The Mordialloc by the Bay Food, Wine and Music Festival has become an annual tradition for many beach-goers, who flock to the shores of Mordialloc eager to enjoy the sunshine, music, taste the local produce, and, for the past four years, peruse the Kingston Arts Lens Mist Photographic Exhibition.
Lens Mist is renowned for attracting aspiring photographers from around Australia, with the challenge of capturing a unique and spectacular image of Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay; whether it be its majestic sunsets, seascapes, plants and animal life, or memorable moments of their own beach adventures, is left to the imagination. With $5000 prize money for the elusive Best Photograph, $500 or a digital camera for Junior Lens Mist, and $2000 for the People’s Choice Award, everyone is welcome to enjoy their creative work, and to be captivated by the ever-changing beauty of the virtual landscape that lies at our doorstep.
Winner of Best Photograph in 2012, Alex Cherney says his family “looks forward to the festival every year,” and after seeing exhibition, was inspired to enter. Combining his enduring passion for photography, with a new-found interest in astronomy and astro-photography – the product of his daughter’s desire to “look for aliens in the night sky” – he headed to the beach one evening of clear skies and full moon to photograph them.
“The Southern sky is very dark looking toward the South Pole and away from city lights,” he says. “The beauty of the Milky Way is not something people living in the city are always familiar with, due to the sky being hazy or obscured by lights.”
It is images such as these, with the ability to capture the viewer with their insightful perspectives, that this year's distinguished judging panel – Maggie Finch, Curator of Photography at the NGV, and artist Siri Hayes will be looking for in this year’s winning entry. Taking time between her latest exhibition “All You Knit is Love” at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, and her forthcoming exhibition “Homespun Coat” at the Heide
Museum of Modern Art, Hayes says she is “looking forward to seeing the calibre of the hundreds of entries expected in this year’s competition.” Hayes and Finch will select the top 20 photographs to exhibit at the festival, which is expected to attract some 60,000 people across the weekend, and promises to be a delightful occasion for all.
The Mordialloc by the Bay Food, Wine and Music Festival is on March 16 and 17.
1. Lens Mist Best Photograph: Alex Cherney, Moon Stars and Milky Way, Flinders, 2009
2. Lens Mist People’s Choice Award 2012: Rob Daniel, Tide Line, Mordialloc Beach