Mike Skelton: 'I was totally obsessed'

MIKE Skelton fell in love with photography in his late teens.

At 19, after finishing high school, he travelled to Europe, taking a little camera with him.

He decided that when he got home he would buy and learn to use a camera.

Within six months he knew "this is for me".

He completed a three-year photography degree at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) and then worked as a photography assistant in Sydney for four to five months.

The voracious young man wanted more though and decided London and Paris were where he wanted to be.

So he packed his bags and lived and worked in those countries for the next three years.

"I worked for many great photographers, assisting them and learning from them."

When he decided it was time for him to start out on his own, he came back home in Australia.

"It all kind of took off.

"I think its the first time in life I found a medium of expression where I could express myself.

"I was totally obsessed. I absolutely loved it."

Mike worked as a commercial photographer for 25 years until ill health saw him retire to Hannam Vale with his wife Carolyn seven years ago.

"We love it.

"We are passionate about living the best life we can have. We grow our own organic vegetables and have an orchard."

They even rebuilt the house.

Mike has recently been getting back into his photography and he took a vested interested in printing the photos for the exhibition.

"I thought I'd like to learn about digital printing. Jon Cone is a pioneer of digital printing (in Vermont, America) and I rang him up and he did one-on-one teaching.

"We printed all the photos in collaboration over a week."

The trip was also a honeymoon with his wife and he also took enough photos for another exhibition.

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