Author Archives: Chris

St James King St, Sydney – 9th November 2012

I’ve spent the last couple of years documenting the reconstruction of the Spire and re roofing of the historic St James Church in King St Sydney. I have a very rewarding archive of the construction work and the artisans who did the work.  I really like the place and occasionally I’m asked to sing with the semi professional Choir (more on that some other time!)




A quote from my mentor and oft missed friend David Moore, who was interviewed by David Marr for a book  ‘David Moore 50 photographs’ this sums up what often drives me as a photographer

” When we’re born we open our eyes and people think kids know how to see. We’re taught to read and write but we’re not taught the meaning of seeing. Photographers and artists are terribly fortunate because we have some understanding of what seeing is all about. I don’t mean looking, I mean seeing and understanding.

I ‘m interested in all sorts of things. It’s a pretty wide landscape I suppose. I find in the world I live in there are wonderful things, interesting things, strange things, difficult things – and I would like to be pointing people towards them so they can understand and see.”

I’m continually amazed and humbled at the incredible opportunities that are presented to me as a photographer. When you can show someone what something looks like from a different and unusual perspective, the pleasure of watching the reaction is exciting !





This picture of St James I made from the roof of a building opposite, there’s only a handful of people who would have witnessed this view with their own eyes, and here is a fleeting moment that is captured in time for the future  – my image concentrates the viewer to look at the detail, it’s such a different perspective from the street view that most of the population see





“Mon Reduit” 18th August 2012

It’s great to be able to tread on some of your family history in the middle of a working sheep property in Yass NSW!  This image is the bones of “Mon Reduit” (My Retreat?), a house that was set up  by my great great grandfather, Fredrick Manton.   He built this house in 1832 and would have been one of the pioneer graziers of the area. From some research that Margaret Kaan has done (Australian Manton officiando) it seems he probably didn’t stay there too long,  probably adopting the Manton motto ‘celer et audax’ (swift and bold) and went onto other business ventures in Sydney and Melbourne. Evidently he was a bit of a go-getter!

I have a great interest in heritage architectural photography so spending a short amount of time at this place, last week, was a real treat – the room proportions feel very good – and I’m going back there to spend an hour or 2 with a tripod in better light.

We could easily conjure up a romantic notion for this property today – with our easy transport, machinery and communications but I’m sure it would have been very different when Fredrick turned up there in 1831 with his 18 yo pregnant wife!!

George Bennett  (doctor, scientist, naturalist and explorer of the time) gave this description of the Mantonʼs Farm (in part)

…the house being constructed on an elevated site, commands a fine picturesque view of the extensive plains or dales of Yass….This part of the colony appears valuable; the country for the most part open forest, with luxuriant pasturage and well watered….having a fine stream of water running through it, every facility for sheep washing is afforded him –a desideratum of the first importance in the colony, where wool forms the staple article, the settlers main prop, and the cleaner it is bought to market, of course the better the price can be obtained. The land about the farm, (as must be expected from all large grants) is composed of good and bad portion, but the former I believe preponderates.

 Later described in “The NSW Calender & GPO Directory” for 1835…. has an excellent house even at this distance from Sydney. Then continues – the land is found to be remarkably favourable to sheep pastures but the soil is so good being almost clear of timber that wheat may be raised without the labour of cutting stumping and clearing.



House interiors 18th July 2012

Have had a great time this month making pictures at a  private residence that has some absolutely stunning construction and detailed timber work. Its great that there are people out there who are willing to commission this calibre of work!

Lying on the floor, inside the oval foyer!

Nikon D800e July 2012

Picked up my Nikon D800 28th March ( the ‘E’ version was not being shipped yet)  and what a marvellous thing it is – scary but if you treat this camera with respect and dignity it will give you images that are really very  good. There’s been a lot of forum discussion about the D800E and that it was going to be all sorts of trouble but my friends at NPS lent me one for a few days to test.   And boy, oh, boy its fabulous!  The naysayers and camera forum junkies need to take a cold bath or possibly get out and use one of these cameras.

I spent a bit of time around The Rocks area in Sydney trying very hard to get the camera to produce Moire and wacko imaging artefacts but I couldn’t find any problems at all!

These 2 images below were made with my very loved Nikkor 24mm PC lens in good light.

The files are fantastic but this new D800 is not a point and shoot!


Moree 12th June 2012

I make some pictures for a Variety Bash car, owned and run by the irrepressible Lee Estens (car 2400) and we get some pretty funny pictures of the car and the girls (more of that in another post)  – but I usually find some other things of interest as well – hence this storage facility of cotton bales.


One week later she moved! 29th June 2012

AIPP print awards 26th May 2012

Scored a Silver award for this image at the Australian professional photography awards  in Melbourne .  I do like this photo.  Creating this image and seeing it in print to illustrate industrial activity is why I get up in the morning!!  To me it shows how professional photographers create images under some trying and VERY unpredictable conditions – 3am, dark, cold, wet with a whole bunch of trucks delivering concrete beams to a construction project in South Western Sydney for a client.


A couple of Abbeys and other bits and pieces in London during May

I have a passion and great love of choral music and in another life could probably have been a professional tenor – but the call of another creative discipline was overpowering, so I’m a photographer!

Here’s a random selection of photos from London recently.  A couple amongst these of Westminster Abbey (thanks for the Herbert Howells Andre!),  St Albans Abbey  (thanks for the Chichester Mass Andrew Lucas!) and some other places I visited.  These were taken while taking a break from photographic industry issues!













Punch & Judy 12th May 2012

Ah…. the English!!  Punch turns 350 years old and out they come in large numbers to celebrate, participate and watch.  There were probably a dozen or so puppet stages running, all with some pretty wacky versions of Punch and Judy shows.  Around 150 ‘professors’ from all over the world gathered at St Pauls church yard in Covent Garden for a photo – which was apparently some kind of world record – and then everyone paraded around Covent Garden Market, led by the Bournemouth Carnival band playing in fine style.

The whole scene was completely ridiculous but great fun to watch !



CEPIC May 15th – 18th 2012

I travelled to London in May to attend the CEPIC congress representing the interests of Australian photographers. CEPIC has been mostly dealing with Picture Libraries but want to expand their representation and get the people that actually create the imagery involved with this congress.  My colleagues Gene Mopsik and Judy Herman at ASMP were asked by CEPIC to put on a full days program that was called ”photocentric day”. They wanted to get an internationally broad spectrum of people involved, so with some funding support from the CAL cultural fund and the AIPP, I travelled to the UK.  Along with spending 3 days with 600+ delegates from around the world I spoke on 2 panels at the conference on the future of the professional photographer – quite a challenge!

I made this picture while on the stage! so there’s a couple not in shot – but here we have L-R Eugene Mopsik (ASMP), Bill Bush (the Premier League), Phillipe Schlienger (UPP), Dominin McGonigal (C8 Associates).   Others on the panel, not in shot were myself, Mike Watson (club footie) and moderator Judy Hermann (ASMP).

And along with the CEPIC congress, also spent time meeting with reps of some other professional photography organisations.