After editing 300,000 ‘trannies’ in December, I spent January denying that photography existed. We kept only 3% of the analogue library, the rest were sent, all 500 kilos, back to photographers. Moving the business to a smaller space couldn’t have come at a better time - significantly reduced overheads; getting back to core business - an online picture library, not a storage facility for analogue IP - hail virtualisation! We have thousands of premium images from our photographers around Australia in the production pipeline and outstanding new collections have recently been uploaded.
It’s like having a great lawn and inviting a puppy over to play; almost certain physical carnage. That’s the paradox facing the Pilbara, one of Australia’s most pristine and remarkable landscapes and also the one with the most mining and developmental activity. We thought it would be a good idea to preserve the memory of the Pilbara before it becomes too full of holes.
Hugh Brown and David Bettini our intrepid photographers from way out west have done just that with this updated collection of some pretty amazing images. These two WA pros capture the region from different angles. Hugh’s recent pictures shoot, for the mining giants, are now available online. Hugh has clocked many hours hanging out of choppers over Port Hedland, covered in dust in the open pit mines and lost himself in the boondocks looking for exploration rigs.
As he scans across the open plains, David has concentrated on the ancient beauty of the Pilbara, from the emerald green waters to the coast to the red ragged ranges of the interior. All his recent online images can be found in his latest hard cover landscape book, Pilbara, Western Australia.
Hope Springs Eternal
As history repeats itself with a season of horrendous bushfires, we at Wildlight are reminded of the recurring scenes of hardship, courage and heroism. We also see the benevolent signs of hope as communities face the daunting task of rebuilding, in some cases starting over almost from scratch. This striking image by the late Rennie Ellis taken six weeks after the devastating Ash Wednesday fires of 1983 near the Great Ocean Road , Victoria, is a timeless reminder of nature’s powers—good and bad—and a symbol of renewal in the face of destruction. Just add your masthead and gutter!
Early Australian Female Photographer
This month we feature Muriel Mowbray Stephenson, an early Australian female commercial photographer. Her interest in photography began in her native Tasmania at the beginning of 20th century and continued in Sydney, where she moved at the start of the World War I. She worked first in the Darlinghurst studio of C.S. Beers, who published under the title Carlton Series. In the 1940s, she took over the business and published as the Mowbray Series. Her studio was located right in the centre of Kings Cross, Sydney, next to the historic Darlinghurst fire station. Her studio was demolished in the 1970’s to make way for the tunnel. From the balcony she captured the changing face of Kings Cross over the years, including historic events such as the Queen’s visit in 1954.
Click here for a preview of her iconic images, now presented as the Mowbray Collection by Wildlight. These include historic Australian subjects; building stages of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, city trams and views of the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. It is interesting to note that Muriel, who was my great-grand aunt, rarely took credit for her work in her own name; so I am pleased to now give her the recognition she so readily deserves. Thousands more of her black & white images are still to be scanned. Enjoy a piece of Aussie history!