F: Your passion for photography started at a young age, can you recall if there was a moment in time that cemented your love for this medium?
DX: I’m unsure if there has been a singular, identifiable moment. However I often feel that closer connection whilst being on the road, out of my comfort zone. There is an addiction for exploring and discovering which the medium has given me. Perhaps this was born out of necessity; a certain pressure that ensures I do what I must to 'get the shot?'
F: Working with an analogue camera can be quite unpredictable. What sort of camera are you currently using and can you share with us more insight in relation to your choice of film over digital?
DX: I’ve recently acquired a Pentax 67, to accompany my Mamiya 7. Although they both produce a 6x7 negative, they couldn’t be more different. The Mamiya has been incredible for its portability and versatility in creating landscape portraits & a precise documentation of the land, whereas the Pentax is a bonafide hero of the portrait world.
The choice to use film over digital is a concerted one. The patience developed between the moments of releasing the shutter and having a tangible image is of upmost importance to me, as it forces me to be more present during shooting. When you understand the pressure of only having 10 frames on a roll, in which takes up to 2 minutes to reload, you find a way to channel that constraint as that frame suddenly becomes everything.
F: In your recent exhibition ‘Iran - of land, sea and ritual’ you captured such intriguing and beautiful moments in a country that is somewhat misunderstood by the western world. What was the biggest ‘revelation’ you had whilst travelling within the Middle East?
DX: The Middle East has such a powerful allure. Our democratised western world couldn’t be further from their daily existence, or so I was led to believe. Apart from the obvious visual and cultural differences, common societal values are no different to ours. They too go through the motions and conduct their daily rituals, in aspiration of living a full and prosperous life. As simple a finding it be, this was such a monumental revelation for me. It has left me inspired to reckon my cultural insecurities and continue to venture into the unknown.
F: Share 24 hours in the life of a creative who is currently based in Melbourne. Do you have any rituals - daily or otherwise?
DX: 7am I’m awake. Even in the depth of a German winter (Melbourne not being much different) would I rise this early, something that’s stuck with me since growing up on the Sunshine Coast. Brewing a coffee and referring to my ToDo list is my first port of call. Ensuring I break the day into two parts is essential - hours for my creative endeavours, and the others for life admin (day job / errands etc). My creative hours are generally spent sifting through photo books and other geeky material, waiting for that ever elusive moment where an idea you deem to have potential appears. However as is the creative process, may it suddenly be dismissed by rationalisation. That being said, i’ve recently been making the effort to stop spending too much time on self evaluation. Sometimes you just need to get on with it - flesh it out, and what will be will be.
F: What is on the horizon for your next body of work? Do you have any destinations in mind? We’ve heard a book release is impending … very excited.
DX: Yes that’s correct! Designer Yarron Felder is working with me to achieve that, which is naturally very exciting. The idea of creating a bi-annual magazine has also started to take shape. A visual journey across differing continents, exploring the ideas of creating, existing, and (hopefully) inspiring others to live a more measured & considered lifestyle.. Perhaps a Fallow collaboration to follow?[ Images courtesy of Dominic Xavier ]