share!! For details visit

Grampians Landscape Photography Exhibition

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Winter Landscape Photography

{Winter Landscape Photography} Those that know me well will know I love the seasons, all of them, including Winter. The Grampians come alive with dancing clouds, fresh forest air, and the call of the Currawongs. The roads are quiet, the walking tracks empty, the coffee shops warm. What better time to come and visit Halls Gap!

Winter Landscape Photography

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Victorian Professional Photography Awards 2015

{Awards} The last two days saw the Victorian Professional Photography Awards judged. Today was the landscape category to which I enter my personal work. I’m pretty stoked to have come away with a Gold Award, a Silver Distinction and two solid Silvers from my four entries. Will that be enough for Victorian Landscape Photographer of the Year? That’s the big question, but I’ll take a guess that I’m short of the mark, we’ll wait and see. Good luck to all the eventual category winners this year!

VPPY 2015 - Marty Schoo

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Epic Grampians!

{Landscape Shoot} Wow I’m bad at updating things here regularly. Last weekend with a gap between wedding shoots I finally made some time to trek out and find the mystical “Hole in the Wall” in the Grampians NP. A total return trip of seven hours of off-track walking, with my bro for company, got us to the amazing but little known rock feature. The size of the void and vivid colours of the roof was impressive to say the least. Was it worth it? You tell me!

Hole in the Wall - Grampians - Marty Schoo

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Riverbank Twilight

Sitting on the riverbanks of the mighty Murray before sunrise has to be one of my favourite places to be. The light builds ever so slowly through the dark, while the first birds awaken and call over the gentle sounds of slow moving water.
It’s peaceful, comfortably cool, with clean air, and it’s oh so relaxing for the weary traveller before another day begins.

Riverbank Twilight - Marty Schoo

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APSCON 2014 – Grampians Photography Tour

The Australian Photographic Society’s annual Convention (APSCON) was held in Ballarat this week. For those that read my post from a fortnight ago will know I was invited to be part of this year’s line up of presenters with the presentation The Grampians – A Photographic Wonderland.  No one fell asleep and I was assured it went well.

The guided Photography Tour of The Grampians (with yours truly) the following day was a raging success. All the attendees lucky enough to sign up for the day got to witness the Grampians first hand at its best on a sensational clear spring day. Due to the tight timetable the midday light wasn’t ideal photographically speaking but no one was complaining. The odd passing cloud helped compositions and long lenses were call of the day to capture that neat little landscape nestled within the broader landscape.

Thanks everyone for coming along and be sure to come a visit us again in the beautiful Grampians region. Here were a few shots I managed to sneak in on the day…

APSCON 2014 - Grampians Tour with Marty Schoo

APSCON 2014 – Grampians Tour with Marty Schoo


APSCON 2014 - Grampians Tour with Marty Schoo

APSCON 2014 – Grampians Tour with Marty Schoo


APSCON 2014 - Grampians Tour with Marty Schoo

APSCON 2014 – Grampians Tour with Marty Schoo


APSCON 2014 - Grampians Tour with Marty Schoo

APSCON 2014 – Grampians Tour with Marty Schoo

APSCON 2014 - Grampians Tour with Marty Schoo

APSCON 2014 – Grampians Tour with Marty Schoo

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Marty Schoo Photography – Welcome!

You’ve found my Personal Photography blog. Its where you’ll find all my photography related News, Views, Reviews and Vistas. In other words you’ll find everything of a general photography nature here that’s happening in my professional life as well as my landscape work that I squeeze in between my client based work.

Because my photography work is of a broad nature my client based Wedding and Commercial photography posts can be found in their own blog categories which you can access via the drop down menu or links on the right. Enjoy!

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Today was APPA day (Australian Professional Photographer Awards). Quite excitingly I somehow managed to score one of the highest scoring prints for the day in the landscape category! The image below scored 95 out of 100 receiving a relatively rare Gold-with-Distinction award. Exciting much? Sure is!

For those interested I shot the image in a single capture early in the year at Hollow Mountain in the Northern Grampians just 5 days before bushfire razed most of the forest in the foreground. The shoot location still remains closed today due to the damage caused. The image was converted from colour to a toned black and white, the aspect ratio was changed to square and contrast was selectively applied to bring some extra punch to the final result.

95 Gold with Distinction at APPA 2014

95 Gold with Distinction at APPA 2014

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Exciting Times!

In just over a week’s time I’ll be guest speaker at APSCON 2014, which is the Australian Photographic Society’s annual convention, which this year is held in Ballarat, Victoria. The attendees from Australia wide are about to find out how fantastic the Grampians region is to visit and photograph. Bring it on!

The Grampians - A photographic Wonderland - APSCON 2014

The Grampians – A photographic Wonderland – APSCON 2014


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It’s all about the drama

When I’m out and about I’m always for the lookout for some dramatic weather. I just love drama like this (as long as its not during a wedding or commercial shoot haha). This little spot near Hopetoun was about to get very wet last week as we were travelling through.

Storm clouds threatening over the Northern Wimmera - Victoria

Storm clouds threatening over the Northern Wimmera – Victoria

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Don’t be gloomy

There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Even gloomy weather parts eventually.


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Fungi Time

Because I’m a “fun-guy” I thought I’d share these three little squirts from yesterdays forest photo walk. The tallest Fungi here is only a tiny 3cm!


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Often the simple things in life are the best. Who agrees?


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Soar like an Eagle

Yesterday I went for a drive with a friend to one of my favourite spots… Wallaby Rocks. It got damp and miserable quite quickly and we contemplated turning around and heading back to a warm fire instead. We decided to continue the drive and made the walk to the top just as the weather parted and the eagles soared around us. I fired off about 15 frames and came home with one keeper. This one! Do you think it was it worth it?

Wallaby Rocks-5583

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Solo Explore

Last week I managed to get out of the office and do a solo trip throughout the Victorian Deserts. I tried to avoid the bitumen as much as possible with the aim to capture the best of the remote open spaces of the region for my   i s o l a t i o n   project. This is Wembulin Track being lit with warm pockets of dawn light on the first morning. The track skirts Lake Albacutya and the surrounding wheatbelt.

Meandering Track-5408

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I s o l a t i o n

Some more images for my ongoing   i s o l a t i o n  project.   I’m getting closer to desert country by the hour now. Space to think, space to move. Love it!


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Art is…

A few friends encouraged me to enter the photography event at the wimmera’s ART IS… Festival running at the moment. The theme was “Layers of Time”. Turns out my photograph of Taylors Lake filling from flooding rains took out the top gong! For more on the festival check out the program right here at

Art Is - Winner

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Victorian Photographer of the Year Awards

Well VPPY (Vic Pro Photographer of the Year) is done for another year. My two fave entries managed strong silvers (84 & 83 for those in the know) which is nice and the other two missed silver by one solitary point each (79). I’ll take that for 2014. Now its time to sort out two new ones for APPA nationals later in the year.


My entries in Victorian Photographer of the Year (VPPY).


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{Tip} Accentuating the Wind

Most people when they see the photo below say to me “wow, fantastic, how lucky were you with that streaky sky”. When in fact on this day I had regular white fluffy clouds and I was lucky I had wind (lots of it) and that I brought along my ND filters.

On a windy day the temptation is to use a faster shutter speed to “freeze” the movement of tree foliage, clouds and anything else that is flapping and drifting in the breeze. On this occasion I used a ND3.0 filter to allow me to capture all this movement, in this case the high and low altitude clouds whizzing across the sky in two different directions. You might also choose to capture trees blowing or a flag fluttering.

So what is an ND filter and what does it do? ND stands for Neutral Density, meaning it is a dark shaded filter that is neutral in colour, or just simply put… translucent grey. Like putting on a pair of sunglasses for your camera. They are commonly available in various strengths (darkness) from a 0.3 through to a 0.9 which allow you to extend your exposure by 1 to 3 f-stops. By extending your exposure time you can capture movement with easy, think flowing water for example. If you dig around a little further you’ll also find ND filters that are super dark right up to the ND3.0 which is a full 10 f-stops darker. This allows for exposures of up to 30 seconds in the middle of the day…. Awesome!

So in this situation pictured I had some gnarly rock, some recently bushfire-burnt trees (that due to no foliage weren’t moving in the wind), and lots of fast moving white clouds. With a ND3.0 filter I managed a 20 second exposure to achieve this result.

    Long exposure with ND1000 filter to slow shutter speed down during daylight hours

Long exposure with ND1000 filter to slow shutter speed down during daylight hours

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What sort of photographer am I?

In conversation photographers often get asked what sort of photographer they are…

Wedding photographer? Commercial photographer? Landscape photographer? All of the above?

For me its all of the above but I don’t see photography as a job title, but more so, I see my photography work as an extension of the way I live my life. One way I look at it is that every day in life starts as a blank piece of paper, ready to be written, like the pages of a book. What sort of book, how many pictures it has, and how good it reads is up to all of us as individuals to choose. Those choices for me are summed up perfectly by a clever bloke named Gilbert Chesterton…

The traveller sees what he sees… a tourist sees only what he has come to see. – G.K. Chesterton.

Some photographers operate as the tourist, seeing and capturing only what they came to see, what was pre-visualised and pre-planned, and what fits within the realm of the sort of photographer they are. That’s all fine, but for me as in life, and as a photographer I’m much more the traveller, also seeing and capturing what happens, as it happens, natural and unrehearsed, flash-free, filling blank pieces of paper with fresh experiences, fresh ideas, new perspectives, and often unexpected moments in time. This way of working is often referred to as documentary style photography.

So… that’s what sort of photographer I am.
Documentary Style Wedding Photography

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Victorian Professional Photography Awards 2013 – Results are in!

This week the 2013 Victorian Professional Photographer of the Year (VPPY) Awards were judged in Melbourne. 

After entering for the first time this year I’m pretty rapt to have some success at this years event with 5 of my 8 entries receiving the much sought after award grades with 2 silver distinctions and 3 silvers. 

The Australian Awards are up again next (APPA) so bring it on I say haha!


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2013 Headoff Landscape Prize. The winner has been announced!!! Is it me?

The winners have just been announced of the prestigeous nationwide Headoff Landscape Prize which means I can finally take the wrappers off my big news for the last month or two. I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the 20 finalists for the prize with my image of the Grampians Bushfires earlier this year. (pictured below)

My hat goes off to the prize winner Tim Levy, congratulations! My photograph along with all the finalist images will all be on exhibition at the State Library of NSW in Sydney for the remainder of the Headon Photo Festival. For more details on the festival visit

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Grampians Photographer – Guided Photography Tours for Groups and Individuals

Wow I’m bad at keeping myself updated on here. I’ll make up for it now with a more extensive blog on last weekends Guided Photography trip. I took the Williamtown Camera Club out for a few days to see the best of the Grampians National Park… my backyard.

Before I get into what we got up to I’ll quickly put it out there for clubs, groups and individuals alike that are interested in personalised photography guided tours to contact me for a some locations, options and prices.

Well we kicked things off on Saturday afternoon by walking to the Pinnacle. The walk is diverse, adventurous and the view ever-changing and spectacular.

The Pinnacle
Dead tree standing over the landscape


From there we went up to Reeds lookout in time for the sunset. With near on 360 degree views at the top, we needed to be scanning all round for the best light and photographic opportunities as they arose. Light changes quickly during the “magic hour” around sunset.


The jagged peaks of the Serra Range as we arrived
More photographers arriving to soak up the wonderful light
With the sun nearly dipping, capturing every angle becomes a challange
The last sun rays softly lighting the distant ranges
Last light. Lake Wartook lies beneath the peaks of the Mt Difficult Range
Long after the sun has set the light is often at its best.


After a senational dinner in Halls Gap and a good sleep we awoke early to ensure we arrived at Boroka Lookout before sunrise. Well was it ever worth it, we managed to witness a Grampians sunrise at its best with everyone in the group taking home some ‘keepers’.


Soft hazey morning and incredible colour with Lake Fyans in the foreground
Lake Lonsdale dwarfed but an incredible sunrise sky
Camera club members capturing their photographs
The first sunrays softly bathe Mt William
My tele lens allows me to capture Mt Rosea warming up nicely
With the sun now up the colour spectrum is still changing. What a morning!


After our sunrise treat we moved along to MacKenzie Falls. It’s the largest and most spectacular waterfall in the Grampians and the photographic experience for the group didn’t disappoint.


Mackenzie Falls. 30sec @f8
Camera club members in the process of capturing their photographs. 30sec @f8


If you’re keen to capture the best photograhic spots in the Grampians and witness them at the right time of day contact me for a guided tour. If requested I can also provide tips and techiniques to improve your photography. Contact me, Marty on or phone 0427790783.

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Carbon Neutral – Rural Photography

The best thing about being a regional based photographer is the job diversity. A lot of jobs just aren’t work if you know what I mean. Does carbon neutral merino wool suits exist? You betcha! And I was there to capture another tree planting initiative on a country Victorian property where it all begins.

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Canola brings the Spring!

Canola fields always remind me of the start of spring. Bright vibrant colours, blue sky, spring rains and fresh air (if you’re up wind for anyone that’s smelled canola). In my recent travels for a commercial assignment in NSW they featured everywhere and I thought they might brighten up you day as well 🙂

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Back on Deck

Wow! After a few months off over winter to renovate our new little house in Halls Gap I’m back on deck and its been busy busy busy.

The last little while in no particular order has seen me at a few weddings, a Thai style pre-wedding shoot, a few interstate commercial shoots and finally I attended the big AIPP Event for photographers up in the Hunter Valley in NSW.

A few updates on my last shinanigans will pop up this week and I’ll do my best to keep things updated a little more often in between gigs in the coming weeks and months. They year is flying past!

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APPA Awards Results 2012

This year was my first time entering the prestigious Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPA). Up to 4 prints can be entered and are judged by the best photographers in the industry.

The entries were all judged live at the Digital Show on the weekend at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Being there to watch the judging was pretty cool and was certainly an interesting process. Some of the photographs entered were unbelievable. There are certainly a few talented photographers in Australia.

To top it off I walked away with 3 Silver Awards myself and ironically it was Yellow Bus (a previous award winner) that missed out this time. To say I’m absolutely wrapped is an understatement and certainly inspires me to try and raise the bar for next year. APPA 2013 here I come hahaha.

For those in the know regarding points my prints scored the following:

Ghan Tank – 83 pts (Silver)

Unnamed Hill – 81 pts (Silver)

Railway Crossing – 80 pts (Silver)

Yellow Bus – 76 pts

To find out more about APPA visit

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Landscape Book of the Year – Finalist

Wow! An exciting few months for Marty Schoo Photography was this week capped off by being named a finalist (final 5) in the Momonto Book of the Year Awards in the Landscape Category with my project book “I s o l a t i o n”.

The Landcsape Book winner chosen from many entries deservedly went to outstanding landscape photographers Dylan Toh and Marianne Lim with their “Iceland” Book. 

Overall Book of the Year honour went to the brilliant well-known Australian photographer Stephen Dupont with his “Stoned in Kabul” Book which is an account of his times in Afghanistan over the last few years.

For me there is always next year again of course, hehe!

To see all the finalist books and find out a little more visit the Momento Awards Website right here…

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I’m now an AIPP Accredited Professional Photographer

Its taken a lot of hard work and a steady professional progression but I’m proud to announce that I’m now an accredited professional photographer with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP).

To learn more about why you should choose an accredited AIPP photographer have a quick look here.

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Marty Schoo – ABC Open – Interview

Get in to macro photography and learn a bit about getting up close to the landscape. I was interviewed recently by the ABC Open Online to get a perspective on macro photography from a photographer in the region. Some great links and the interview and can be found at the link below the image.

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Award Winning Photograph – Vote for me to win it on stretched canvas

Well I’m a happy chappy. “Yellow Bus” from my award winning  ISOLATION  series has won entry to the Pure Genius 2012 Exhibition. The exhibition will be held at Brunswick Street Gallery from the 13th -26th April 2012. Very nice publicity!


You can win “Yellow Bus” on stretched canvas for yourself and support me just by voting for “Yellow Bus” as your favourite. After you’ve found it at the link at the bottom and voted be sure to check out some of the other quality entries. It should be a great exhibition and if your in Melbourne in April, go and check it out.

Now to vote for “Yellow Bus” just find it in the gallery which is randomly generated and vote with your mouses people.

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Winner – Capture Magazine – Exposed Challenge

Capture is Australia’s Top Selling Pro Photography Magazine. In the latest bi-monthly edition (March/April) I’ve been selected as the winner of the exposed challenge. Woot woot!

“It’s a competition that Capture run to help pro photographers in their early careers to get published and rewarded for their creativity and professionalism.

They chose the following images from my ongoing project on outback Australia  I s o l a t i o n.

So keep a look out for the latest Capture Magazine and for a preview of the  I s o l a t i o n  book check it out at!prettyPhoto[iframes]/12/

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I’ve joined the team at Australian Traveller Magazine

Between Weddings and Commercial photography shoots I also find time to contribute to the widely popular Australian Traveller Magazine. I’ve recently joined the contributor team as a photo journalist.

The latest issue ‘The Outback Special’ features my photography and words on the legendary Birdsville Track. Pick up the bumper issue from your local newsagent. They also have a great website at 

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Family Photography Sessions

Wow it’s been a busy end to the year and it’s about time I update things here.

When was the last time you had family photos done? Often a family photograph session can be a little contrived, stiff and setup, yet I’m sure most of you would prefer relaxed photographs of your family simply being happy, natural, and enjoying yourselves. This is my style and I’ve got some sample photographs from a recent family shoot right here. Thanks Erin and Joel we had a blast.

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A tip from Leonardo da Vinci

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.  – Leonardo da Vinci

In regards to Photography nothing could be closer to the truth.

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Stormy Grampians Weather

Well a day without taking photos is a day gone missing in my books.

The weather looks like its taking a turn for the worst for most. But for a landscape photographer bad weather usually means powerful, dramatic image results. I love it!

These images are all from the Halls Gap, Lake Fyans area of the Grampian region,  in Western Victoria.

Storm clouds forming near Lake Fyan | Grampians

Dark storm clouds brewing over Lake Fyans | Grampians

Storm clouds forming over Halls Gap | Grampians National Park

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Oodnadatta Track: Living History

Recently I revisted one of my favourite outback tracks, the Oodnadatta Track. I find it a fasinating location on so many levels. From a photography perspective there is something new and interesting around every corner. The history of the track and the old ghan railway that follows it is well documented on interpretive signs along the way. If you only do one ‘outback track’ then make this it! Here are a small selection of Oodnadatta Track photographs from my visits highlighting the diverse nature of this wonderful place.

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Grampians and Halls Gap Floods

January 2011 brought unprecedented rainfalls across many parts of Victoria. Halls Gap received around  280mm in 48 hours! The changes to the Grampians National Park were quick, dramatic and not to mention expensive. 

Many roads and attractions in the Grampians National Park  have since reopened with only a handful still under repair. The photographs taken below are a mixed bag taken on both my Pentax K-5 and my little waterproof Lumix (necessary with the rain so heavy).


Silverband Falls before floods
Silverband Falls after floods

Landslide on Mt Victory Road

Mt Victory Road

Mt Victory Road

Mt William Creek

Mt William Creek

Victoria Valley

MacKenzie Falls during floods


Stairs down to MacKenzie Falls

Raging flood waters in stoney creek right near stores in town


Mt Victory Road

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Silverband Falls in Grampians Open

Silverband Falls in the Grampians National Park is once again open. The whole Grampians National Park, Halls Gap and the surrounding region were dramatically effected by the floods in January 2011. Check out my photos of the before and after of Silverband Falls. Better still come and check it out for yourself this Easter.

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Marty gets Cover Photo for Photography Magazine

Marty is proud to announce that his photograph of the vivid cliffs and beach landscape at Cape Leveque in Western Australia has been chosen for the Cover of this months Australian Photography Magazine, Australia’s top-selling photography magazine.

Check it out in your nearest newsagency.

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Events Photographer

An events photographer has to be versatile, quick, and creative. Events I have photographed include music festivals and concerts, motorsport and car shows, local events and carnivals, and sporting events just to name a few. Contact me for an estimate for your events coverage or to ask any questions.

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