December 1, 2012

Beau Nestor's interview

"I work with people that are more than models, they are truly the main subject of the image - these people bare their soul, more than their bodies, they explore their boundaries, their freedoms and freely give of their emotions as well as their poses. Without these wonderfully understanding artists, there is no hope of Art ever being created." Beau Nestor

"Dancing with Waves 2"
Art Model MaxE

Dear Beau, could you tell us how did your passion for photography begin ?

My Grandfather, Patrick NESTOR, (1865 - 1957) was one of those photographers that coated his own plates with hand stirred emulsions and also worked on the first colour print system (Tri-Carbro process) in the 1940s with his cousin, George Doig. I still have three prints from that process in my collection.

With the advent of cheap roll film, my grandfather, a staunch traditionalist, felt that he had been betrayed by the industry, and refused to take any more images, although he continued research into many obscure processes and devices pertaining to the industry. While I was only a child when he died, his passion for creativity lived on.

"Timeless Princess II"
Art Model Amy Spease

"The Mistress"
Art Model Amy Spease

My father was a Military History photographer during the Second World War, and returned to his home in Australia to work under John Chester Cato and Athol Shmith in their Fashion Studio in Melbourne.

I grew up in that environment, and was later apprenticed to Athol Shmith as a darkroom assistant, while Athol also lectured at Prahran College in Melbourne. I also studied at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) to gain more current technical knowledge.

But my Passion began when I was left to run the studio and take photographs by myself. At first, I was only allowed to work with inanimate objects, and the relationship with Depth of Field and Lighting began.

As time moved on, I would be entrusted to work with some of the newer models coming through, and discovered the problems with humans, shutter speed and low ISO film speeds.

"Repose in b sharp I"
Art Model MaxE

Wow !... It's a family affair. Where did you really learn your art ?

Travelling with a group of images to exhibit at Photokina 1978, I was offered a position with an Advertising Agency that handled the Fashion contract for the largest retail chain in Australia. After a short time in Australia, much of my time was spent travelling in Europe and later Japan shooting the runways and fashion shows as well as catalogues and magazines. During all of this time, I also worked on Folios and Posters for the Dance.

Fifteen years later, I left the Fashion Industry and worked as a freelance contributor for Glamour magazines, before working my way back to Australia with Car Rally and Sports photography.

"Organic Rocks"
Art Model Nat

Back in Australia again, I commenced working in Digital Photography, converted a motor-home (RV) to be a mobile studio and spent 3 years travelling, adding to my dawn series, before I purchased a Gallery in NSW, Australia.

Since then I have been exhibiting regularly and travelling to New Zealand, Japan and frequently to the US on Dance commissions, and Fine Art Nude workshops.

I know you're a great traveller. How long could you be far from your camera ? Is it an obsession ?

 Not Long - I'm known as the Dawn photographer - having taken photographs of every dawn for 30 years - not that I'm Obsessive or anything....!

Regardless of where I am, whenever a new day is created, I refuse to miss out on it...
Often I am joined by a model or subject, but I am just as happy taking Landscapes, Seascapes and Old Ruins without anyone at all...

"Dont let me fall"

Art Model Zoe Rae


Who are your favorite photographers ?

Alfred Eisenstaedt for his control of contrasts and "punch" in Black and White. Alfred Stieglitz for introducing the world to Pictorialism, Photomanipulation and the new concept of Art in Photography (I still have, and use a Graflex 5" x 4" Single Lens Reflex Camera, identical to that used by Stieglitz). Theodor Scheimpflug for enabling an industry to have almost infinite depth of field. Ansell Adams for teaching me to walk, walk and walk some more, and then wait until the light was right.

"Mind the web..."
Art Model Nicole

Athol Shmith for showing me the difference that the Right Model can make to an image, and how to glean the most from a model. W. Eugene Smith for his soul, his intuitive understanding and empathy with mankind. The list goes on...

I love your precisions. By the way, how long did it take to find your own style ?

 In 1980 I worked with a Lingerie company to produce a series of soft, feminine and romantic images, showing their garments as being sheer, but without being offensive to their market. I worked with a perfect model, in natural light, streaming through open windows. We shot at dawn and for the next hour at an historic mansion. On completion of the commercial shoot, the model and I stayed back to produce my first true Fine Art Nude series. I have shot at dawn ever since.

"Tears that Fall"
Art Model Hanny

Could you define it ?

Feminine, empowering, romantic, timeless.

"Dawn Guardian"
Art Model Sarah B

That's true ! Symbolic and poetic, I'll add. For me, you shoot like a composer, like a writer... Where do you find your tremendous inspiration ?

 Always from the souls of the subjects I work with.

I simply allow the subject to "Own the Space", allow them to express themselves, and with little real direction, capture relatively candid images of our time together.

"A Passing Moment"

What is your process of creation ?

I spend time with people before even introducing a camera, We become dance partners, tied to each other with an invisible string.

I rarely work in a studio environment, because to the subject, it is a foreign space, a clinical cell that is hard for them to relate to. But nature, privacy and silence, allow a subject to grasp a part of themselves that yearns to blend with that environment.

"The watcher"
Art Model Frankie

You seem so inspired... To go deeper, do you plan every details or is it improvisation from the beginning to the end ?

 I often discuss an idea with a model before a shoot, but that is more to create a mood, than to shoot a scene. I don't follow a storyboard, but improvise almost entirely. The location and the subject are planned, the shots are not.

Nature is your favorite setting, isn'it ?

I rarely include a manmade component, but when I do, it is usually suitably aged, so as to be either 'Timeless' or at least could be taken at anytime within the last 100 years (Perhaps old buildings or ruins). This means that I usually work in Nature. In Australia, I am based 200 meters from hungry waves beating on the rocks, in the US, I am based on the rim of ancient forests, near rivers and waterfalls, but far from the sea. I am an opportunist, and these places are ideal.

"Shades of Movement X"
Dancer Ms Izzarina

Water and Dance seem to be your favorite themes ?

 Earth, Air, Fire and Water - the elements. The rocks or landscape, the wind, waterfalls/ocean, sunrise (sunset). All of these seem to be the themes, but in reality, these, are the real tools of the trade - People are my favorite theme.

"Passion... Behind the shed"
Art Model Dollybeck

"Shame... Behind the shed"
Art Model Dollybeck

"Anonymous Sunsoaker"

It's what I love so much in your artworks. Some words about these people, your so lovely models ?

I work with people that are more than models, they are truly the main subject of the image - these people bare their soul, more than their bodies, they explore their boundaries, their freedoms and freely give of their emotions as well as their poses.

Without these wonderfully understanding artists, there is no hope of Art ever being created. Whether my work is loved or hated, these people are to be truly admired by all of us.

Do you remember a shooting you particularly liked ?

There are few that I didn't like... But I suppose the most memorable will always be the first Fine Art Nude shoot (these shots are a Limited Edition Series that has run its course, both scanned badly, but with negatives still available.)

Then there was a Fine Art Nude shoot in Melbourne's Main City Square, "Federation Square" (a very public place)... my first digital shoot.

"Federation Square"

"Federation Square"

"Back to Basics II"

How do you feel at the end of a shooting ?

 Exhausted - hot - elated - completed. I am dehydrated, and almost babbling with confusion. I attempt to start downloading images, but I often fall asleep for an hour before I can regenerate enough to even talk. I don't think my mind was designed to cope with the Artistic side and the Technical side of the brain operating at the same time.

Have you some challenges you're dreaming about in a near future ?

Yes, some very major ones - all along the publication route. They will unfold over the next 3-6 months. (I will keep you informed !).

I hope. Don't forget !... When and where will be your next exhibition ?

 My next exhibition will be in High Point, North Carolina from 7th to 16th of December - it is expected to travel to other venues in the USA in early 2008, yet to be announced. (Still negotiating dates and venues).

We note it ! Have you published a book ?

Strange you should ask that... Would you like to ask me that question in a couple of months ?

"Return to Earth"
Art Model Dollybeck


So, there is one to come... I'm impatient to know more about it ! In magazines ? Some articles in project ?

 Hundreds and none - My work has been published many times, but as you are aware, I have had to release my rights as an employee in most circumstances. Certainly, I have not submitted any work to magazines in the last 6 years.
I have not planned for magazine publication, but it is always an option. It would depend entirely on the Readership / Market and the quality of the Magazine. I don't race Glamour shots off to every picture editor hoping for the recognition.

Besides shooting, have you another passion ?

 I write, but I am a virgin there also... I have never been published.

It's a long road... And I know what I'm talking about. A message to send before we leave ?

All I have to offer is : "A moment in time, a point of view".

Thank you very much Beau ! Thanks for this great interview, thanks for your wonderful work ! I've appreciated all your words...

"More to come"

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