I knew it was a bad time to call photographer Mark Kriedemann.
A storm was looming and spirals of dark clouds threatened the skies. It felt like my call could be interrupting his work.
Mark had finished his shift as a radio presenter on Triple ZZZ and was on his way home to Casino.
“I can see the storm rolling in,” he said on his mobile as he drove down the Bruxner Hwy from Lismore.
“Usually, I’d go through back roads and paddocks to get cranes and tractors in the foreground.”
Mark got into taking photos as a teenager.
“I had a cushy upbringing. My parents took me on a birthday trip in 2007. We went to Egypt, Morocco, Sweden, Germany, Jordan and the UK.”
The incredible locations proved irresistible to Mark.
“I was dealing with a mental health problem at the time and taking photos was a way to externalise my feelings,” he said.
He became hooked on photography.
His first photographic job was more than he could have hoped for. Through a tutor at UTS he was offered a job with National Geographic. He had to take photos of fire scenes over a period of time to see how the landscape changed.
It’s still the best job I’ve ever had, he said.
Mark, 27, regularly posts his photos of storms and sunsets on social media.
Yet it is photojournalism that lures him.
His dream is to one day be chief photographer for the Sydney Morning Herald.
Photojournalism was important, he said, “because it captures what we don’t see.”
He likes to view the photos from the World Press Awards that have captured those ‘unseen’ moments.
Marks said he has two tactics when taking photos of what’s happening.
“Firstly, I try to be invisible,” he said.
If that’s not possible, even while using a long camera lens, he goes for a second tactic to get the shot.
“I make it plain to the people why I am there. I talk to them before I take photos. I tell them I’m trying to share the story.”
He was rewarded for this tactic at the Black Lives Matter protests in Sydney when a protester invited him to the frontline.
In photojournalism, you know when you’ve captured the moment, he said.
Unlike the sunsets he chases where he has to wait until he’s back home from the search to see what he has captured .
“You’re constantly hunting, you spend 95% of the time trying to find the location,” he said.
“You become consumed by the quest to find the spot and it is satisfying when you get there in the nick of time.”
Marks Top 3 photos
The man and his child were an interesting anomaly in a crowd of protesters. While megaphones were blaring and hundreds of people were moving around the park, these two were simply serene. I thought it showed how being consumed in your relationship with someone makes the wider world very quiet and distant.
I found it striking how the woman was simply overwhelmed by the situation. I took this on Boxing Day, and she was obviously meant to be trying to maintain security and enforce distancing but the way she’s half-moving to interact with the crowd, seemingly not knowing where to begin, conveys a very strong sense of helplessness that many of us trying to control large numbers of people would have felt.