Anders McDonald

My creative practice is largely studio and digital editing based. The studio offers me control of lighting, weatherproof shooting (a MUST in my city’s fickle weather) and an ability to work at any time of day or night creating the basis of my final images. I draw on styles of my youth (the groovy 70’s) when shooting fashion and editorial but at other times I shoot specifically for my compositing projects. In creating my social commentary series my practice requires me to shoot “in the wild” – a term I use for everything outside my studio. This can range from suburban sprawl to cathedrals, from rainforest to underwater shooting. My task is to bring these together to delivery technically what I see in my mind’s eye. If I meet my aims, the images will make uncomfortable viewing, cause people to rethink their own consumption and encourage people to “Look Up!”

As we go about our daily lives consuming, we fret over what we can do as individuals to make a meaningful contribution to reduce global warming. It seems too big for one person to do anything, and we hope that “the government” will do something for our children. Or the corporations belching CO2 into the atmosphere, producing things for us to consume. But we keep electing the same old people who have grown up on compromising between competing interests. We still choose to buy new cars that run on petrol when EV’s are within reach. We consume food, only to throw 30% of it away, and we fill our recycling bins with the packaging we have become so used to – somehow convincing ourselves that we are doing our bit for the environment. Some chant “Save the planet!”, but the planet doesn’t need saving – it will be here long after we are gone, floating around in space without a care. We need to save ourselves, our civilisation and our future. Yet the things we need to change in our consumption patterns are all around us – like a fish in water, we don’t see it. We are breathing in our own exhaust. The water of the world is in a worse state – why? Because out of sight is out of mind. Yet two thirds of our home is water. At this residency I intend to create images which bring these concepts into stark relief. I will do this through a series of locally captured images, juxtaposed with other images of people going about their daily lives, and their interaction with water. This will be done through compositing.


Anders McDonald is a photographer with over 35 years’ experience behind the camera. Starting with film and a home dark room, Anders has transitioned to the digital era and now practices in all facets of photography. Travel has been a real passion for Anders, having visited over 65 countries, and photographed them all. This fascination with cultures, landscapes and people from all around the world continues to this day, with at least one major overseas trip very year.

In recent times this has meant photography from Iran, China, Vanuatu (for Oxfam) and New Zealand, as well as domestic assignments and projects within Australia. Anders feels this has helped him develop into a “citizen of the world” and this shows in his work. Anders has won recognition for his photography from the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers and works from his studio in Warburton, a small town outside his home city of Melbourne, Australia. Each year Anders dedicates an amount of his work time pro bono for selected charities, and 15% of all sales go to Oxfam to support them in their important work. Anders holds a Bachelor of Photography from Melbourne’s highly regarded Photography Studies College.

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