Tag Archives: portrait

Hot photography…

While in Perth a couple of weeks ago, I had the dubious pleasure of being on the other side of the camera when I was photographed by Nic Ellis, a photojournalist with the West Australian newspaper. He had generously organised a foundry for me to shoot in for my long-term project, This Working Life and had also deemed my project newsworthy enough for the paper.

For a photojournalist, being photographed from time-to-time is probably good for the soul, a pin-prick to the balloon of our vanity and certainly good for understanding of what we often put our subjects through. Now I’ll do anything to help a fellow PJ get the picture they want, but I found this particular instance especially uncomfortable.

This was nothing to do with Nic. He is a sensitive and highly skilled shooter. It was more to do with the particular subject matter we were dealing with. It was hot in that foundry. After all they were melting steel. To get the particular effect he wanted meant placing me very close to several furnaces. The peculiarly pained expression on my face is just that: pain. I was waiting for my shirt to start smouldering and smoke to curl around my head.

Portrait by Nic Ellis © West Australian Newspapers 2011

Don’t get me wrong, Nic. I’m not complaining. It really was a great experience being photographed by you and it added to my fund of anecdotes from this trip to Western Australia. That foundry also provided be with some fine pictures for my project. Thank you, and I hope to return the favour when I come back in September. Maybe you could pose for me up to your neck in freezing water at an oyster farm, or something like that?

For the full story in the West Australian go here.

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

Catching up with an old friend…

In Bali last month, I took the time to re-connect with an old friend. I met Nyoman Purpa, an art dealer in Ubud in 1977 and would visit him again and again, whenever I returned. It had been 25 years since I was last in Indonesia and taking a trip there with my daughter during the school holidays, I decided to seek him out. This is Purpa as I knew him in 1977; a laid-back, easy-going seller of paintings, with a few motorbikes for hire, as a sideline:

Nyoman Purpa in his art gallery, Circa 1977. © Rob Walls

Though Ubud had changed almost beyond, recognition, Purpa was not hard to find. His gallery which was once set amongst rice paddies is now part of some of the most expensive commercial real estate in Bali.

He was still the same, smiling, optimistic Purpa of old, though now comparatively wealthy. A dedicated family man, he had helped set up his twin daughters with their own fashion and jewellery business. His son, is a well know rock musician, appearing regularly on Indonesian television.

After filling in the years over a few Bintang beers, we decided to update his image with a new portrait:

Nyoman Purpa with ever-present cigarette, in his gallery, February 2, 2011 © Rob Walls

The years have been kind to my old friend.

Purpa and me. Photo © Cassandra Walls 2011

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

Catching beauty…

Sometimes a photographer’s life can be mighty privileged. Last December, while working on the teenage television production, Castaway in Broome, I was given the opportunity to shoot photographs for the portfolio of one of the lead actors, 15 year old, Mikayla Southgate. Endowed with a translucent beauty, and a talent to match, Mikayla is an Australian actress to watch. If she persists in the business, I predict that she will go to the very top.

These are two of my favourite pictures from a shoot on Cable Beach:

Technical details:  Nikon D90, Nikkor 80-200mm 2.8 zoom, focal length 200mm,

ISO640 F2.8 @ 1/250 sec.

Technical details:  Nikon D90, Nikkor 80-200mm 2.8 zoom, focal length 155mm,

ISO640 F2.8 @ 1/640 sec.

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Filed under art, Australian, Digital photography, Photographer, Photography, portraits, Rob Walls, Stock photography

Trawling through the archive

Terence Stamp, 1968

Terence Stamp, 1968

Recently, I began to cull a lot of old material; negatives and transparencies, some going back as far as the 1960s. I came across some pictures I had taken in England of actor, Terence Stamp, while shooting publicity material for MGM. The movie Far From the Madding Crowd was about to be launched and I took this picture during a press conference in 1967 or 68. He had just got back from Texas where he had been making a western called Blue and I remember thinking he looked rather scruffy.

In retrospect, by today’s standards he looks well groomed…but how cool? He still is…

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