By Gary Warner
Photography has come a long way in a short time.
In the 199 years since the first photographic image was captured, cameras have come even further.
They can practically think for themselves today, yet hardy souls continue switching to M for Manual and telling the camera what to do.
People like Karl Monaghan, who brought precious metal home to Geraldton from the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) awards in Melbourne.
His images, all captured in the Mid West, earned three silver awards and a bronze, a significant achievement in awards that are contested by professional photographers around Australia.
Silvers were won by images of the HMAS Sydney II Memorial, a shot of lowering clouds over the Iluka processing plant at Narngulu and an almost surreal presentation of Clinch's Mill at Greenough, while the bronze went to a sparse illustration of a new gymnasium, with its builder seated all alone in the stands.
Monaghan, who moved from Carnarvon to Geraldton five years ago, today uses digital cameras which are far removed from his teenage days of developing and printing his own black-and-white photographs.
Later making his hobby part of his work as a clinical nurse, he made the life-changing decision to become a professional photographer in 2002.
Winning awards at anything is always pleasing, but what clearly excites Monaghan is that the judges were fellow professionals.
"Being judged by your peers is a bit daunting, these are people who really know their way around a camera," he said.
"That's what makes it so special, knowing that your work is recognised by people you respect."
Each medal won in AIPP awards carries a points value and, with four previous silver awards to his name, Monaghan is just nine points away from the status of Master Photographer,
He expects that to take up to three more years of competing against and being judged by his peers.
Like many photographers, Karl Monaghan is a reluctant subject who prefers to stay behind the lens, we will let his images speak for him as he prefers.
You can visit Karl's gallery and studio on Marine Terrace to see these and other images or check out the other services Karl Monaghan Photography offers like framing and equipment sales. Click here for more info.