Islander sports photographer Maggie Patterson loves Kangaroo Island

Maggie Patterson is often joined by her dog Buddy as she traverses Kangaroo Island capturing the best sporting moments for The Islander newspaper.

Maggie Patterson is often joined by her dog Buddy as she traverses Kangaroo Island capturing the best sporting moments for The Islander newspaper.

Normally used to telling stories through her photography, oursport photographer Maggie Patterson, has a fascinating tale of her own.

For the first time since she began as The Islander's snapper, sport has been suspended on the Island.

Born in 1940 at Yallunda Flat, Maggie attended school at Cummins Area School where she began her photography career by borrowing her father's Kodak camera and taking photos of the classes, then selling them back to her fellow students.

Maggie completed her school education and Art Teacher's degree in Adelaide and began teaching.

She arrived in Kangaroo Island in 1962 and, apart from a year exchange teaching in Perth in 1994, has done all her teaching at both Parndana and Kingscote schools.

Over her 50 years of teaching, Maggie has taught three whole generations of some local families. But when her teaching career began, photography was the last thing on Maggie's mind.

"The Kodak Retinette 2A camera my parents gave me when I left home was only used to document and record life around me on slides for interest only."

"Eventually on KI I bought an Olympus Camera and then graduated to a Canon SLR camera and my professional career started in the 80's taking many couples wedding photos working with film and negatives and prints and registered my own business - Maggie's Photography.

Up until this time I had considered herself an environmental photographer, winning a state wide RAA J150 photographic competition in 1986 with a photo of a group of kangaroos sitting outside her son's tent on a school camp eating a book called "photography in the wild".

In the early 80s, Maggie completed a photography course and subsequently took over the photography lab at Kingscote Area School, teaching black and white photography as a subject.

Leading the way

"About the same time as the old (Kingscote Area School) was demolished - and with it the photography lab - a new school and art room were built and digital photography made its appearance and I bought one of the first digital cameras," Maggie explained.

"I also set up five Apple Mac computers and introduced digital photography through Photoshop to the students.

After transitioning to part time teaching, Maggie began travelling abroad from 2004-2018, taking in excess of 10,000 photos per trip

"I took one camera and one 18-270mm lens where others were carrying tripods, bags with several interchangeable lens," she said.

"I used to say to my students, learn and understand the capabilities of your camera and make it work for you."

Maggie resigned from teaching in 2010 and began taking photos for the Islander Newspaper. Since 2014 she has been the newspaper's number one sports photographer. Maggie's passion for sport runs deep and she has played just about every sport there is.

She has been an accredited Softball, Sailing and All Australian Intermediate Netball Coach. She is the trainer at Wisanger Football Club. She has represented the Island in softball and netball and coached many KINA Rep teams at the Country Championships in Adelaide.

In sailing, she has won the State Championship Radial Laser Women's Division.

Now that she has retired from teaching, Maggie said she really looks forward to Saturdays and taking sports photos as an opportunity to socialise.

"I take great pride in my photos and select carefully what I believe tells a story and is emotive and people have often told me how great they are and how they look forward to seeing the photos on the Sports page," she said.

"I honestly believe that my art background plays a big part in this, as the camera is only a tool to capture the image you select...

"It helps to have an intimate knowledge of the sports so I can anticipate what is going to happen and aim the lens in that direction.

"I do a lot of cropping of my photos to get rid of distracting and unwanted backgrounds as I download all my photos to an Apple Mac computer and use Adobe photoshop."

Maggie's photography can be found on our website or Maggie's own Facebook group 'Maggie's Photography'.

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