Fine Photography – Nigel Gaunt

Not long ago, we inaugurated Fine Photography on the Shipping News to honour local and Fremantle connected photographers of note.

Each feature displays a gallery of their work, chosen by them, and a podcast of our discussion with them about their careers and their work. It all makes for fascinating viewing and listening.

To date we have featured photographers Kerry Faulkner, Seng Mah, Lidia D’Opera, Brett Leigh Dicks, Simon Cowling, Wade and Robyn Hughes, Deanna Shanahan, Tony McDonough, Georgina Barker, Tony Hewitt.

We are very pleased to introduce Nigel Gaunt in this Fine Photography feature.

Nigel was introduced to photography was when his father gave him an Ilford Sporti camera for his 8th birthday. Not surprising really, as his father was a photographer too!

Nigel was 18 when he commenced his Diploma in Advertising and Fashion Photography at Medway College of Art and Design in Rochester Kent, UK.

In 1982, aged 27, Nigel came to Australia for a holiday and never went back! While in Perth WA, he worked for various photographic studios and was soon directing his own studio in Mandurah.

A few years later Nigel headed south to Esperance, gave away photography and began farming. After five years he moved north to Newman in the Pilbara where he worked as a driller/shot firer.

It was in this remote rugged region that his photographic passion was reignited by the incredible landscapes. From his base in Newman he started to explore the North West of Australia with his camera and during this time bought his first panoramic camera, a Hassleblad X Pan. 18 months later he purchased his second panoramic camera, a medium format Linhof Technorama 617s. Nigel’s current preferred cameras are Nikon and Sigma Quattro’s.

Nigel set up Red Dirt Photography in 2002 in Broome, which specialised in Landscape Photography and Photographic Tours of the Kimberley. He opened his Photographic Gallery there in 2007.

Living in Broome allowed him to continue to chase the wild light that makes the red pindan soil explode into colour and transforms the landscape into an amazing palette for photography.

“My images let people view how I see the beauty and ruggedness of the North West landscape, the places they have been to but have never really seen before.”

In July 2006 Nigel held his first solo exhibition, “Dreaming of Water” in Broome’s The Bay Gallery. During the next nine years he won numerous local photographic awards and was involved in many community photographic events.

Nigel closed the Broome gallery in October 2015 and moved to South Fremantle for some family time and a change of photographic direction. He now conducts limited photographic workshops and tours in the Fremantle area.

In September 2019 Nigel held an exhibition of aerial abstracts and landscape of the North west at Gallows Gallery in Mosman Park.

Nigel’s change in direction has taken him back to the studio where he explores those moments frozen in time with high speed sync photography capturing those moments that allows our eye to view in detail what it cannot see in that fraction of a second.

To learn even more about Nigel go to his website for Red Dirt Photography.

Here’s a great gallery of Nigel’s work that we present for your enjoyment, along with our podcast interview with Nigel where he discusses his photographs and his career.

So, lean back, put in your EarPods and listen to Nigel as you study his photographs!