"Gippsland This is US"

John Ansell’s interest in portrait photography forms the basis of this project which captures the people and characters of his home region. The ongoing project is expected to take at least 4 years.

If you are interested in being a part of the project or would like to nominate someone for us to photograph, please submit the form below and we will be in touch.


As a photographic artist, John Ansell has always created new work either for National competitions or purely for himself. In 2015 he turned to the Wet Plate Collodion medium and created the series “A Time line of Australia” that saw him voted both the Australian Portrait Photographer of the Year and the Overall Australian Photographer of the Year. Continuing forward his work in Alternate Photography has seen him create images with processes such as Argrotypes, Emulsion Transfers and in particular Cyanotypes.

Enjoying success at national and international level, alternate processes and traditional Black and White darkroom work are key components of John’s personal work and the stories within. Often working with environmental themes to express concern at mans effect on our world the work is sometimes dark and usually thought provoking.

Wet Plate Collodion

Steeped in tradition and dating back to the 1850’s the collodion process creates unique one off pieces of work. Using it involves coating a glass or aluminum plate with collodion, dipping the coated plate into silver salts to make it light sensitive, loading the plate into the camera for exposure, and then developing it. A wet Plate Collodion image has a purity of silver and look that is a wonder to hold in your hand. John’s works explore themes ranging from drug addiction, depression, vulnerable children and the effects of war on communities.

The Cyanotype

Cyanotypes have a long and rich history. Created initially for scientific purposes by Sir John Herschel in the 1840’s and popularized by Anne Atkins to keep records of botanical specimens. It is recognized by its lush Prussian blue color which is achieved by the use of iron rather than silver as the light-sensitive material. The simplicity of the process does not prevent the creation of strong stories and is an excellent medium for marine environmental images.

Macro & Science

In the 2018 Australian Photography Awards fearing his work was too easily recognized, John did a complete turnaround and entered a folio of macro photographs of saltwater corals. An extension of his love of marine life and scuba diving, the portfolio went on to win the Victorian Science Photographer of the Year Award and was a Finalist in the Australian Professional Photography Awards.

Moving forward his image of Diaphonised Fish was selected to represent Australia in the World Photography Cup. The use of macro photography and complex photo stacking techniques allows us to see the unseen and appreciate our environment anew through images ranging from marine life to bacteria.

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