FotoFreo Discontinued. Finished and No More.

Below is a copy of the press release circulated by Jude Savage, Chair, Foto Freo Inc about the closure of the iconic festival of photography known as FotoFreo.

Foto Freo

Vale FotoFreo

The Board of FotoFreo Inc regrets to advise that FotoFreo, the festival of photography, will be discontinued.
The Board’s decision to not proceed with the event into the future is primarily because key funding was not renewed by one of the major sponsors and this in turn would make it more difficult to secure funding from other key partners.
FotoFreo has been going now for 10 years and there have been six festivals, and the event has grown with each successive Festival.
However, despite the success of the event, both nationally and internationally, recurrent funding (money committed to the event without having to apply for the funds each time) has not been secured from any of our major partners.
As an event FotoFreo relies substantially on the efforts of a large number of volunteers and a small number of paid employees.
However, a critical phase in the development of each Festival is the first 12 months after the last festival – the first year of the two year Festival cycle. It is during this time that most of the planning is done and where there is a continuity of effort required. This is probably the most critical period of the Festival cycle and where a component of core funding is now necessary.
In the earliest years of FotoFreo’s development this activity was undertaken by a small group of dedicated volunteers, in particular, Brad Rimmer, Graham Miller, David Dare Parker, Bob Hewitt, and later included Ben Walton, Seng Mah, Elizabeth McCaig, Lyle Branson and Brent Acie, but as the scope and scale of the Festival increased paid staff were necessary to undertake the work.
Another factor in the Board’s thinking was the decision by Bob Hewitt, who started the event in its current form in 2001 and has been associated with it ever since, to step aside to make way for a new Festival Director and his subsequent resignation from the Board. However, Bob did indicate that he would be happy to continue in a supportive role, particularly assisting a new Festival Director, if required.
FotoFreo was the first international photo festival in Australasia and one of the first if not the first in the South East Asian region. The pioneering nature of the event served as an inspiration for other festivals in the region.
FotoFreo successfully established its own identity amongst the growing ranks of photo festivals by the innovations and the risks it undertook. In particular, the commissioning of original work – Edward Burtynsky, Australian Minescapes (FotoFreo 2008), David Dare Parker, The Clubs (FotoFreo 2010), Martin Parr, No Worries and Bo Wong, Fremantle Markets Project (FotoFreo 2012). These exhibitions were funded without the help of government grants. Furthermore, books were published to accompany all of these commissions and exhibitions. These commissions all contributed to the cultural capital of Western Australia and indeed to Australia.
Another innovation was the focus given to photographers in the Asian region through group exhibitions from a number of countries, in particular China and most recently India. On each occasion a number of the photographers accompanied the exhibitions and spoke about the work during the Festival.
FotoFreo 2012 also saw the introduction of WA Life, a photographic competition that privileged WA photographers, and the highly successful FutureGen project that involved a partnership with the Pingyao Photography Festival in China and a cultural exchange between the two countries. These two events were set to become regular activities in future Festivals and for which ongoing sponsorship had been secured.
In recent years there was a growing awareness that the Festival was beginning to spread too widely and in the most recent evaluation of the event (of FotoFreo 2012) it was acknowledged that some consolidation was required and this was made clear to our sponsors.
In the end, however, the ongoing success of an event such as FotoFreo is determined initially by a small group of people and at least one ‘driver’, and at the scale of the current event such people must be appropriately remunerated. In addition, there are ongoing real costs of an administrative nature that need to be met.
On an optimistic note, I think it can be said that FotoFreo has played an important part in raising the awareness of photography amongst the wider public and made a positive contribution to the cultural landscape of Western Australia. The Board of FotoFreo are grateful to all our many volunteers, supporters and sponsors who have assisted us in realising the FotoFreo festival of photography over the past ten years and trust that they will continue to support many other photographic endeavours.
The only regret might be the loss of recognition that came with the event nationally and internationally over ten years or more of growth and development and for which there are few similar events in Western Australia, let alone Fremantle.
Jude Savage
FotoFreo Inc
Sponsors for FotoFreo

Rottnest Swim 2013

The 2013 HBF Rottnest Channel Swim kicked off at the crack of dawn this morning so I went down to Cottesloe Beach to capture some photos of the start.

The first group of swimmers left Cottesloe Beach at 5.45am to undergo the 19.7km swim to Thompsons Bay, Rottnest Island. The rest of the groups left the beach in 15 minute intervals after the first group. Swimming groups were made up of either one of four categories; solo, duo (teams of 2), team (teams of 4) or Lavan Legal Charity Challenge (teams of 4). Colin Barnett, the Premier of Western Australia sounded the hooter for each of the groups to start their epic journey.

The first photo I captured was probably the most difficult due to the lack of light. Fortunately the cameraman at Channel 9 had a very powerful video light which I was able to use to frame the first photo. Although I did have to use ISO 8000 so I could use a fast enough shutter speed.

I wanted to try to portray the salt of the ocean in my photographs so I decided to produce some high contrast black and white photos. These 25 photos are the end result. If you wish to use these photos commercially please credit with the following details: Leigh Diprose –

These images are free for anyone to use. If you would like a high resolution copy please email me at and I will forward a copy to you.

Rottnest Swim

Rottnest Swim

Rottnest Swim

Rottnest Swim

Rottnest Swim - Colin Barnett

Rottnest Swim - Colin Barnett

Rottnest Swim

Rottnest Swim

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2013 Landscape Calendar

The 2013 West Australian Landscape Calendar is now ready for you.

You can view and order the full 2013 Calendar by simply click on the image below. The price of the calendar is AUD $35.95. All proceeds raised will go straight back into bringing you more free fine art photos next year. Enjoy.

2013 West Australian Landscape Calendar by Leigh Diprose - Cover

2013 West Australian Landscape Calendar by Leigh Diprose - Back

Until Next Time – Happy Shooting

2013 Calendar African Wildlife Art


My African wildlife art can now hang on your wall every day of the year! If you are an African lover then this calendar is for you.

Calendars can be printed and delivered by Christmas if you get in early. To order and view the full 2013 Calendar “African Wildlife Art” simply click on the image below. Enjoy.

A photographic calendar of African Wildlife by Leigh Diprose

African Wildlife Calendar by Leigh Diprose

Australia Day Skyshow 2012

Here is the first of my photographs taken at the Australia Day Skyshow 2012 in Perth, Western Australia. I will post some more next week.

Make sure you share this image around if you like it. Enjoy.