Starry-eyed homecoming for multi-award winning photographer
AWARD-winning photographer Andrew Campbell can trace his passion for art back to his childhood memories of Gladstone.
He lived with his family at Barney Point until age 15.
"I used to sit on my balcony and paint pictures of ships coming into the harbour,” Mr Campbell said.
"As a kid it was awesome.
"My dad had a boat he'd bring around, moor it on the beach and (then) we'd go up and have bacon and eggs. He'd take us waterskiing, sometimes we'd go fishing.”
These days Mr Campbell photographs "people in suits” for his family business Melbourne Headshot Company and points his lens to the skies in his spare time.
Apart from a weekend in 1990 he has not returned to Gladstone in 45 years and looks forward to visiting for a World Science Festival event where he will speak about astrophotography.
"I'm presenting my photographs as a slideshow and a talk, a bit of a how-to and why, and what's up there, what you're looking at,” Mr Campbell said.
He said he developed the "all consuming” hobby about five years ago when a friend gifted him a telescope.
"He knew I had an interest in science fiction, being a bit of a 'Trekkie',” Mr Campbell said.
"He'd brought himself a fancy new one and this was for me to show my kids the moon.
"It was like 'moon, daddy, moon' for maybe a night or two and after that they were bored so I just went out and played with this thing and kind of got hooked.”
Since then Mr Campbell has won the 2015 Deep Space category in highly prestigious Central West Astronomical Society's David Malin Awards, as well as the 2016 and 2015 Australian Institute of Professional Photography's Science, Wildlife and Wild Places Photographer of the Year award.
He hopes to make the most of his Gladstone homecoming.
"I'm sure the place has changed dramatically - I want to make a point of poking around some of the spots that I used to know, the houses I used to live in,” Mr Campbell said.
"It was a fabulous place to grow up as a kid. I remember this rollerskating rink that was at the end of the street from my house. That was kind of your weekend fun.
"It was the size of your lounge room, it was tiny ... We'd go down on a Friday night, listen to some tunes.”
The free Let's Talk Astrophotography event will run from 4-5pm on March 2 at the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre.
Tickets are essential.