Moments are fleeting, time passes quickly before your eyes and landscapes are constantly changing.
Why do we take photos? A common reason for taking a photograph is to document something with a view to looking back and remembering it at a later date. Perhaps the camera is one of the most important inventions of all time. It is the single tool that has the ability to stop time, record history, generate art, tell stories, and communicate messages.
I think that what makes a photograph successful is subjective, but for me, the one important element is that it makes you feel something. Photography is the universal language that speaks to the heart.
We take pictures to tell the news of the day, as a visual way to educate and enlighten readers about current issues. Photography can also record history for future generations to compare. (This is where Phillip Biggs would say, "In the old days we used to ...")
I was asked this week, "what photos have you taken that have made you happy?". It's really a hard question to answer. I could simply answer, that a picture was in focus, or I stood in the right spot to get it, that there wasn't a lens cap on, and no one had their eyes closed - or even that I tried something new and it worked.
But what really makes me happy is when I am able to capture a person in a particular moment, maybe in their natural surroundings or where I haven't set the photo up. When it all comes together and the photo tells the story easily.
One such image was this week, the page one photo of young Jack Duffy with his dad Chris Duffy surrounded by primary school students, when they stopped for a quick visit, as they make their way past, as they run down the Midland highway to Hobart to raise funds for running chairs. It just captured that moment of smiles and happiness all round.
I've decided to look back over previous years for pictures on November 20, which is close to this date, through the archive and my favourite old photo collection, the bound editions of Weekly Couriers.
I thought I'd start way back, and look through the Weekly Couriers. I found Thursday November 20, 1919 (and no, this isn't one of mine, although I do love flying to take aerial pictures). Taken by Stephen Spurling, it was one of the first aerial photographs of Launceston ever published in Tasmania.
No doubt from other pictures published, they spent some time over the city. I would love to fly over the city and replicate some of these Launceston city aerials.
Look closely and you might be able to see 2:Cimitiere Street, 3: Cameron Street and 4: Patterson Street; with 8: Charles Street.
You can also see Cornwall Square, with the footpaths crossing over, which is now where the Transit Centre, Harvey Norman and The Sebel Hotel are. If you look to the right, you will see the original Examiner office and Launceston fire station in Paterson Street. The QVMAG at Royal Park, where Cameron Street runs beside, is in the bottom right picture. Plenty of buildings were demolished to allow Cimitiere Street to continue through behind the Supreme Court and connect up to Wellington Street.
On November 20, 2018, I photographed Geoff and Tanya Hann, who were celebrating 30 years of business. Unfortunately their business, Crystal Cleaning for Cars, has now closed its doors permanently and the site will now house UTAS buildings. I lined the two of them up with a car and their dog, Wyn, decided to photo-bomb them. He wasn't content to simply sit, and decided to roll over and play up for the camera. It does make the picture personal to them.
I first met Sally Fletcher back in 2002, when she won medals in a National Veterans cycling event. Since then, she has ridden around the state raising funds for mental health, after which then started her annual "Sally's Ride" as part of the Tamar Valley Cycle Challenge. The above shot was taken a decade ago, and last weekend, she was again being the face of the event and encouraging people to get on their bikes and enjoy the ride. No doubt she will be there again next year, too.
We see pictures remain as essential as they've ever been. They allow us to not only freeze time and precious moments, but also to preserve them to last for generations to come.
The images I take for the newspaper - and the photos anyone reading this takes - not only capture moments in time, they help us create and preserve memories. They take on their own life, and these days they can be easily shared, and will last generations. And after all, isn't that what it's all about?
Here are some more moments from November 20.
20/11/2016: "Slinky" 9 months owned by Leaanne Szmekura of Launceston for the RSPCA Santa Paws event.
20/11/2020: Senator Jacqui Lambie with James Turner at the Waverley Woolen Mills, Launceston.
20/11/2013: Jane Cooper, of Perth, author of the book, "Land of the Sleeping Giants".
20/11/1919: View of Launceston and the main thoroughfares. 2: Charles Street, 3:Wellington Street, 7: Balfour Street, 8: Canning Street, The Weekly Courier:
20/11/2014: A seal makes himself at home on the St Patricks college rowing pontoon at Seaport, in the North Esk river.
18/11/1915: Some of the characters in the comic opera "Florodra" to be produced by the Launceston Operatic Society, in the National Theatre. 2:Leandro, (Mr Chas Munro) and Spanish girls, The Weekly Courier.
20/11/2017: Bruce and Katrina Archer with their Chester Poll Herefords at Westwood.
I'd love to know your thoughts. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Scambler - Senior Photographer