Interview with Emerging Sydney Photographer - @borneon.lad

March 31, 2017

No More Ugly Blog | Mario Palufi @Borneon.lad | Sydney Harbour Bridge

If you've ever been to Regent Place in Sydney Townhall you would have walked passed Mario Palufi (aka borneon.lad) and his photography work in a giant light box right by Miss Chu's.

We are always inspired by Mario's work, with his moody street photography to his striking but mellow portraits. We find out more about his process and love for photography.

What inspired you to start taking photos?

Simply boredom. It was a couple of years back, I was so tired and fed up of working in hospitality for the past 2 years after finishing high school. I don't feel I belong there and I just wasn't enjoying it. I decided to get myself a camera on my birthday and started to take some photos again. (I did photography as a hobby when I as in high school). 

What's in your camera bag? (Show us Mario's essential gear!)

Nikon D750 camera body, and some other lenses (24mm Sigma Art Lens f/1.4, Sigma 70-200 f/2.8, Nikon 50mm f/1.4, Samyang 14mm f/2.8, and Yuangnuo 35mm f/2). And I feel naked if I'm not wearing a watch on me and I also like to wear a beanie hehe!

No More Ugly Blog | Mario Palufi @Borneon.lad | In my camera bag

We really like the urban and moody feel to your photography, you've been able to portray Sydney street life almost like Hong Kong or New york. Is this a style you're attracted to and why?

HK and NYC are on my priority travel list. I was seeing a lot of images from my favourite photographers around those cities. I loved the city vibe and the different perspectives these photographers were able to capture so it gave me inspiration to capture Sydney in a similar vibe which is actually pretty challenging!

No More Ugly Blog | Mario Palufi @Borneon.lad | Sydney Photographer

How do you come up with photography concepts? Is is quite organic or do you plan it out?

It depends. When it comes to work, sometimes I plan it really well and grab some references here and there. Seeing other people's work really helps me think of some ideas as well as work I've seen before which my brain remembers. It helps me think about what suits a scene and what to do on the spot. The organic way is always good too, to have the idea come to you naturally while you're shooting.

Cabramatta is a place where you like to take quite a few shots. What makes this place special to you?

Cabramatta is quite a different suburb to a lot of others in NSW. It's a big Vietnamese community suburb that has a lot of character to it and people are so different and unique. I've only been there twice so far to shoot and eat, but I do like it! The food is amazing. Burwood and Ashfield are also cool, I've been there once to shoot and was happy with the results.

What is your favourite shot of all time and why?

This is hard to answer! I like most of my shots I've posted on my social media. But, I do have a street shot that I really like. This shot taken in Townhall Station, Sydney, during the day time. To get that light coming through the ventilation and having the movement of the train while people are doing different things while waiting for the train to come.(One is playing with their phone, one is calm, and another one looks impatient.)

No More Ugly Blog | Mario Palufi @Borneon.lad | Sydney Townhall

What are your main sources of inspiration?

Friends. Also some works of good photographers from the social media platforms like Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, Blog, Pinterest, Vimeo, and Youtube. I often use Instagram and Tumblr to browse photography work and Vimeo for video inspiration.

Are you working on any projects at the moment that you can tell us about? Any future endeavours?

Pretty excited to say that I'm going to do a road trip with Mini Cooper Australia along with my good mates Ben (@itchban) and Chino (@chinocen) in April. We'll be hitting some spots around NSW this time, starting from Mt. Kosciuszko, Laurel Hill, Horse Head and some other places as well. 

No More Ugly Blog | Mario Palufi @Borneon.lad

What's your take on today's photography saturated world where everyone can get their hands on a DSLR, or iPhone. Do you find this a challenge for emerging photographers and how do you find ways to stand out?

I feel like everyone is a photographer now regardless of their experience. Anywhere, anytime there's always people taking their phone out and capturing something they see. But again, to understand what photography is, there's not many. But I believe everyone could be a good photographer as long as they have the passion for it. Study about light, composition, lines, colours, contrast and all those elements that build a good photograph. So, keep learning and always find new inspiration, be creative and be different. Those are the ways that I to stand out. 

No More Ugly Blog | Mario Palufi @Borneon.lad | Sydney Photographer

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