- Online study and international travel prove a winning combination for Charles Sturt student
- Student’s photos taken in North Korea win the Australian Photography Magazine’s Travel Photographer of the Year competition
- Photography-based online degree caters for living and working overseas
A Charles Sturt University photography student’s series of photos taken in North Korea in 2019 has won a national photography competition.
Third-year student Mr Luke Fazekas from Loxton in South Australia lives in Beijing, China, and is studying a Bachelor of Creative Arts and Design (Photography) online in the Charles Sturt School of Communication and Creative Industries.
In 2019 he had the opportunity to travel to North Korea and submitted four photos (displayed) taken there to the Australian Photography Magazine’s Travel Photographer of the Year competition.
“I chose to study with Charles Sturt University as it provides a photography-based degree online, which catered for my needs living overseas,” Mr Fazekas said.
“My wife, a teacher, accepted a job at the International School of Beijing in 2017, and I came to China with the intention of studying full-time but also ended up working at the same school full-time in a Learning Support role.
“I enjoy studying photography online, as I feel the various subjects have been well established over the years and are well-suited for the online format.”
Mr Fazekas acknowledges there are many excellent contemporary photographers, but he finds his interest and inspirations come from early photography techniques, particularity the ‘straight photography’ movement.
“The basic principles practiced then still influence how photography is seen today,” he said.
Mr Fazekas, who doesn’t speak Chinese or Korean, said his visit to Pyongyang was an interesting experience, and given the chance he would return.
“The opportunity to visit Pyongyang arose last year, so I decided to spend three days there,” he said.
“I took a 24-hour train from Beijing, which included the border crossing security checks, and once I arrived in Pyongyang I was accompanied by two guides for the entirety of my stay.
“I spent my time exploring what the city had to offer, asking for permission to capture images; it wasn’t always given.
“After the first day the guides felt more comfortable with me, and I was able to photograph more street images and people, including the 100-metre deep underground Pyongyang metro.
“On my final day I was driven to the airport and took the two-hour flight back to Beijing.”
Mr Fazekas thanks the Australian Photography Magazine for the award (he won $1,000 and a carbon fibre travel tripod), and his Charles Sturt photography lecturers, Dr James Farley, Dr Jamie Holcombe, and Mr Joel Markham.
“These lecturers have been fantastic; their wealth of knowledge has been invaluable over the duration of my learning,” he said.
At the conclusion of his degree, Mr Fazekas intends further study in education in order to teach visual arts and possibly undertake additional photographic studies.
Asked for any tips, Mr Fazekas advises; “For anyone daunted by work and study, time management is key. And only enter competitions where you keep your intellectual property rights.”
See more of Mr Luke Fazekas work:https://study.csu.edu.au/courses/communication-creative