Interview: with Street/Travel photographer Oly Steel

Interview: with Street/Travel photographer Oly Steel


Growing up on the North Coast of NSW, I was surrounded by a surf culture. This was the at the forefront of my social networks that drove the transition from school to adulthood. Never really entrenching myself into a certain craft when it came to surfing I started to develop an interest in the ocean and the land that surrounds it. Moving for study to Newcastle, NSW this interest continued to grow as did my opportunity to make money and thus the opportunity to purchase decent camera equipment. Whether it be shooting empty waves, landscapes or events, the landscape of Newcastle and the North coast keeps my strong desire to shoot in different countries at bay. My true passion lies within shooting abroad, cultures, landscape and the people that inhabit this earth.

I shot this gallery on a recent trip to Nepal. I travelled to Nepal with all intentions to shoot the Himalayas but I find myself deeply enthralled by what was infront of me when I stepped off the plane in Kathmandu. These are the people of the city.

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

– How and when did you become interested in photography?

My interest for photography began quite late at the age of 18. When I finished school I did a lot of travelling through Europe. Along the way I met some amazing photographers who were capturing a vast variety of objects, places and people. This drove the notion of being able to return from a trip with a collection of events or a cultural display.

– Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?

When I first moved to Newcastle I was hanging out with a guy who was also from the North Coast named Zac. I owe a lot of what I learnt from him, we had a hell time learning together. These days I love the work of Geoff Lung and Chris Burkard.

– Why do you work in black and white rather than colour?

The thing I love about black and white photography is that it is timeless. You can look at a black and white photography from the 1900s and it is just as emotive as any image today. It holds far stronger potentially to contrast dark from light. For me light is at the forefront of photography so if you can master black and white photography it shows talent regarding the understanding of light.

– How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?

This depends entirely on what I am shooting. In a world driven by social media and amazing phones people can just click a picture of themselves and get a bigger audience that a photo that takes ages to compose. Shooting waves and travel all my time goes into anticipation. Being in the right place at the right time in the right light is my key to a good shot. I post edit in Lightroom. I never alter objects, only light and contrast.

– Where is your photography going? What projects would you like to accomplish?

I hope to use my photography to tell stories of my travels. I hope to provide people with a first person view of what I have been lucky enough to see. I am forever grateful with the life I live and hope that other people are able to see what I am lucky enough to see. My dream job would be with Natgeo or lonelyplanet.

Website: www.olysteelphotography.com

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel

© Oly Steel


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