Birgit Neiser – Alumni Success Story

If you’re in Sydney you’ve got three more days to see Birgit Neiser’s exhibit. “CAUGHT – photographs of Life at the Sydney Fish Market” is open until July 26, 2009 at the Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney, Australia.
If you’re not, you can see her work online.
Find out about the project and her alumni experience.

The project: “CAUGHT – photographs of life at the Sydney Fish Market”
“Hooked on fish” is the motto of the Sydney Fish Market (SFM). I have always been hooked on markets and especially drawn to fish markets. Living in Sydney gave me easy and frequent access to the Market. During this  3 year project, I went to the auction often, drifting along with the auctioneers, buyers and wheelers. Going out on a fish trawler with local fishermen I followed the fish from the sea to the auction and into the retail shops. All the while, trying to find and catch moments and situations that wouldn´t present themselves a second time although the work at the SFM seems very repetitive a first glance.
As in all projects in which you immerse yourself deeply, you get to discover much more than you expect. The tight community of male workers from all the world and the spirit of their lively working environment made the assignment an unforgettable journey of discovery. As picturesque as the photos may seem, the hard work of the fisherman and the SFM workers in general is not to be romanticised. Despite the sometimes gruelling nature of the work that they do, it is a working life that they value for its cameraderie and vitality. I tried to capture these qualities in my photographs.
The SFM has a life of its own. This life, which is rarely seen by outsiders, deserves to be documented. The people are exceptional – the fishermen, the auctioneers, the buyers, the wheelers and the sellers make magnificent subjects for portraits. This exhibition is a homage to them, to the work they perform day after day and night after night as well as to the place that is so special in the hearts of many Sydneysiders.
About Birgit Neiser:
As a photographer and writer, I have published a few books in Germany. I commute mostly between Australia and Germany these days. Since travelling is a big part of my life,  documentary photography projects were always at hand. The next step lies in getting the fine art photos out of my archive and using new technologies in digital photography. Please visit for more information on my background.
Workshop experiences with John Paul
When I went digital in 2004, my first digital workshop was with JPC at the Maine Media Workshops. Afterwards, no turning back. I started to do my own printing and got a great insight into Photoshop through this workshop. Last year, in 2008, JPC took my photography a step further with some private tuition that not only brought my Photoshop skills up to speed, but more importantly, helped me find my focus and shape the project that is now on display in an exhibition.
The exhibition titled “CAUGHT – photographs of Life at the Sydney Fish Market” is open until July 26, 2009 at the Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney, Australia. There are 64 photos on display in different sizes. Please visit  for more information. The exhibition is sponsored by Epson Australia.
You are welcome to  also visit my website:

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