An Open Letter To Julie Fletcher (& The Daily Mail)

July 31, 2014

Hi Julie,

You don’t know me, it seems, but I have been following your work on Flickr and Facebook for many years now. My name is Mel (Melanie) Sinclair and I am a female Landscape Photographer from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

I read your article in the Daily Mail and I have to be honest that I was a little taken aback by your remarks about there not being other Females doing Landscape Photography in Australia. Yet you and I quite frequently are amongst other amazing and well-regarded photographers in the Top 50’s (or Top 101s) of Landscape photography competitions held by other Australian shooters.

Contrary to your opinion expressed to the Daily Mail, we do actually, believe it or not, exist – you’re not the only one.

Just like you were, I am working another job in my capital city to pay the bills, I understand the kinds’ of struggles and sacrifices that have to be made in order to pursue this genre of photography exclusively. While I have not yet made the brave jump to being a full-time exclusive landscape photographer, this still does not discount my passion, dedication and pledge to commit myself and my resources to making my mark on this industry for the better, to show the girls that they can.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not attacking you, your practice, decisions or your gorgeous images. I simply (while not being pushed over)  want to correct the assumption made in the article, that Australia is still a photographic black-hole of a place dominated by males, or that you have to be one, to make it in landscape photography.

I admire your gutsy defiance to keep shooting at the edge of the Menindee Lake while lightning strikes the deadwood around you, or your strength to stand against tradition and turn our most known natural, Indigenous icon, Uluru… Blue.

I can name a list of women in landscape photography in Australia, many of whom I count as friends as well as my contemporaries. Such wonderful artists like Mieke Boynton, Sue Thomson, Hillary Younger, Mel Brackstone, Beth Wode, Marianne Lim (Toh) to name a few.

While I understand it reads better to be the pioneer- the lone wolf - I implore you to go to Google, and seek us out.

We are welcoming, we are supportive and passionate about our professional practices.

Just like you.


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