Now more that 6,000 kilometres behind me. Tomorrow the big smoke; sin city; my old home-town, Sydney. In the meantime, here are some more observations from my meandering through rural New South Wales:
Tag Archives: architecture
In the sleepy northern town of Bellingen in New South Wales, there stands this beautiful temple to retailing: Hammond and Wheatley’s Commercial Emporium; established 1900. A lyric poem in brick, iron, glass and timber, this building proudly sings the archaic words of a bygone age: ironmongery, millinery, drapery, even emporium itself. Proudly maintained, it evokes pride and confidence. It would be a crime if progress were ever to threaten the existence of this cathedral of commerce.
I’ve been thinking about the subject of work at lot lately. Some would say I prefer to think about it rather than perform it. But it occurred to me there are still many jobs that can’t be computerised. These two painters painting the window frames of this old Georgian store in Melville Street Hobart this morning, can probably feel comfortable in the knowledge that their jobs are unlikely to be overtaken by the digital revolution, any time in the near future.
Camera: Canon Powershot G11
A POSTSCRIPT: driving past the day after, I see that the beautiful remnants of the words “Furnishing Warehouse” have now been sanded off the timber facade. Sad! But they still live on in this photo.
Last month, in Broome, I was invited to photograph the recently completed home of Trish Pepper. Trish, a superb cook, is one of the caterers on the television production I was working on. Her house is an excitingly designed and dramatic statement that uses large open spaces and decks to take advantage of Broome’s tropical climate. The bold and bright colour scheme picks up its notes from the red pindan earth of the surrounding desert. There’s even a boab tree growing through the courtyard deck.
While showing her the results of the shoot on my laptop, Trish commented, “They are wonderful pictures. What a great camera!”. I couldn’t resist it! I just had to re-cycle/re-use that old and probably apocryphal story about the photographer and the titled lady admiring his pictures after dinner.
Having had dinner at Trish’s house and enjoyed her food every day while I was there, I could not hold back: “…and your food’s wonderful too, you must have a great stove”. Her response, “Oooops!”…I think we are still friends.
The delicious (groan) irony was that Trish really does work with a great stove. The production company had just installed a professional grade, La Germania and I can guarantee it’s good. On the Sunday I photographed her house, it was her day off and so for fun, I cooked in it for the crew, roasting five large chickens stuffed with lemon slices and rosemary.
If anyone is interested my “great camera” was a Nikon D300 with the Sigma 10-20mm wide-angle zoom lens. The chickens were served with a Greek avgolemono sauce (recipe here). And it’s a great looking house, Trish…
PS Special thanks to that consummate continuity person, Lesia Hrubyi, who hustled around ensuring that everything was neat and tidy.
New South Wales, 1984.
Back in the days when I shot film, whenever I was in a visual rut, I often found that simply changing format would freshen up my eye.
Most of my work used to be on 35mm. So I borrowed an old 5×4 Speed Graphic and loaded up a couple of Grafmatic backs with Tri-X. The Speed Graphic was the first camera I used professionally when I became a photographer back in 1962 and I still have a great affection for this old work horse.
In a one-horse town on the road to Tamworth in northern New South Wales, I came across this derelict car wash. To me, it had something of the timeless quality of the subjects of one of my heroes, Walker Evans.