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Derby Chang: Street

On LA’s Pacific Coast Highway near the old Getty museum, Derby Chang first snapped an image of a pretty lady walking by with her pet pig. His first taste of real life theatre in public spaces kick-started an obsession with photography – and for capturing intriguing women – that followed him long after his return to Sydney.

Chang spends weekdays minimising risks inherent in medical equipment and his weekends pacing the city’s CBD in the high wire pursuit of street photography. The images that result are an on-going love letter to a city “small enough to be comfortable and large enough to be endlessly interesting”.

“The addiction of street photography is that jolt of anticipation that something beautiful is about to fall into place, followed in an instant by that recognition that it has,” he said.

“No director or choreographer. No script. I rarely visualise a scene until it is just about to happen, or more frustratingly, when it just has just happened.

“I have the luxury of shooting for no one else but myself. So I don’t have to shoot to a brief, please judges, or make a dollar. I feel I have succeeded when looking at the image makes me want to go out and make more. Luckily, it has been a positive feedback loop.”

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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 open in May/June.

Image detail: Gary Ramage