at Henley Beach

Ari and I went to Henley Beach to help Gilbert Roe hang his ‘Time & Tide’ exhibition at the Swedish Tarts cafe. The images were made with a flat bed scanner and could be considered to be the digital equivalent of the 20th century photogram.

After hanging the exhibition I walked back to the car to pick up Ari, then we walked to Hendley Square to share a glass of wine, then Ari and I walked back to the car. It was just after sunset and I saw this building on Seaview Rd on the way back to the car:

Memorial, Henley Beach
Memorial, Henley Beach

A gentle south west wind was blowing and people were strolling along the esplanade and the beach enjoying the softness of the dusk.

on a tram

When I had to return the zapped out modem from Encounter Studio to Internode on Thursday I decided to catch the tram into the CBD rather than walk in. I wanted to take some more photos of the street through the tram window, as it was overcast and the light was soft.

These tram photos are difficult to do because of the constraints of the exercise: it is hard to predict what is happening on the street, and more often than not the composition is lousy. Most of the pictures taken are quickly deleted. I generally take the photos when the tram has stopped at an intersection and is waiting for the traffic lights to turn green. This gives me some form of control in what is a very fluid situation.

Adelaide City Council

It is not possible to take this kind of work in Adelaide on how people move within metropolises. Adelaide is a country town, not a metropolis.

Queenstown re-photography project

The Queenstown Library has initiated a ‘then and now’ photographic project in relation to the 1912 Mt Lyell Mining disaster. It emphasizes both community involvement and re-photographing some of the photos of the open cut mine taken by the early twentieth century photographers.

Queenstown, Tasmania

I had a go at finding the sites used by Frank Hurley for his photographs of the Queenstown landscape and Mt Lyell mine out of interest. But I was way out. I just don’t know the area. Only a local with a keen topographical eye and a knowledge of the access roads could find the old sites now in order to show some continuity between the old and new images.

early morning, Encounter Bay

It was a gentle sunny morning on the beach at Encounter Parade this morning. It had rained during the night, the air was moist, and there was no wind. Not surprisingly, everybody was out jogging and walking. I took some snaps of the seaside architecture:

beach house, Encounter Bay

I spent yesterday working on the Preface of the Victor Harbor book and setting up a simple Posterous style blog for the images that I will use in the book. So the book is under way. Thank goodness something is finally happening on this front.

at Victor Harbor

I’ve come down to Victor Harbor for a day or so to continue with the 8×10 large format seaside architectural photography series. I plan to photograph this heritage building tomorrow, weather permitting:

Esplanade, Victor Harbor

In the meantime I’m watching a live stream of the judging of the Epson Australian Institute of Professional Photography’s (AIPP) South Australian Professional Print Awards at the Orange Lane Studio in Norwood.

The commercial architectural shots in this competition are nothing like what I’m doing. Mine are very rough and ready compared to the smooth and carefully calibrated celebration of the architect’s work that the commercial photographers do for their clients. They go for the wow factor, but they do seem unreal in their perfection–almost iconic — compared to mine.

Melbourne’s rooftops

I’ve always found it hard to get under the surface of Melbourne when I’m there photographing. I’m more like a tourist exploring the alleyways, the street art, the beach huts along the Mornington Peninsula, or the shop windows–along with everybody else. I was getting nowhere.

Melbourne is being redeveloped at high speed–as if there is no tomorrow. This time I was more focused—I wanted to explore the old and new architecture before the old 19th century disappeared. It just didn’t happen on the first couple of days because I was on the street when I needed to be up higher.

from Curtin House

However, Andrew Wurster kindly took me on a photowalk on Wednesday afternoon in and around Little Burke Street and Chinatown on Wednesday afternoon. Andrew runs the fascinating Urban Photo Mag group on Flickr, and he has an intimate photographic knowledge of Melbourne’s CBD.

We decided to check out the urban views from the various rooftops of the old carparks before going on to Curtin House to have a drink at the rooftop bar in the late afternoon light.


I enjoyed my couple of days in Ballarat. It is a very compact city and it is easy to get around on foot. I managed to do some photo walks early in the morning and late in the afternoon on both the Saturday and Sunday.

I found it to be a very visual city, a treat for large format architectural style work.

railway shed, Ballarat

Of course, I had no large format equipment with me–I was travelling light with three handheld cameras. Many of the images that were taken were little sketches to show the possibilities.

urban documentary

I keep plugging away at the large format series or study of Adelaide. I’m slowly ticking off the locations and finding new ones:

French St

I am not sure what the content is, how the series will be constructed, or how it will unfold. It will be something about documentary, empty streets and history with an eye to a DIY photo book. I want book making to be a central part of my practice.


I’ve been going through my Flickr archives looking at my urban photos to see what kind of project lies buried within them. Would there be anything, or are they just a series of casual snaps? My feeling was that they are just a series of casual snaps as I walk through the city.

Gary Sauer-Thompson, Adelaide CBD resting, 2008

This is a good example. It was taken in January 2008–high summer. It was hot that afternoon and it looked to be a good image. So I took a snap with a digital camera. I then just moved on to take another snap as I wandered around the streets camera in hand.


I worked in Canberra in the political world for many a long year as a political and policy advisor. Alas, I only returned to photography towards the end of my time there.


That’s a pity.I could have done more when I look at the film archives. But I’d given up photography. It was no longer a part of what I was doing at that time. All my cameras had been put away in a cupboard and forgotten.

I don’t recall what made me start to pull them out and start to take photos again.