After years of capturing the Sydney party scene, photographer Andrew Dixon has changed direction to focus on travel images in his latest exhibition, Light and Influences.

A trip to Cambodia proved to be a turning point for Dixon, whose background as a photographer includes shooting parties and events for the likes of Homesexual, ACON, Frisky and Aurora.

Images from Cambodia and shots from his recent travels in Japan are the subject of Light and Influences, a collection of more than 20 photos, including shots of Taipei, Tokyo, Osaka and Hiroshima.

Dixon cited a visit to the Hindu temple complex of Angkor Wat (which is included in the exhibition) as life-changing, both on a personal and artistic level.

“I was totally moved by this spiritual experience; most of the structures are 1300 years old,” he told Sydney Star Observer.

“I love the fact that the use evolved with the religious culture of the people, being first a Hindu temple and then a Buddhist one. Go and see it before you can’t.”

It’s all a far cry from what he is used to photographing, but Dixon said he enjoyed working with a wide range of subjects.

“Doing the Mardi Gras parade is always a buzz as the crowds roar into life. It’s totally manic,” he said.

“On the whole, though, I prefer travel photography. There is less pressure, though time constraints can be hard when you are constantly on the move.”

Travel photography is sometimes criticised as being an overly glamorous, not entirely accurate portrayal of a destination. Dixon made a point of trying to avoid this.

“I tend to shoot in a more documentary style,” he said, citing both Diane Arbus and William Yang as major influences on his work.

“I try not to alter the images in post-production, and prefer to do all my editing in the field as I feel this is a truer representation of what I saw through the view finder.”

Growing up in rural New South Wales, Dixon began taking photographs at the age of five. Moving to Sydney after high school, he studied photography and print-making at the University of Sydney.

He sees the two mediums as interlinked.

“Photography is an extension of my love of print-making,”  Dixon said.

“I guess because both involve very mechanical yet hands-on processes, because you are dealing with multiples from a single frame.”

info: Light and Influences is at Duke’s Lounge, 153 Avoca Street Randwick until November 22.


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