'Frustrated rock star' wins award

A portrait of Australian rock musician, Dave Graney, by La Trobe University online photography student, Carl Dziunka has won the Personal Image, New Talent category of The Edge Imaging Photography Excellence Awards.

Carl Dziunka at the Edge Imaging Photography Excellence Awards 2011An electrician by trade, Mr Dziunka describes himself as a ‘frustrated rock star.’ As well as Dave Graney, Mr Dziunka has photographed many famous musicians including k. d. lang, Pete Murray, Simple Plan (a punk group from Canada) and the Pointer Sisters. His most recent commission was with Australian actor, Noah Taylor with his band The Sloppy Boys.
Mr Dziunka joined La Trobe University’s online photojournalism course as a mature age student to pursue a love of photography that began for him as a 12-year-old child.

Now aged 48, Mr Dziunka enjoyed the course so much that he has decided to undertake the Bachelor of Visual Arts, majoring in photojournalism. His studies will commence in 2012.

Asked how he felt at the news that he had won the award, Mr Dziunka said, in his broad Manchester accent ‘Lucky I was sat down or I would have fell down; I couldn’t believe it. It’s the first thing I’ve ever won.’

‘I started photography when I was 12 but put it on the backburner when I got married and started a family. The kids have now grown up and left home so I decided to follow the dream; I’m just starting my own photography business,’ said Mr Dziunka.

Mr Dziunka currently attends five concerts a week working mainly for music websites such as Tone Deaf and The Dwarf.
Mr Dziunka will also work at the three-day Falls Festival in Lorne that starts on 28 December  and the Byron Bay blues festival at Easter next year.

La Trobe University Head of Photography and senior lecturer, Julie Millowick, is not surprised by Mr Dziunka’s success.

‘When he takes these photos, Carl works in extremely low light, using uprated ISO and no flash. This requires extraordinary skill, which is clearly demonstrated by the fact that Carl is establishing quite a reputation in this field,’ said Ms Millowick.

The win by Mr Dziunka follows the recent success of fellow student, Paige Hortin, who was awarded Best Photojournalism at the Ossie Awards for Journalism Students.

‘These awards demonstrate the high calibre of students that undertake the photography course at La Trobe. Carl and Paige are outstanding students and we congratulate them both,’ said Ms Millowick.

The Edge Imaging Photography Excellence Awards are run by the Australian School of Wedding and Portrait Photography, which was founded to help aspiring and practising photographers reach their goals, career and artistic, by learning from the experience of others.

The national competition judges entrants on the originality, impact, creativity, emotion, good technique and composition of their images.

Media enquiries

Carl Dziunka Ph (03) 9740 4118 M 0431 607 439


Zerin Knight, Ph (03) 5444 7375 F +613 5444 7526 M 0428 463 161 E z.knight@latrobe.edu.au