arca swiss

Back in Town

It's been quiet here for the last month, I've been on a trip to the USA, visiting New York City, Washington DC and Boston, there's likely to be an American theme here for the next few posts.

This photograph was made in the art galleries district of Manhattan. I'd just visited Aperture and seen  James Mollison's playground photographs, and LaToya Ruby Frazier's photographs of her family. Aperture have a great library of their books there, and I had the chance to look through a lot of new books, and was particularly excited to see some out of print books by Robert Adams that I'd not had the chance to see before.  

Chelsea, New York. Geoffrey Roberts 2015

Finishing Touch

The prints have been mounted and spotted, and everything is about done for my Head On Photography Festival exhibition 'The Line of Lode to open on Sunday at Think Negative. 

Official Opening: 

Sun 10 2015 , 14PM - 17PM

Gallery hours: 

Sat-Sun 11-4 or by appointment


- See more at:


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The Photograph Explained: Lake Menindee

I was recently asked to write an article for 'The Photograph Explained' series, published on the Large Format Photography Australia site. I chose a photograph from my series 'The Line of Lode', made on the shores of Lake Menindee, in western New South Wales.  

Lake Menindee, 2014. Geoffrey A Roberts

The Photograph Explained

In September 2014 I left on a road trip to Broken Hill and its surrounding area in western New South Wales. I had wanted to visit the Australian outback for many years; this was my first journey beyond Dubbo. We packed up the car for a quick five day trip of sun up until heat stroke photography, and after a little snooze, continuing photographing on into the evening. I experienced part of Australia very different to my life in Sydney, a community a little less influenced by the rest of the world and the trends of metro areas.

This image was made on the shores of Lake Menindee, about 100km south east of Broken Hill. It’s a popular destination and there are many manipulated images on the net with unrealistic colours and mirrored reflections. My approach to photography is simple, to photograph a place exactly as I find it, and to reproduce it in a detailed and realistic way. 

Bulldozer tracks marked the sand and many trees had been reduced to a pile of sticks. This is what I found, and so this is what I photographed. Human intervention in the environment appears in almost all my photographs, my photographs are built on elements that would often be cropped out to present an untouched landscape. 

While my subjects are often not beautiful, and perhaps not even particularly interesting to the casual observer, I aim to find form in the scene, and through that, create a meaningful and beautiful image. I design my images upon the geometric elements, emphasising the footprint of society. 

I used my standard set up to make this photograph, and I rarely use anything else – an Arca Swiss F Metric 4 x 5 camera with 110mm Schneider Super Symmar XL. The Arca is a light weight and reasonably compact monorail camera, it offers the precision of a geared metal camera, with portability similar to a folding camera. The 110mm lens fits the field of view I like to use, and it probably accounts for 90% of my images made on 4 x 5. I print at the Think Negative dark room Marrickville on Ilford fibre based paper.

I will be exhibiting this image during the Head On photography festival as part of my show ‘The Line of Lode’, at Think Negative in May 2015.

My camera at Lake Menindee

Darkroom Prints

I've been spending a lot of time in the darkroom recently, preparing for my show in May, The Line of Lode. Here's a couple of fibre base prints on the drying rack at the end of my session a few nights ago, it's a bit fuzzy, but that's the phone camera! I'm using Ilford Classic paper which really works well for me, beautiful tones. 

On Lewis Baltz


Late in 2014 I spent a lot of time looking at books by Lewis Baltz, and reading all the interviews I could find online. I first discovered his work through the 'New Topographics' book, a reprint of the catalogue of the 1975 exhibition of the same name, subtitled 'Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape' which included work by Robert Adams, Stephen Shore, Nicholas Nixon, and other great photographers. This work in this book taught me to see, it clarified things that I had been trying to work out, but had not quite managed to realise. While I am not usually saddened by the passing of someone I've never met, the work of Lewis Baltz has not just interested and intrigued me, it has helped me along my way. 

This is perhaps the only picture I've made where I have intentionally made something in his style, a minimalist approach could well become something I am more aware of as I make my own pictures.

The interview below is very interesting.

Chatswood, Sydney. Geoffrey Roberts 2014