An eye for the ‘perfect picture’

Terry Blades with his shot of a New Zealand landscape. 404974_04 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

by Cam Lucadou-Wells

Whether in the wilds or in the city, Terry Blades always has an eye out for a possible photo of a lifetime.

At 76, the “hobby” photographer makes his debut exhibition Everywhere with a snapshot of his life’s travels at Noble Park Community Centre’s new art space.

Blades has always taken an SLR camera overseas, always kept one in the car – just in case an opportunity pops up.

He says he doesn’t get too technical or creative but just has a love of taking pictures.

“I always think that the next picture is going to be the perfect picture.

“You never know what you’re going to see.”

The more unusual include a multi-truck crash on the Tullamarine Freeway, and a small Mercedes parked in a tight gap in New York.

“It looked like you would have to lift the car out. I saw that and thought that’s a great photo.

“It might not mean much to anyone but you’re thinking – how did the bloke drive in there in the first place?”

Among his 26,000 images on his computer, there are landscapes, buildings, tall trees and animals from a grand array of locations – a New Zealand glacier, Ballarat’s Gold-Rush history, New Orleans and the Grand Canyon.

The difficult task was selecting the shots that made the cut for his exhibition.

“I wanted to show the public I wasn’t one-dimensional. It gives you an idea of what I can do.”

He’d always been keen on cameras, starting with film as a teenager.

Before he and wife Roz migrated from England to Australia at the age of 21, he photographed their picturesque trip through the lakes and highlands of Scotland and England.

“I never had the money to buy a decent camera at that stage. I made do with an average camera.”

But the advent of digital photography opened up something “magical” for him. “You can do more with it at home, it’s less expensive and you can take shot after shot after shot.

“I envy young people now taking five times as many photos of their kids. Before, it was much more hit and miss.”

Blades is the first to grace the walls of the NPCC’s new exhibition space, which showcases artists free of charge.

“They asked me to lead the way. I’d never put things on display on before, so I thought let’s give it a go.

Curator Sam Kariotis praised Blades’s “remarkable ability to capture the beauty of the world”.

“His keen eye for composition, lighting, and sense of motion imbues his sweeping landscape photography with a captivating allure.”

Terry Blades’ exhibition Everywhere runs until 28 June at Noble Park Community Centre, Memorial Drive, Noble Park.