My moment was in the vaults of the National Gallery of Australia surrounded by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Edward Steichen; or at least their precious original photographs. And I could look as close as I wanted for as long as I wanted.

I had been making photographs for about 20 years and had done quite a bit of large format work. What I had to know was how good were they quality-wise. Well, you know what, those famous figures put up with the same dust, subject movement, camera shake, lens flare, bad print spotting, surface imperfections, that I was battling against on a daily basis. Technically I was as consistently good or better than any of them. I could go ahead with confidence, nay, arrogance.

Only a few days out from the Gallery I realised that for serious work in photography total technical competence is assumed, it's the basic stuff. And it's only one tenth of the journey. The real challenges are imagination, creativity, vision, and energy. I'm still working on those and win occasionally, humbly fall short on most occasions.