Despite being Australia’s foremost dog photographer with a string of high-selling books behind him, David Darcy is still occasionally surprised by the direction his career has taken.
“I’ve got to pinch myself sometimes when I think: ‘I’ve made a living out of chasing dogs’. It’s just crazy,” said the Katoomba photographer.
Twelve years after he started photographing man’s best friend Darcy is about to launch his latest book, Australian Mongrel.
Bigger than anything he has done before, the publication will hit bookshelves around the country thanks to the backing of major publishing house, Murdoch Books. It showcases early iconic shots from David’s career plus a huge range of new images and, for the first time, profiles of dogs and their owners.
But the common theme to all Darcy’s work is his commitment to capturing dogs in their natural environment.
“I’ve always tried to portray them in a really respectful way. To me there’s nothing more undignified than dressing up a dog, sticking it in a studio and hitting it with flashes. . . I want dogs chewing on cowpats and running around dams, doing all the things we think are naughty,” he said.
“It’s not about trying to control the situation. It’s about letting the situation happen and trying to capture it.”
From dogs on cattle stations to Aboriginal camps and suburban homes, Australian Mongrel explores our relationship with canines in all their facets.
Blue Mountains readers will recognise some familiar faces with the chapter on dogs and their owners featuring Springwood resident Jackie Gee as well as the late Peter Carroll and his dog Aurora.
Photographing dogs with their human owners added a new dimension to his job, said David.
“When you point a camera at someone they instantly get intimidated by it. But if you get someone to pick up their dog, they interact with it and you can focus on the dog,” he said.
“They feel comfortable. They think: ‘it’s not about me, it’s about the dog’.”
David will officially launch Australian Mongrel at his Katoomba gallery this Saturday, August 4 from 10am to 4pm. He will hold a photo demonstration with Blue Mountains police dog Chuck — famous for biting fugitive Malcolm Naden during his March 22 arrest this year — from noon to 1pm with everyone invited to attend.
The David Darcy Gallery is located at Shop 9, Katoomba Street, Katoomba. Phone 4782-7717 for more information or ‘like’ David Darcy Photography on facebook.
The Gazette has three authographed copies of Australian Mongrel to give away to readers. Send entries to Blue Mountains Gazette Australian Mongrel Competition, PO Box 21, Springwood 2777. Entries close August 13 and must include a daytime contact number.