PHOTOGRAPHER Chevelle Williams is stamping her mark with her bush style, writes GLENN MULCASTER
Chevelle Williams is an animal lover, rouseabout, truck driver and farm labourer.
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She drives interstate B-doubles and road trains, rescues animals from pounds (which she names after trucks and earth-moving equipment) and has a soft-spot for dingoes. But her real love, the passion she describes as her "thing", is photography.
She gets dust on her boots every day, but she's more concerned about guarding against the dust on the lens of her Canon 1000D camera. "My camera comes with me everywhere," she confides.
The 29-year-old divides her time between her home at Redesdale, in central Victoria, and Baddaginnie, in Victoria's north, where she is employed as a short-term farm worker on a property.
Her goal is to capture life on the land, in particular scenes that are rarely observed, especially by city folk. And people are starting to take notice.
Last year, one of her photographs was used by Australia Post on a limited edition stamp and postcard after she entered a competition to create an Australia Day theme.
The entry was a black-and-white image of Merino rams she named The Godfathers. She took several photographs of the sheep on a family property, Wattlebank, at Langley, north of Kyneton, where the Merinos were being penned for shearing.
When she began shooting, a group of rams stood shoulder to shoulder, protecting the rest of the flock, watching her every move and, seemingly, staring her down.
"If I see a scene, I can visualise what I want and my hands just do it," Chevelle says.
"I can't talk the talk, or explain it. I just take the photographs."
Chevelle first began shooting with a film camera given to her by her parents, who for many years had photographed speedway race meetings and dog shows.
She is the photographer for the local chapter of the American Truck Historical Society, and is currently choosing photos to exhibit at a couple of shows: the 10th Highlands Art Experience at Highlands, near Seymour, on March 1-3, and the Harold Baigent Memorial Art Exhibition at Heathcote on May 3-5.
Chevelle also plans to exhibit at agricultural shows at Benalla, Kyneton and Bendigo, and will showcase her work at the Redesdale Market on March 10.
When Chevelle reflects on her work, she says there are a few images she is satisfied with, mainly because of the composition, but reckons she shoots "maybe only five" good-quality photographs each month out of hundreds.
"Some people like images that I don't think are exhibition-worthy, or I think they were too easy to take," she says. "But there are others that are my favourites because I know what I had to do to get them."