What do Australia’s lush coastal landscapes, Europe’s picturesque lakes and castles, and the mist-wreathed waters of Vietnam’s fishing villages all have in common? Well, apart from being sought-after travel destinations, they all feature in the photographic print collections by Through Our Lens, a landscape photography duo based in Bondi Beach. These aren’t your average happy travel snaps, though – they’re carefully crafted vistas that can transform any wall of your house into an eye-catching feature.
The couple behind the lens are Edgar Pudāns and Norah Nguyen, two ‘21st-century voyagers’ who met back in 2015 during their first year of university. With their diverse backgrounds and complementary skillsets, their partnership – both personal and professional – was a natural development. “We come from very culturally different places. I am from Eastern Europe (Latvia), and Norah is from Southeast Asia (Vietnam),” says Edgar. “Essentially, [the photography venture] started with our shared passion for travelling and storytelling through photography. The business side of things came together naturally, as we can both work on opposite ends of the business.” Edgar has a degree in Business and Marketing, which facilitates the nuts-and-bolts side of running a business, while Norah’s background in Architecture and Design helps to shape the creative side of their endeavours.
Their creative process has grown and developed with the business itself, gaining more concrete direction as demand for their products has increased. “Before we started the business, the photo-taking process used to be more relaxed and spontaneous as we embarked on our travels and even everyday life to capture the moment,” Edgar says. “But with the growing business, we have developed a feel for what people like, and oftentimes photoshoots are now planned.”
For landscape photographers, a certain level of planning will always be a necessity. Being at the mercy of natural light and other elements like wind and cloud cover, it can be tricky to ensure you’re in the right spot at the right time to capture that perfect shot. But thanks to modern technology, Edgar and Norah don’t have to leave things up to chance. “We use advanced applications like Sky Candy, designed to demonstrate the direction of sunlight during an allocated time of day,” Edgar explains. “Based on the location of the shoot, this will help us determine the time in which the shoot will take place.”
After photos are taken, the pair comb through for the best selections, which are adjusted and enhanced through the post-production process. Then the final images are printed and framed, ready for display at weekly markets in Paddington and Bondi, and of course our very own Olive Tree Market. Prints are also available to purchase online – and no matter where you buy, 10% of the profits are donated to The Ocean Cleanup, a Netherlands organisation that develops technology to extract plastic pollution from the world’s oceans.
The pair’s passion for the ocean is on clear display in their work. But what else inspires them? “A big chunk of our inspiration comes from the work of other well-known photographers and content creators on social media platforms like Instagram,” Edgar says. “It always excites us to see photographers who push boundaries and use their creativity to reinvent the appearance of familiar places and give it a new perspective.”
So what’s coming up in future for Through Our Lens? While the pair mainly operate around the iconic coastlines of NSW at the moment, they’re looking forward to expanding their reach to other Australian states. But no matter where they end up, they’ll be living the dream. “We love to engage in untold stories from every new place we get to visit, the adventures we get to embark on and the people that we meet along the way,” Edgar says. “And of course, we love that we can do it together as a young couple.”
Visit Norah and Edgar at their next Olive Tree Market stall or check out Through Our Lens online at
www.throughourlens.es. Upcoming market dates for The Olive Tree Market, held in Civic Park are October 5, and November 2+16. For more information visit www.theolivetreemarket.com.au