Born in Sydney, Torsten is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading photojournalists and travel photographers. His award-winning images have been displayed in group and solo photographic exhibitions in Brazil, the United States and Australia. Torsten’s work has also been exhibited at Visa pour L’Image in Perpignan, France.
After graduating in Architecture from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 1980 he spent a decade travelling to over 120 countries on six continents photographing the people, cultures and landscapes of the world.
Upon returning to Sydney in 1990 Torsten designed and taught the black & white photography, colour photography, and photographic special effects Creative Leisure courses at UNSW until 2004.
Having become a full-time photojournalist in 1991, Torsten was appointed Chief Photographer for Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the Pacific Islands for the international news service Agence France-Presse (AFP) in 1992. Twenty years later he was the longest serving head of any photographic news agency in Australia before departing AFP to pursue his solo career in late 2012.
Torsten’s photographs of news, sports and features throughout Oceania have been transmitted by AFP to more than 13,000 newspapers and publications in 165 countries. His images are distributed globally through Agence France-Presse, Getty Images, Corbis, the Australian Associated Press (AAP), as well as thousands of websites and online photo forums.
Torsten’s image series were featured in the Cross Projections photographers’ group shows of 2007, 2010, 2011 & 2013.
His exhibition, Papua New Guinea – The Taste Of Paradise, featured in the 2013 HeadOn Photo Festival as well as the HeadOn Photo Portrait Prize finalists at the NSW State Library, the Head Off Landscape Prize finalists at the Paddington Reservoir, and The Best of the HeadOn Finalists exhibition at the X88 Gallery in 2014.
Torsten was the Event Photographic Manager for the 2015 HeadOn Photo Festival as well as a featured photographer with his rather unexpected solo exhibition at the Sydney Town Hall on 1-10 May 2015 and was shown in the 2015 HeadOn Photo Festival Landscape Prize finalists group exhibition at the NSW Parliament House on 1-31 May 2015.
To further his teaching career in photojournalism, Torsten obtained the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment in 2013, the Certificate IV in Small Business Management in 2014, and is undertaking the Diploma of Photo Imaging through recognition of prior learning at TAFE Sydney Institute.
Torsten is currently working with the renowned American photographer Sandro Miller (Sandrofilm.com) to produce the major exhibition and large-format portrait book I Am Papua New Guinea featuring the Melanesian tribes of Papua New Guinea. The landmark photographic series covers a diverse cross-section of the highlander, islander and coastal peoples from the world’s most heterogeneous nation and is scheduled to be launched as a 24-page special feature in The Smithsonian magazine in March 2018.
Torsten is also the managing director of Photography Afloat which offers guided photography tours for professionals and amateurs by kayak around the islands and hidden coves of Sydney Harbour.
Major sporting events covered for AFP include:
- Olympic Games (Atlanta 1996 & Sydney 2000)
- Winter Olympic Games (Nagano 1998)
- FIFA World Cup (Germany 2006)
- Asian Games (Hiroshima 1994, Bangkok 1998, Busan 2002, Doha 2006, Guangzhou 2010)
- Commonwealth Games (Melbourne 2006)
- FIA Formula One Grand Prix (Adelaide 1992 – 1994, Melbourne 1996 – 2012)
- FIM MotoGP (Sydney 1992-1996, Phillip Island 1997 – 2011)
- Indy 300 (Surfers Paradise 1993 – 1994, 2003 – 2007)
- Formula A1 Grand Prix (Sydney 2005)
- FIA Rally Australia (Coffs Harbour 2011)
- FINA Swimming World Championships (Perth 1998, Melbourne 2007)
- UCI Track Cycling World Championships (Perth 1997, Melbourne 2004)
- UCI Mountain Bike World Championships (Canberra 2009)
- Australian Open tennis Grand Slam (Melbourne 1992 – 1994, 1996 – 2012)
- America’s Cup sailing (Auckland 2000 & 2003)
- Rugby World Cup (Sydney 2003)
- Rugby League World Cup (Sydney 2008)
- Australian Open Golf (Sydney 1992 – 2011)
- Heineken Golf Classic (Melbourne 2004)
- Hockey Champions’ Trophy (Sydney 2009)
- World Masters Games (Sydney 2009)
- Sydney to Hobart yacht race start (1992 – 2011)
- Cricket World Cup (Melbourne 1992)
- One-Day Cricket World Cup (Australia 1992)
Major news events covered for AFP include:
- APEC (Auckland 1999, Sydney 2007)
- CHOGM (Auckland 1995, Coolum 2002, Perth 2011)
- World Economic Forum (Melbourne 2000)
- Pacific Islands Forum Meeting (Madang 1995, Majuro Atoll 1996, Sydney 2003, Denarau Island 2006, Cairns 2009, Port Vila 2010)
- Australia-led intervention in the Solomon Islands (Honiara 2003)
- Australia-led intervention in Timor Leste (Dili 1999)
- Asian Development Bank summit (Auckland 1995)
- 19th World Energy Congress (Sydney 2004)
- New Millenium on Mt Hikurangi (New Zealand 2000)
- Christchurch earthquake (New Zealand 2011)
- Cyclone Larry (Innisfail 2006)
- Cyclone Yasi and Queensland floods (Australia 2011)
- Samoan & American Samoan Tsunami (2009)
- Sissano Tsunami, Papua New Guinea (1998)
- Rabaul twin volcanic eruptions, Papua New Guinea (1994)
- Hong Kong handover ceremony (China 1997)
- Papal visit by John Paul II (Sydney 1995)
- World Youth Day (Sydney 2008)
- Oprah Winfrey’s visit (Sydney 2011)
- First passenger jet flight to Antarctica (Wilkins 2008)
- Best Job in the World finals (Whitsunday Islands 2010)
- World Solar Challenge (Adelaide 1993 & 2007)