Tag Archives: old

Sir Warwick Fairfax from the archive

Sir Warwick Fairfax circa 1980 © Rob Walls

Sir Warwick Fairfax circa 1980 © Rob Walls

He was imperiously intimidating. “What’s your brief son? What were you told to shoot? Who are you working for? This is just not good enough! I want to be photographed here; in front of the portrait of the old man!”. I didn’t argue. This portrait of Sir Warwick Fairfax is from a shoot for a John Fairfax Limited annual report sometime around 1980. I got the distinct impression he was disappointed that he couldn’t fire me, because I wasn’t a Fairfax staffer…


Filed under Australian, Photography, Photojournalism, portraits, Rob Walls, Stock photography

Deep mourning for a pair of shoes…

Sometime during a life you find a pair of shoes that become so much a part of you, that when they die you go through a phase of mourning. I’ve always liked good footwear. I’ve owned shoes that have cost hundreds of dollars. Back when I was something of an eighteen year old dandy (1960), I spent £36 on a pair of handmade Italian winkle pickers that mauled my feet in ways that I’m probably still paying for. Then my weekly wage as a junior teller in the ANZ Bank was £16 a week. That’s makes them an extravagance the equivalent of a $1000 in today’s money. Yeh, I like good shoes…

About five years ago, in Big W, I came across a sale of black Converse skate shoes. They had been knocked down from $75 to $20. Obviously not cool enough for the skating crowd, I kind of liked their style, so I bought two pair. They turned out to be the most comfortable shoes I’d ever owned. They took whatever I threw at them and when given a lick of Kiwi Parade Ground polish would come up slick enough to make a pair of Levis and a good jacket pass for formal wear in most of the situations in which I work.

They travelled with me through Malaysia, Borneo, New Guinea and the Australian outback. When travelling, I rotated them so that there was always a smart pair when the other had been marched through the mire. Last year, one pair passed away. Then this year after travelling nearly 20,000 kilometres through the Australian outback, the last pair turned up its heels, so to speak. I reverently placed them in the box in which their replacement had arrived as though it was a coffin and brought them home with a resolve to do a photographic homage to my faithful footwear. I miss them still…

RIP Converse skate shoes and the mark they left in the red dust of the Kimberley...© Rob Walls 2011


Filed under Australia, Australian, Digital photography, Photography, Rob Walls

Photos within photos…

Discarded memory © Rob Walls 2010

Photos within photos: a fascination. They are like a slice of time contained within a slice of time; a mirror reflected within a mirror. Like looking at a scene through a door framed within an open window. I came across  this discarded portrait of an Australian soldier. It had been rescued from the city dump. I wonder where he ended up?


Filed under art, Australian, documentary photography, Photographer, Photography, Photojournalism, portraits, Rob Walls

“Wild Eye”, the Souvenir King

This fine portrait of Australian soldier, Private John Hines aka The Souvenir King is part of a very interesting series of photographs from the Australian War Memorial held by the National Media Museum on Flickr under a Creative Commons Licence. Some of the photographs are by that sometimes controverial Australian war photographer, Frank Hurley. It was Hurley’s belief that darkroom manipulation was the only effective way of conveying the drama of war. Some of his pictures were a combination from many separate negatives. As you can see, photo manipulation was prevalent long before the arrival of Photoshop and digital imaging.

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Filed under Australian, Photographer, Photography, Photojournalism