Issue 66 of 40 South Magazine
The first in-print publication of pictures from my project This Working Life has just been published over 8 pages in the portfolio section of the highly respected Tasmanian magazine 40° South. If you are interested in Tasmania and all things Tasmanian, subscribe now.
To coincide with this I’ve posted some more of the pictures here. If you want to know more about this project please visit my This Working Life blog.
“Looking at pictures of work can provoke thoughts and feelings about work and life…it leads each to ponder in our own personal terms, not just the subject at hand but the universal nature of human existence.” Ferdinand Protzmann The World of Work.
Flinders Street Station, Melbourne
Gypsy Bar, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” Theodore Roosevelt
Nullarbor, South Australia
“Finding the right work is like discovering your own soul in the world.” Sir Thomas Moore (1779-1852)
Byron Bay, NSW
Rottnest Island, WA
Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne
“The strongest bond of human sympathy outside the family relation should be one uniting working people of all nations and tongues and kindreds.” Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
Bourke Street, Melbourne
Job seeker, Hobart
Collins Street, Hobart
Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.
“I do not believe we can repair the basic fabric of society until people who are willing to work have work. Work organizes life. It gives structure and discipline to life.” Bill Clinton
Filed under art, Australia, Australian, Digital photography, documentary photography, Photographer, Photography, Photojournalism, portraits, Rob Walls, Tasmania
Sunday, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy © Rob Walls 2011
Kat Macaulay, bartender at The Gypsy Bar, Fitzroy © Rob Walls 2011
His first protest; Climate Action rally, Melbourne June 5 2011 © Rob Walls 2011
Exuberance personified at the Climate Action rally in Melbourne © Rob Walls 2001
Brunswick Street, Fitzroy © Rob Walls 2011
While only indirectly involved in any way with photography (it is involved with this particular photographer’s life), I visited the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart today.
To say that this privately funded institution is challenging, exciting, controversial is understatement indeed. That it exists in the backwater of Hobart is surprising…but then the whole raison d’etre behind entrepreneur, David Walsh’s generous enterprise seems to be surprise. Now all I’ve got to do see how many visits I can fit in before I set off on my trans-continental odyssey for This Working Life on April 4th.
Arriving in the mining town of Broken Hill in mid-afternoon, I decided to stretch my legs with a walk around town. This city is like nowhere else I’ve ever been in Australia. Former prosperity shows through the modern run-down facades, but several of these building exteriors intrigued me:
A beautiful bit of art deco commercialism in Argent Street © Rob Walls 2010
Do they wonder why they went out of business? © Rob Walls 2010
One especially for my wife, Sulyn. She'll get it! © Rob Walls 2010
Election poster on the Warracknabeal-Mildura road © Rob Walls 2010
It’s winter school holidays down here in the real deep south. As a shakedown cruise for my new/used Toyota Hilux pick-up, I came up with the idea of taking my daughter camping in north-east Tasmania to photograph wombats. The very best place to photograph these animals is at Narawntapu National Park where they graze like miniature bison on the flat open areas that used to be potato fields.
Winter is the best time to photograph these shy marsupials, as they come out of their burrows in the daytime, to warm up in the thin winter sunshine. The weather was not at all kind to us, but as the old cliche goes: if you don’t like the weather in Tasmania, just wait five minutes. We managed to keep warm and cheerful and got enough good light to get what we were after.
A wombat peering shyly from its burrow © Rob Walls 2010
Along the way, I discovered a stock photo niche. Amongst the 19,000,000 pictures on Alamy, there is not a single picture of the curiously rhomboid wombat scat. “Scat”, a curious word? A euphemism? Probably. Not much better than putting “s**t”, but then telling it like it is and calling it “shit” is, to my mind, somewhat crude. Anyway, if any natural history photo editors out there are looking for a stock shots of wombat excrement, they should be able to find several at Alamy.com after next week.
As my friend and colleague Roel Loopers said, “as we all know, Rob, shit sells!” I hope so. Here for your information and edification is what wombat crap looks like:
Writer/photographer Ross Barnett has long been active in bringing attention to the ridiculous regulations that govern photography in Australia’s so-called “national” parks. Here he asks some questions of Peter Garrett, the minister responsible and gets some answers that seem to indicate either the minister is evading the questions, or that he lacks the intelligence to grasp the idea that freedom of expression is a value worth embracing in modern Australia.
This week The Economist voted Melbourne the world’s third most liveable city in the world, narrowly beaten by Vancouver and Vienna. The Melbourne newspapers have run hot with the news, mainly with the emphasis that the city beat Sydney, which had to share ninth place with Zurich. As far as I can tell, the Melbourne/Sydney rivalry is only in the mind of Melbournites. Sydney, blessed with its magnificent harbour, draped with the arch of the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, doesn’t even have to try.
The blogs and newspaper commentaries have been running even hotter with commentary, for and against, mostly from Melbourne residents. Those against complain about the transport system; those for, seem to place a rather strange emphasis on the quality of Melbourne coffee. It’s as though they believe urban sophistication can be attributed to the quality of the bean roast and the skill of its baristas. Is this why Vienna beat them on the leader board?
One particular commentator, wrote this:
“I call Melbourne BLACK, BLAND MELBOURNE. Just walk into the city whether winter or summer and all you see is men and particularly women dressed in black. Go into a department store or any restaurant or any shop for that matter and every employee is wearing black. Boring and bland. Go to Paris and women wear all colours, hardly any funeral black. So Melbourne needs to brighten up.”
This prompted me to dive to my picture files. I was in Melbourne two weeks ago and took these picture. I love Melbourne, it’s a bright, colourful city, but that writer is right, there is a pre-occupation amongst its inhabitants to wear black. If only Melburnians would learn to relax…but it must be hard when you are continually being pumped with all that caffiene…
Filed under Australian, Digital photography, documentary photography, News, Opinion, Photographer, Photography, Photojournalism, Rob Walls, Stock photography, travel
My good friend and colleague, Roel Loopers, regularly documents his love of Fremantle through his blog Freo’s View.
Inspired by his devotion to that beautiful city and also by a long and very fine lunch with him and some friends at ECCO a couple of weeks ago, I wandered around the city for a few hours to put together my view of his home town. Here’s my perspective of the place affectionately called Freo. If this modest taste of Fremantle intrigues you, and you want more, you can see Roel’s take on the city and its vibrant life here.
Moonrise over the Hotel Fremantle © Rob Walls 2009
A fine lunch with good friends on a sunny Saturday afternoon © Rob Walls 2009
A Fremantle wedding photographer at work on a busy Saturday © Rob Walls 2009
Sunday brunch at Gino's on the cappucino strip © Rob Walls 2009
Beans on toast and fruit juice at Gino's on Sunday © Rob Walls 2009
A triumphant Bob Hawke on the campaign trail in Sydney, 1983. This was shot on assignment for Newsweek. © Rob Walls
I’ve been photographing politicians in office and on the campaign trail since the time of Sir Robert Menzies. That was so long ago, I wore a suit and was still using a Speed Graphic. It would be three more years before I switched to more casual clothing and the ease and immediacy of the Nikon F.
While many photographers find political photography boring, I delight in the sport. And damned fine sport it is; working like a hunter, seeking that ephemeral split second, when the subject might inadvertently slip out from behind the polished public persona.
Photographing politicians needs the same finely tuned reflexes required for photographing sport. But I think it needs a much more highly developed recognition of “peak action” than is required in sports photography. The peak action of the political moment is far more subtle than the titanic, bone-crunching clash of footballers or the soaring leap of an athlete. Blink and you miss it…and unlike sports photography, the players don’t repetitiously try to re-create that moment. The reality of politics for the photographer is that there are teams of minders running interference between you and the subject trying to ensure that the moment is not repeated.
If you need convincing that our quarry is aware of the power of the unguarded political moment, you need look no further than the attempt by politicians to rule that the only legitimate subject to be photographed within the Australian Parliament was the politician speaking at the despatch box. All those SMSing, snoring, yawning or otherwise diverting themselves were ruled out of bounds. Of course the photographers of the press gallery ignored this.
These are some of my pictures of Australian Prime Ministers of the last few decades…
John Howard in opposition circa 1984, before his advisers smoothed the rough sartorial edges © Rob Walls
Paul Keating wth that particular twinkle in his eye, often displayed when taking delight in verbally skewering an opponent. © Rob Walls
Bob Hawke in vindictive mode. I always thought that underneath the smooth exterior lay one very good hater. © Rob Walls
Malcolm Fraser during the 1983 election campaign. When in power he was expert at maintaining the mask. Paul Keating once described him as "Like an Easter Island statue...with an arse full of razor blades". Out of office, he revealed a much warmer personality. Two weeks after this picture was taken, having lost the election, he actually wept on camera. ® Rob Walls