2021 Viewfinder Speakers

1st February – Petra Leary: Aerial Photography

Petra Leary www.petraleary.com www.instagram.com/petraleary

Petra Leary is an award winning New Zealand born aerial photographer. Her ability to capture her subjects from unique perspectives is striking and groundbreaking. 

She has an innate design sensibility, reflected in her unique process all the way from conception to post-production. An intrepid world traveller she hunts out unusual landscapes, captures them from unforeseen angles such as her signature bird’s eye angle from above, and manipulates and accentuates colours in post-production to create her final work. 

Her work is simple yet bold in arrangement and composition. Belying this effortlessness are deeply honed technical skills, and a knowing iconoclastic eye for pop culture. 

1st Mar – Georgina Steytler: The Art of Bird Photography

Georgina Steytler https://www.georginasteytler.com.au/ | https://www.instagram.com/georgina_steytler/

I am a self-taught photographer. Over the years I have tried to master the technical aspects of nature photography, whilst also developing an eye for an aesthetically pleasing composition. My favourite saying is attributed to Pablo Picasso: “Learn the rules like a Pro. Break them like an Artist.”
I also believe that as a nature photographer, I have a duty to do everything in my power to minimise our impact and help conserve our natural world. In this regard, my photographic philosophy can be summed up in these three words: “Art. Conservation. Ethics

3rd May – Tim Flach: How to Evoke Empathy Through Animal Portraiture

Tim Flach www.timflach.com

Tim Flach will be discussing his body of work, particularly in context of what depictions of animals can most powerfully connect us with them and evoke empathy, and thereby lead to possible conservation actions. Tim has always been fascinated with why certain images have emerged and what they have in common. Tim will explore perceptual theories around luminance and colour, left gaze bias, and composition.

Tim is an animal photographer with an interest in the way humans shape animals and shape their meaning while exploring the role of imagery in fostering an emotional connection. Bringing to life the complexity of the animal kingdom, his work ranges widely across species, united by a distinctive stylisation reflecting an interest in how we better connect people to the natural world.

He has four major bodies of work concerning different subjects: Equus (2008) focusing on the horse, Dogs Gods (2010) on canines, More Than Human (2012) a broad exploration of the world’s species, and Endangered (2017) a powerful document of species on the edge of extinction. He has published five books; Endangered (2017), Evolution (2013), More than Human, (2012), Dogs Gods (2010) and Equus (2008).

Flach is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from University of the Arts London in 2013. He lives and works in London with his wife and son.

5th Jul – Lizzie Shepherd: Mood versus Composition

Lizzie Shepherd www.lizzieshepherd.com

There are many variables outwith our control in photography. Depending on your viewpoint, you can see this as a frustration or as one of the joys of our craft – that we can never be quite sure what we are going to get. The one thing that is always within our control is composition. Of course there are constraints within which we must work, but it is entirely up to us just what we include within our frame, as well as what we exclude. 

Lizzie is a professional photographer based in North Yorkshire, specialising in landscape, nature and travel photography.

“Beauty and intrigue surrounds us and I hope that, as well as showcasing some of our classic views, my photographs reveal a little bit of the less obvious, hidden scenes – things that people might otherwise just walk by. Similarly, when I travel to other parts of the country and world, I’m always looking to explore some more abstract and unusual interpretations of the places I visit. The way I see the world around me is constantly evolving and I believe that one of the joys of photography is that it forces you to open your eyes, to develop your vision and to keep searching for ways to express that vision.”

2nd Aug – Paul Hughson: Real estate photography in Norway

Paul Hughson www.paulhughson.com/

Paul Hughson (son of our member Greg) is a commercial photographer based in Drøbak, Norway. Originally from New Zealand.  He has been shooting internationally for 12 years, living in England, Australia and for the past 7 years, beautiful Norway. He enjoys presenting properties at their best, using the latest technology and providing personal service to real estate clients.

6th Sept – Esther Bunning: For the love of the personal project – a story-teller artist who uses the camera as a creative tool

Esther Bunning www.estherbunning.com 

Esther Bunning is a story-teller artist who uses a camera as a creative tool. She is recognised as a portrait photographer with a style that is both instantly recognizable and difficult to pin down. Drawn to quiet beauty and resplendent light, the photographer weaves elements in a dreamy pastiche that tends to provide the viewer with a glimpse of the subject that cuts breezily below the surface.

She loves to combine the magic of blur, movement, abstraction and light to tell stories with layers and depth, about the people and places she photographs. Personal projects have contributed significantly to the development of her style and her continued passion for photography.

Her signature style is recognisable for using creative in-camera techniques. She is a Nikon Ambassador for New Zealand, an Asukabook Ambassador for Australasia, a global Lensbaby ambassador, and an Honorary Fellow of the NZIPP (NZ Institute of Professional Photography).

Esther was awarded the NZ Professional Photographer of the Year title in September 2020, at the NZIPP IRIS awards.

2020 Viewfinder Speakers

25th May 7.30pm

Julian Elliott https://www.julianelliottphotography.com/

Mongolia – From the landscape to eagle hunters: take a journey across Mongolia from the famous Steppe landscape to the eagle hunters of the Altai region in western Mongolia.

6th July 7.30pm

Mark Pain http://www.markpain.com/

World class sports photography is Mark’s speciality.

Mark Pain is a multi-award winning sports photographer with over 25 years experience and international recognition. Covering major events worldwide from the Olympic Games to the Ryder Cup, and from football and rugby World Cups to World Championship athletics, Mark has worked at the top of his profession for many years and was Chief Sports Photographer of the Mail On Sunday for over twenty years.

3rd August 7.30pm

Ilan Wittenberg https://ilanwittenberg.com/

In 2014 Ilan Wittenberg first exhibition was held at Auckland’s scenic waterfront. Titled Black, White & Colour, the exhibition featured portraiture, landscape and fine art. 

During 2015, Wittenberg documented the people in the Old City of Jerusalem. Faces of Jerusalem was exhibited at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery and was featured in f11 Magazine as well as in Art New Zealand magazine and D-Photo Magazine

The Bare Truth portfolio was exhibited at the 2016 Head On Photo Festival in Sydney as well as the Signature Programme of the 2016 Auckland Festival of Photography. 

Ilan award winning photo was chosen for the cover of D-Photo magazine together with a feature story from his recent travel to Morocco. He is NZIPP 2015, 2016 & 2018 Auckland Photographer of the Year. 

From here to Africa – The Maasai people was exhibited in Malcolm Smith Gallery in early 2020. This documentary travel series will also be featured at hEAD oN photo festival in Sydney. Wittenberg’s Scape collection was exhibited at the 2020 Core programme of Auckland Festival of photography while Faces of Cairo will be exhibited during September

7th September 7.30pm

David Clapp https://www.davidclapp.co.uk/

Images with Impact

5th October 7.30pm

Maarten Rots https://www.maartenrots.nl/

Maarten Rots (Aalten, 1982) is a Dutch artist working with photography as a medium. His photographs reveal abstract qualities that can be found in everyday life, often with architecture as a prominent ingredient and a strong focus on composition, texture and color.

Rots travels Europe with a camper van to uncover abstract images in daily surroundings, mostly dealing with the effects of light and shadow on textured architectural objects. Intentionally utilizing the flattening effect of the camera he introduces spatial ambiguity and often provides a minimal sense of scale, which leads to an image that reveals the abstract in the mundane. The resulting photographs often lean towards graphic imagery and are commonly confused for paintings or drawings upon first look.

2nd November 7.30pm

Kevin Landwer-Johan https://www.kevinlj.com/

Cultural Sensitivity when Photographing in South East Asia

Kevin Landwer-Johan is a self-taught photographer with a depth of experience he loves to share with others.

Kevin started in photography working at a daily newspaper (the Auckland Star) in his native New Zealand in the late 1980s. He worked for many years as a newspaper photographer, also as sole photographer for two of central Auckland’s Suburban Newspapers before starting his own freelance business where he engaged in commercial, editorial, wedding and portrait photography.

In 2002 Kevin moved to northern Thailand. Here he worked as a photographer and video producer. Most of his work was to provide photos and videos to help support the work of various non-profit organisations working among the rural poor communities.

Since 2014 Kevin and his wife have taught travel photography workshops. These are now based at their ruraly home where they also offer bed and breakfast accommodation. Kevin has also branched into online teaching and photography writing. He has published two books and is currently editing a third book.

Kevin loves to photograph people. He has a portable daylight studio he takes to villages of Northern Thailand to create studio portraits of people. This was inspired by the work of American photographer Irving Penn. He also makes photomontages. He began making these in the 1980s after watching a short documentary about British artist David Hockney working in this style of photography.

7th December 7.30pm

Julia Coddington https://www.juliacoddington.com/

Historically, there has been low representation of women in most genres of photography, particularly street photography which is dominated by men. In recent years however, there has been a noticeable rise of female representation within the genre.

Julia will talk about the involvement of women in street photography and the reasons behind the rise of female representation in contemporary street photography. She will also talk about her own experiences as a female street photographer and show examples of work by contemporary women street photographers as well as her own.


Julia Coddington is a photographer from Austinmer, NSW Australia. She is co-founder of the Unexposed Collective, an online platform featuring female and non-binary street photographers and an administrator of @womeninstreet, an international community of female street photographers. Julia is a member of the Little Box Collective and was a nominee for the 2020 Leica Oskar Barnack Award.

Julia’s work has been exhibited internationally and she has been a finalist in international street photography competitions. She has exhibited her work in Australia and overseas and has been featured in street photography magazines and interviewed on several photography podcasts. 

Julia has judged a number of photography festival competitions, including Miami Street Photography Festival, Street Foto San Francisco and the Italian Street Photography Festival.  

She has also curated several exhibitions, including the ‘Exposed’ exhibition at the Head On Photo Festival in Sydney, the ‘Two Way Street’ exhibition in San Francisco, the ‘Double Trouble’ exhibition at Head On 2020 in Sydney and “Double Exposed” at the Indian Photo Festival 2020.

Julia teaches workshops internationally and in Australia with her partner Gerry Orkin and with Vineet Vohra in India.