Architectural photography and critique have been a large part of our work for around three decades. It began when I created the industry magazine Steel Profile way back in 1981. Since then I have captured many of Australia’s very best buildings for a wide range of local and international publications. Steel Profile continues to hold a special place as I remain one its contributing writer/photographers.
The latest issue – August 2013 – has just arrived on my desk and features John Wardle’s Bruny Island Shearer’s Quarters. Here is a truly striking and memorable structure delicately folded into the landscape. Jenny and I stayed as guests and experienced the full beauty and majesty of this extraordinary island around one hour’s south of Hobart.
Wardle has the knack of making a grand statement from supreme understatement. It’s capital ‘A’ Architecture with none of the conceits that shape plenty of the profession’s work.
Bruny Island is a beautiful stage for architecture and photography to intersect. When the two elements of the natural and man-made combine in such a wonderful way it’s hard for the photographer to put a foot wrong. It occurs to me that of the photographers who have been there, all leave with distinctly different images.
And that’s the way it should be. No-one has the final word with any image as best, or most beautiful. It is simply another piece in the mosaic that interprets a place in time. In a sport such as athletics, the stopwatch decides who is fastest; who is best. Such linear measurements are absurd in photography. We can only hope to run our best race against the speed of light and leave it for others to judge.