Renowned photographer and academic Des Craley shows no sign of letting his wisdom sit idle as he closes in on 50 years as a club member.

As an educator, Mr Crawley was able to combine his desire to teach and his pattion for photography as professor and dean of the faculty of arts and social sciences at Western Sydney University – formally known as University of Western Sydney. Before retiring in 2001, Mr Crawley noted the introduction of a visual communication course as his proudest professional achievement.

Mr Crawley, of Beverly Hills, first joined the club in 1968. he has been an active member of the photographic club dor the past 44 years and served as president for almost a decade.

He has continued his long affiliation with the photographic clib, as its patron for the past five years. He recently oversaw an exhibition at Kograh Library as part of the Head On Festival, involving 15 club members.

“In recent years I haven’t competed by I’ve focussed on conducting workshops, judging and developing the skills of individuals and in group arrangements,” Mr Crawley said. “The club has changed dramatically over time. There was a strong focus on competition. That has eased off to now a stronger emphasis on club and fellowship where the competition is not the main driver of activities, supplemented by a wide range of learning and engagement progeams.”

Mr Crawley has been Australia’s representative to photo educator’s annual conferences in the US and Europes. He was given the Emeritus Professor ranking at Western Sydney University.

“Now, more photographs are made in a week that were made in the first 150 years of photograph,” Mr Crawley said. “The photograph is now as common as a pencil and paper and is a key form of written communication for most people under the age of 40. People have to be visually literate. Anybody who has a camera has a tool for documenting or recording what they see.”

Since retiring, Mr Crawley spent 2 years implementing a digital media photography course at James Cook University in Townsville. He and his wife of 49 years, Norma, are kept busy by their only grandson Theo.

“He is a brilliant photographer, even if he is only 18 months old,” MR Crawley, 76, said. “I fear he is going to be competitive, so I have to hone up my skills.”

Written by Michael Carayannis