Greetings photography fans, we’ve got another instalment in our Masters of Photography for you today. This series looks at the lives and work of some of the most interesting and influential photographers of the last century.

This time we’re looking at the work of contemporary photographer, Trent Parke.

Born in New South Wales, Australia, in 1971, Parke began his photographic journey at the age of 12. During these early years he used his family’s laundry room as a dark room to develop his images.

Early in his career Parke worked as a photographer for The Australian newspaper, until developing and releasing his own collection, Dream/Life in 1999. In that same year he won a World Press Photo Awards – an award he would go on to win again in 2000, 2001, 2005, and 2006.

One of Parke’s most known works is Minutes to Midnight. He and his wife – photographer Narelle Autio – drove nearly 100,000 km around Australia capturing images of twenty-first century Australia. The images include looks at life in neglected Aboriginal towns, the desiccated outback, and all other areas of life in Australia.

Parke won the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for his work on Minutes to Midnight.

Parke is well known for his black and white style that puts the emphasis on his subjects, while experimenting with light and contrast to tell powerful stories in his images.

Parke was the first Australian photographer to be invited as a member of the prestigious Magnum Photos cooperative (who we’ve covered here).