Interview: Evan Robinson

Jan 28, 2013 3:17:51 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

Photo: Photographer Evan Robinson

Evan Robindon is one of three Sydney street photographers recently featured on CAPA World. The three became friends through their art and a project in which they attempt to photograph 100 strangers, some of whom are featured throughout this interview. Below, Evan talks about the World Press Photo exhibit in NSW, the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition and some of his favorite restaurant recommendations in Sydney.

Photo: Stephanie was photographed in Surrey Hills. Evan was not surprised to find out that this stranger he approached to photograph is a model for a living.

CAPA World: In five sentences or less, tell us a bit about your background as a street photographer and your experience developing your art on the streets of Sydney.
Evan Robinson: My background in street photography all started with the 100 Strangers group on Flickr - primarily an educational group where members learn by doing. Before taking on such a daunting project myself, I had shot only three street portraits, but lacked direction and motivation. Through 100 Strangers, I discovered a real interest in photographing people. Hopefully by the time I hit 100 (currently at 95), my style will have found me!

Photo: This is Matthew, a local of Surrey Hills and photographed in his neighborhood. Matthew previously owned a pharmacy in The Cross but is now working in industry.

CW: What has been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome to get a great street shot?
ER: The biggest challenge I've faced while doing street portraiture was my encounter with Nicole, Stranger No. 70. There were two aspects of this shot that made it more challenging than most. First of all, I didn't spot Nicole on the street, but rather, she was sitting in a cafe, ready to order lunch. Intentionally going out of your way to disrupt someone's meal can be quite an intimidating task! However, the more challenging part was that Nicole was with her mother. And like any mother, she was protective of her daughter and asked a number of questions about the project and my photography. Fortunately, after quite a bit of discussion and with some help from fellow Sydney street photographer (and fellow interviewee), Peter, I was able to assuage her concerns and get the shot.

Photo: Originally from the UK, Kelly tried living in NZ and Melbourne before finally settling on Sydney, where she now works in children's publishing. She was photographed by Evan while out shopping in Newtown.

CW: Where’s your favorite place to go in Sydney to see the work of other photographers you admire?
ER: Once a year, the World Press Photo exhibit makes an appearance at the NSW State Library. Photojournalists from all over compete for the prestigious World Press Photo of the Year award and a selection of the entries form one of the most compelling exhibits I've ever seen. Covering everything from wildlife and natural disasters to rebellious uprisings and luchadores, there is something for everyone. Most interesting is the retrospective look at the previous year's most newsworthy events. Highly recommended to photographers and non-photographers alike. It's also free!

Photo: Helana is an Egyptian living in Sydney. A local from the Newtown area, she was returning from a theater audition, where she had already received a call back, when this shot was taken.

CW: Is there a place in Sydney where you have not yet taken your camera but would like to? Why do you think it would make for some good photography?
ER: Despite mainly focusing on street portraiture, I'd like to take my camera out to the Eastern Suburbs to photograph the coastal cliffs at sunrise one morning. Sydney is a beautiful city and I think the water, cliffs and sunrise would come together quite nicely. More specifically, there is a six km walk along the coast from Bondi to Coogee which links a number of beaches, cliffs and other scenic areas together that would provide a wonderful vantage point. One way to enjoy the walk is during the annual art exhibit, Sculpture by the Sea, which is a free event held every November.

Photo: Aeky was photographed at Pitt St. Mall. He is from Bangkok, where he is a university student, and was on a visit to Sydney.

CW: Give us your best recommendations on where to eat and drink off the tourist trail on a student budget.
ER: As an American living in Australia, I'm still surprised at the cost of food and drinks in Sydney. But two places immediately jump to mind: Home Thai and Via Abercrombie. While I'm not a foodie, Home Thai is the best Thai food I've had in the city. Taste aside, it is also an exceptional value with mains (entres to you other Americans) on the cheap end, and the portions are more American than Aussie sized. The downside--and you knew it was coming--can be the wait. But time your visit well, or show up with just a party of two and you'll be easily taken care of. Via Abercrombie is a sandwich shop that I discovered while backpacking through Sydney several years ago. Tucked in a tiny lane way (Abercrombie Lane off George St.), it doesn't even have any words on its sign. The staff are incredibly friendly and the sandwiches are both sharing-size and super tasty!

Thanks Evan!

See more from Evan on his website:

Topics: Interviews, Sydney, Australia