The 9 Best Sports Photographers in Melbourne
Is there anyone who isn’t captivated by the highs, lows, rushes, and turning points in the world of sports? Millions of us stay glued to our screens watching nail-biting events unfold by some of the world’s elite. But there’s something special to be said for those photographers who capture these turning points on camera—packing all that action and emotion into a single frame and immortalizing it. The city of Melbourne plays host to some of the biggest sporting events in the world. So, let’s take a look at some of the most noteworthy Melbourne sports photographers, creative rockstars who catch the action on camera.
Clive Brunskill’s Instagram account boasts of some pretty familiar faces – Nadal, Djokovic, Williams, Federer… you know, the greats! Clive Brunskill has been covering the Australian open, as well as other sport events like the Roland Garros. This Melbourne sports photographer clearly carries the level of expertise many in this field aim for.
Brunskill captures both important moves, and raw emotions just as deftly. His sense of color and composition make even the most functional sporting shots artistic. If you’ve missed a match anytime, just look for his photos covering it—you’ll find the match’s most memorable moments there.
2. Mark Dadswell of MD Photography
One look at Mark Dadswell’s body of work is enough to impress, as there doesn’t seem to be a sport Mark Dadswell has not covered at some point. From rugby, to horse racing, to bike racing and off-roading, cricket, to just plain fitness, he’s tried them all. Effortlessly transitioning from action shots to portraiture, Dadswell manages to bring both sport and athlete to life. What’s interesting in his body of work is the presence of sports campaign imagery—allowing him to play with both reportage and storytelling.
Asanka Brendon Ratnayake considers himself primarily a photojournalist, and his body of sports photographs does seem to reflect that. Timely captures of historic moments, or newsworthy actions are scattered among his many journalistic photographs.
We feel that’s not all there is to his work. A closer look reveals an artistic treatment to even sports photographs that makes them both newsworthy and display-worthy. Ratnayake adds something distinct in every click, either color, texture or composition, and of course, incredible timing. The verdict—this Melbourne sports photographer is an artist with a camera, and his viewers can’t be luckier.
4. Lucas Wroe
Lucas Wroe’s Instagram account appears to be a mixed bag of a large variety of photography genres, but then, who can help themselves being that good? Scroll further down, and you’ll find him covering incredible events that maybe haven’t been on your radar. Now, his action packed photographs definitely give you a reason to.
Wroe’s skill lies in bringing to life the electric action-packed environment of a sporting event. He doesn’t seem to center his reel around one person—he captures the sport itself. Wroe’s intriguing ability to bring environments alive in a frame makes him one of the best Melbourne sports photographers working in the city today.
Seize-the-moment seems to be Sally Jacob’s middle name, judging on how she has captured some of her trademark pics. She seems to catch on to that one moment—before collision, before explosion, or before smash, and amplify it. Doing this in a split second on field, in the middle of a nail-biting match is sheer skill. And Jacob uses this skill with equal fervor for both adult greats as well as kids. We never realized how intense little league can be! Trust Jacob to find and portray defining moments like no other.
6. Craig Dingle
Craig Dingle’s photographs, other than pictures of tennis greats, also extend to a variety of other sports and age brackets. He possesses a penchant for pictures of nail-biting climaxes, taking his picture at exact turning points during the match. What makes his clicks unique is not just that, but also the sense of drama and the questions it makes us ask.
What happened? What did this move lead to? Did they succeed? Dozens of questions emerged in our minds when we saw Dingle’s dramatic photographs, and not just “Who won?” It’s a reminder to us that the match itself is a reward, not just the final score.
Michael Wilson is one of the rare breed of photographers who can see his pictures through the eyes of his audience. He thoughtfully categorizes his predominantly sport-centric portfolio around that. While his style does include great action shots, what is interesting is how emotive his pictures can be. In true photojournalist style, he never fails to capture moments of action and reaction, emotion, cheer, and tension. He offers all his viewers snippets of the energy and action the match brings—the experience beyond the score.
Rachel Louise tackles a variety of fields, from wedding and family to sports. What’s interesting is sometimes, how her ‘senses’ from each genre spill over into the other. The characteristic warmth and tenderness she sees and captures in a family photograph, she recreates in a coach hugging his proud little player.
Just as she’d capture stolen moments of tenderness in a wedding, she catches the pre-game rituals of a team, as well as the hope on their faces. Louise proves that genres are just names, and despite how elite, the sportsmen she captures are just as human. She seems to ensure that emotion stays a part of her action shots.
Scott Barbour is an art photographer doubling as a sports photographer, because let’s face it, mate, his shots are pure art. He manages to create a zen-like atmosphere in his photographs, where the crowds, the noise, and the public are washed away, and all we focus on is the sportsman (artist) executing a beautiful move (art).
The magic in Barbour’s photography is perhaps his motion-captures, covering the range of actions the athlete used to complete the move. For Barbour, it isn’t the defining moment, it is the defining action that composes itself into his photographs. He makes it possible for us to marvel at the sportsmen’s skill in his own unique way.
Sports are about more than the score—they’re about stories!
Sports photographers bring to us the many ups-and-downs and ins-and-outs of a memorable match. After enjoying a good match, finding key moments expertly captured, with both energy, emotion and skill into the photograph makes them stories worth telling. Sports photographers therefore become seminal in telling a sportsman’s story—as these photographers in Melbourne are doing so well. A game immortalized in their lens is a game worth looking back to in dozens of unique ways.