sophie howarth photography


Workshop with Mary Ellen Mark

I recently took a workshop with Mary Ellen Mark in Oaxaca, Mexico. This Blurb book was put together with the photographs taken over the 10 days immersion. That place does it to me. Wakes me up. Pre Mexico and post Mexico..more than a little different.



Sydney Melbourne Adelaide & Slideshow

Here is a run down of the rest of the shots I took on BDO 2011. Slideshow at the end.


Oooolala Sydney was a warm Australia Day…!

the Hare Krishna’s from Iskcon Sydney kicked off the day on the Lilyworld stage and then roamed the crowd


Some nice things happen on the road. Last year I had a show with Tony Mott of our BDO photos at the Mart Gallery. I printed photographs that I felt showed reverie.

This year I gave one of the shots that I exhibited to Warren Ellis from the Dirty Three who is part of Griderman. This it the shot:Warren rang, this doesn’t happen everyday, to tell me how much the photo meant to him. It was taken at the Big Day Out in Sydney at the old showground in Moore Park. Must have been 1996. In an email exchange that followed as I emailed more on from the same day, Warren wrote:

‘thanks Sophie they’re really wonderful, as I said to you on the phone, really moving,’

Then I started to investigate my archive of Dirty Three shots..that’s for another post. You can find their music and other things here


check this one out on the BDO site

Matt and Kim got a 2nd look in on Sophie Howarth Photography blog because the camera loves them..I love this shot

Warren Ellis

And here is a wrap up slideshow…enjoy


available light

On Monday night I was invited to talk and give some practical guidance to the Blue Mountains Photography Group in Springbrook. I really like being asked to talk or teach as it is something I don’t always do and in preparing for it some great insights come. Focusing on ambient light was the topic. I really love to shoot in low light situations without flash. To capture a form in the smallest amount of light. This has been what I like about digital photography as there are a few more stops available to use in low light. However I didn’t get to do all my talk because the class was keen to get shooting as the light was heading out. So I thought my 2nd blog post I’d pop some of that up here before I get onto putting the rest of my BDO blog up.

‘How to capture the form in low light is one of my greatest joys! I find that light that hovers not dark but near dark so intriging and can be very difficult to capture. Digital Cameras have made this more accessible. In the past I was forever pushing film 3 stops and more and the lab telling me you couldn’t do that. Well you can.

There something magic to be captured in low light situations I believe.

So much so I want to read you the first 2 lines of a poem by Rumi whose words for me capture that same magic that can be captured in low light situations. Its called:

At The Time Of the Night Prayer by Rumi,

from The Rumi Collection, translated by Robert Bly, edited by Kabir Helminski

At the time of the night prayer,as the sun slides down, the route the senses walk on closes,the route to the invisible opens.

For me Rumi’s words are so alive. It is the same with a photograph the moment it is taken if the photographer is present to the situation then the photograph can live again when it is viewed after the fact. This requires looking and seeing on the surface and beyond the surface and having use of technical knowledge or throwing it away.



Gold Coast Big Day Out 2011







This was a beautiful morning we were all very quiet, taken by a deep moment before sunrise. That was a few weeks ago now, Sunday morning 23rd January. This is the start of a  wrap up of photographs I took over the Big Day Out 2011 which indeed does seem like a long time ago however I am still sleeping if off. It is quite an onslaught on the senses 6 shows in that summer heat. I joined the festival on the Gold Coast, it is such a great way to photograph jumping into a vortex and letting it take you….some very deep quiet moments took me in that expansive field of sound.


But first there was a helicopter ride to see what was going on from above, very green with a field full of stories moving around making more stories. Suprisingly the pilot felt just as sea sick as me from from circling the site ..many times. I feel that feeling looking back on these shots just now. This all meant I starting shooting the late afternoon run of bands and was at Lilyworld when Matt & Kim got going and just before that Angus and Julia Stone. Then some cowboys and happy chappy’s all over the site, MIA and Reggie Watts was about it for my Goldie snaps..enjoy













Hello space, just to finish off a little bit of Reggie Watts. Besides being someone enjoyable to watch, joyful to listen to, he’s got some funny ideas about how the pieces all stack together in this ‘ol life we’re all in right now.

Now that I’ve figured out how to ‘do’ a blog I invite you to come back and check out the next update in a couple of days..Sydney Big Day Out, 2011. Better still I’ll send it to you!

And when that isn’t enough there is always some..

The self published photographic book I made covering the Big Day Out festival from  1992 – 2005 .. encapsulating the magic of past BDO’s.

If you don’t already have it get it online at:

‘Peace Love and Brown Rice A Photographic History of the Big Day Out’ Get it online at