Famous Australian Photographers

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Nicole

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How many of you know of Australian Photographers and which ones would you consider to be your favourite?

Me? I really like this famous Australian female photographer who has also ventured into the movie industry and is doing very well in New York. Just wish I remembered her name... :sad: Maybe someone can help me here. Her work is sometimes a little controversial.

Anyway, I thought this would be a challenge - lets see how the Australians fair in the famous photography world. :smile:
 

roteague

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Nicole Boenig-McGrade said:
How many of you know of Australian Photographers and which ones would you consider to be your favourite?

That's easy:

Ken Duncan - he shot the stills for the movie "Passion of the Christ". http://www.kenduncan.com/

Nick Rains - a misplaced Brit. He does panoramics like Ken Duncan, has a gallery in Brisbane. Dead Link Removed

and, even though he isn't an Aussie, I would also mention Andris Apse from over in New Zealand. Another panoramic photographer. http://www.andrisapse.com/
 
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Please add Max Dupain

Discovered him as my late father-in-law had bought this image which I rather like and has fantastic tones.

you have to click "I accept" before the image will be shown from this link
http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/simple_search?cid=7&pid=29847

Concur Robert's list and also are we allowed Peter Dombrovskis from Tasmania?

That Hird bloke 'flukes' a few too!

am assuming this list is other than you? ;-)
 

roteague

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Baxter Bradford said:
Concur Robert's list and also are we allowed Peter Dombrovskis from Tasmania?

I don't know how I forgot the late Peter Dombrovskis. Another Tassie I am familar with is Geoff Murray: Dead Link Removed.

Agreed with that "Hird" fellow, his work is pretty good too.
 

Claire Senft

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WHY OH OOOH

I am not aquainted with an austrailian photographers work that I find more pleasing than the work posted by Nicole Le Grande
 

modafoto

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Claire Senft said:
I am not aquainted with an austrailian photographers work that I find more pleasing than the work posted by Nicole Le Grande

...Nicole McGREAT
 

Walter Glover

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Not many Australian photographers achieve identity or fame off-shore so it is pretty much a home-grown thing.

Frank Hurley did breach the confines of Australia in the early 20th Century.

Harold Cazneaux was a force to be reckoned with in OZ for many decades. So too was Athol Shmith in Melbourne and Laurence le Guay in Sydney (as I recall the ONLY Oz snapper included in Family Of Man).

Max Dupain and David Moore attained considerable fame however their work was eclipsed in my opinion by their stable mate Olive Cotton.

Although not born here, Wolfgang Sievers did glorious work and, curiously, realised when he had made a shot he could not better and tossed in the towel. Much of the formative stage of Helmut Newton's fashion career had its foundation in Australia also.

In terms of contemporary artists working with photography I feel one need look no further than Bill Henson. he taps into the same Melbourne aesthetic that drove Paul Cox who speeded his life up to shot 24 images each second.

The late Ian Wiliams of Brisbane was, for my money, a staggeringly good landscape photographer.

We're a sad little lot on the whole, really. Perhaps too affluent, too comfortable and too unbothered for our own good. We do seem to faire reasonably well in cinema but largely still photography tends to be derivative and unexciting. A bit embarrassing really. Even the Kiwis seem to beat the socks off us in percentage terms. George Silk and Brian Brake at LIFE magazine spring to mind.
 

philldresser

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Rob Gray! I love some of his b&W work
Phill
 

roteague

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Walter Glover said:
Not many Australian photographers achieve identity or fame off-shore so it is pretty much a home-grown thing.

I don't know, I guess it really depends upon what type of photography we are talking about. Ken Duncan is well known in the US for his panoramics - his book "America Wide" can be purchased at almost any bookstore (I have his book "Australia Wide"). As I mentioned before, he was the official still photograher for Mel Gibson's movie (granted Mel is an Aussie).
 

Walter Glover

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Hi Robert,

Thanks for your comments. Just to clarify, I did not say that there were NOT ANY but that there were NOT MANY famous Aussie shooters.

In many fields of endeavour we Australians tend to hide behind the apron strings of our small population and our physical remoteness. Photography is no different. The true reason for our comparative absence lies more in what makes up the Australian psyche.

Nobody knows for sure the full reason why Ken was chosen to shoot the feature shots of Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ but I feel sure that along with his being an Australian the fact that he is a vocal committed Christian might have been a factor also. Not that it matters, of course.

Then there is the popularly held belief that Mel Gibson is an Aussie. He is not. He is an American who spent some time here just as the BEE-GEES were a group of English lads who spent some time here. On the other side of the equation Greg Norman IS an Australian who spends most of his life in America. Do we see the Americans claim him as their own?

Perhaps a question like this is best answered from a foreign or international perspective since it is people like yourself living outside our shores who can most accurately identify those whose fame has spread.

I might add, that in extremely few instances do I see that fame necessarily equates with capability. All around the world I am sure that there are mountains of excellent work - the equal of anything publicly known - that lies dormant in drawers and cupboards and memory.
 

Ole

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Frank Hurley is one of my great heros.

Whenever I think it's too cold outside I think of him in the Antarctic, with a plate camera and a sub-zero darkroom, and throw another log on the fire and try to entice one of the cats to take a nap on my lap so I have a good excuse for staying put.
 

Ian Grant

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I'd have to repeat Max Dupain, I first saw his work about 20 years ago and its amazing.

On a personal level I was stunned when an Australian collector bought 4 or 5 of my prints about 19 or 20 years ago and when talking to him discovered he had a large collection of Dupain's images.
 

Claire Senft

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Whats in a name

Nicole le Grande, Nicole Mc great, Nicole McGrade are all the visual photographic equivalent of a rose.
 

Kevin Caulfield

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I'd have to agree with Walter about Olive Cotton.
I also agree about Narelle Autio, and throw her partner Trent Parke into the mix. He's recently become the first Australian in Magnum.
 

Graeme Hird

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As far as fame goes, it's hard to get past people like Ken Duncan, Peter Lik and Nick Rains. Ken Duncan is deservedly famous (his work is good and was original when it first appeared) however the other two are very much in the same vein, even shooting in the same format as Ken for most of their work. (And Ken is a friend of Mel Gibson, which is another factor in why he was chosen for the still shoot.)

As far as quality goes, Peter Dombrovskis' work is the best I've seen from an Aussie. However, the question asked about "famous photographers", and Peter died too young to really get the recognition he deserved for his great work.

Frank Hurley was a true pioneer of Aussie photography, but I can't help thinking his location made him famous, rather than the quality of the vision he exhibited. Who amongst us would not be able to make great images in Antarctica?

The "Hird bloke" tells me he's honoured to even rate a mention in this list, but I think he's just a pretender. Hell, he doesn't even have the balls to give up the comfortable day job and risk it all for his photography! (yet...) And he is most definitely NOT famous! (yet ...:smile:)

Cheers,
 

roteague

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Graeme Hird said:
As far as quality goes, Peter Dombrovskis' work is the best I've seen from an Aussie. However, the question asked about "famous photographers", and Peter died too young to really get the recognition he deserved for his great work.

Peter did die too young, his work is quite good. One thing I've noticed is that most of the Australian landscape photographers mentioned all work in the 6x17 format. I am familiar with Peter Lik - he has a lot of work in the Northern Territory. I am surprised that no one mentioned Steve Parish; his books seem to be everywhere (in Australia).
 

roteague

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Walter Glover said:
Perhaps a question like this is best answered from a foreign or international perspective since it is people like yourself living outside our shores who can most accurately identify those whose fame has spread.

Walter, I have to admit that I my opinion is not unbiased; I've been to your country 5 times in the last 6 years and am planning on returning this coming October. On my most recent trip, I followed the Murray River from Albury to Murray Bridge, then following the ocean to Lorne, then up to Ballarat (where I met Kevin and Nige from Melbourne), then onto Bright in the Alpine country for 8 days.

BTW, do you know a photographer named Phil Weir in Sydney? He isn't famous (that I am aware of), but is a friend of mine.
 

claytume

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Hey Aussies..........I'm surprised you guys and gals haven't claimed Anne Geddes........she is after all Oz born and bred although she had to move to NZ to find fortune and fame. Kinda odd isn't it, move to a much smaller country to make your mark?

Whether you like her work or not you have to admire how far she has taken her craft and business.

Clayton
 
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bjorke said:
Narelle Autio seems pretty hard to miss:

http://www.in-public.com/site/narelleautio/index.php

World Press Photo 2000
World Press Photo 2002
Oscar Barnack 2001

etc etc
I agree with Bjorke, Narelle (and her partner Trent Parke) deserve more recognition than they get. I was fortunate a couple of weeks back to attend an informal chat with them ( and a small room full of others) in person where they talked about spending the last two years travelling around Australia in a 4wd and a tent, and just taking photos for their projects. Saw maybe 100 images projected over the hour and a half... Who said slide shows are dead and gone? :wink:

Narelle was mainly focussed on the people of the coasts and shores of Australia (Colour) and Trent was more on the people and places of the interior (very moody and dramatic B&W). It was quite amazing to see how two photographers, shooting at the same place, at the same time, captured such different images that evoked very different emotions.

Just a quick funny note: They partly submerged their 4WD in a river about 7 months into the trip. After they managed to get the vehicle out of the river they were driving over very rough dirt roads, hills etc back to civilisation for repairs. 40 KM from where they left the river, Trent got out and went to check the front of the vehicle and found one of Narelles Leica's still sitting on the bull bar where she had placed it after photographing the damage at the riverbank. Lucky I'd say :smile:
 
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Graeme Hird

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roteague said:
.... One thing I've noticed is that most of the Australian landscape photographers mentioned all work in the 6x17 format. ..... I am surprised that no one mentioned Steve Parish; his books seem to be everywhere (in Australia).
The trend for Aussie landscape photographers to shoot 617 is becoming an epidemic (thanks mainly to Ken Duncan's success, in my opinion). That's fine by me - my 5x4 then becomes something to set me apart from the crowd! I've come across many more people using 617s than I have seen with 5x4s. I've never run into anyone using 10x8, and only David in Melbourne has shown me something bigger than that. 617s seem to be the "digital fad" of the Aussie landscape photographers.

Steve Parish is indeed famous: so famous, in fact, that he seems to have become part of the landscape himself! He is good, but he has so much exposure he is now overlooked.

Cheers,
 

livemoa

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Don't forget Alice Springs, Helmut Newton's wife, a very good photographer herself.
 

Walter Glover

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I am with you Graeme,

For the past couple of years I was shooting 8x10 but a fortnight ago I flogged it off because for what I wanted to achieve I found that 4x5 is far better. For a number of reasons. And when you have a ready buyer for something like an 8x10, holders and lens you don't let the opportunity slip through the fingers.

A mate bought one of the very first 6x17 Linhofs years ago and I dubbed it the Larry Adler camera because when he held it to his eye it looked like a giant mouth organ. I have sort of always hankered for one but recently I spent a bit of time with a Kiwi colleague who had his Linhof 6x17 with 72mm lens as his 'ready camera'. I took him to something I have shot on sheet film with the 72mm and he said he couldn't get wide enough. Sure enough he had to tip up to get the top of the subject. Why didn't Linhof have a built-in rise on the 6x17 as they have on the 6x12. Most of this guys foreign work is with a Seitz Round-Shot and when you compare what you get with it to the 6x17, the 6x17 really does begin to look a bit boxy. I am well over it. By the way, when this guy is at home he shoots on 10 inch roll film on a wooden circuit camera. Now that IS amazing!

That aside, a 4x5 is wonderful and can be cropped fairly successfully to any desired aspect ratio. If people can make 6x17 work for them well and good. It actually says quite a bit about Ken Duncan's marketplace resilience that he continues to hold his own against all his imitators.
 

oriecat

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Tony Mott is pretty well known in rock n roll photog circles, I believe. I don't know if he is originally Australian tho.
 

Soeren

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My favourite is a fairly unknown Aussie photog called Nicole Boenig something :smile:
Regards Søren
 
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