Heide Smith Photography Catalogue

One of Australia’s great portrait photographers has been honoured by one of Australia’s great photography and works on paper galleries – Josef Lebovic Gallery.  Heide Smith should be well known to anyone following quality Australian photography over the past 40+ years.


Dupain and Poole; © Heide Smith, 1985

Just being featured in the catalogue (Collectors’ List No. 188, 2017) was indeed a pleasure, but to find myself side-by-side with the late, great Max Dupain was equally exciting.  I am unworthy of such a comparison!

The Lebovic catalogues are legendary in their recording of Australian works on paper and photography.  As a reference point for costings and valuations it is the “go-to” document for anyone trying to place a dollar figure on photographs.  The photos of Dupain and myself is part of a much larger body of work that was sponsored by Ilford Australia recording photographers from around Australia and subsequently as an exhibition which toured Australia-wide in the mid 1980s.


Mal Meninga; © Heide Smith, 1991.

The variety of subjects photographed by Smith places her in the company of many great Australians.  As I have only photographed Mal Meninga from the sidelines of some State of Origin matches, it is intriguing to see him “buffed” up in a hand coloured dressing room shot.


Robert Hawke AC GCL; © Heide Smith

And just to prove the depth of Smith’s portrait collection is one of the many images she took of Australian Prime Ministers.  A privilege that comes from living for such a long period in Canberra.

Reference to the catalogue will give details of her extensive work with the Tiwi people of Bathurst and Melville Islands and the results of being resident photographer for the Canberra Press Club from 1984 to 1996.

The catalogue also showcases some early work in Germany (her birth place) from 1956 onwards as Smith formalised her photographic training and skills.



Contemporary Poole; © Gary Cranitch, Brisbane Mater Hospital, 2017.


Ballarat International Foto Biennale Print Collection


Port Fairy Music Festival 2015; © Paul Griggs.

I have written previously about the pleasure I take in supporting an organisation as important as the Ballarat International Foto Biennale and the concept of print swaps where one’s personal collection can be extended, including more formal print swaps like this.


Arts et Metiers, Paris; © Ian Poole, 2015.

In the recent Red Dot Ballarat Collection I was lucky enough to receive the Paul Griggs‘ photograph shown above.  The nature of the Ballarat fundraising event is that the photographs are sought as a donation from photographers and exhibited anonymously on the walls of Eleven40 Gallery in Melbourne.  A BIG shout out to Eleven40 for their ongoing support over a number of years.  See their web site for a full set of illustrations and authors’ names.

Because I am an interstate supporter and unable to attend, I had sent my list of preferred (anonymous) photographs to Jeff Moorfoot, Creative Director of the Management Team.  I recognised a couple of the images, thought I recognised a couple of others (mostly incorrectly) and lusted after a couple of other shots.     …..and then waited to be told what my Red Dot investment had achieved.


Sydney Charles Bromley 1969; © Robert Imhoff.

Firstly, it was lovely to be advised that my contribution, Arts et Metiers, Paris, had been red dotted by that doyen of Australian photography, Judy Foreman.  I hope she enjoys the photograph as much as I did taking it on a recent trip to Paris.  Secondly I gained the Port Fairy Music Festival 2015, which was on my list, but not known as a Paul Griggs’ photograph.  I have been a long time admirer of Paul’s work in the wedding arena where he was one of the first practitioners of reportage using black and white, documentary coverage with a Leica camera.  I can recall judging some of his early work in the AIPP’s Award system with great clarity today.  This is a contemporary example of that skill and will hang with pride in my personal gallery.


Burj Khalfa 2010; © Tim Griffith

Then come the photographs that I DIDN’T get.  I recognised the Imhoff photograph from the cover of Imhoff: a life of grain & pixels lying on my sideboard.  I should have recognised the Tim Griffith’ Burj Khalifa 2010 as being a great example of his architectural oeuvre – but I didn’t!  The Poole Collection is still missing one of his masterpieces.


Fiordland Diva; © Jackie Ranken

I am very familiar with the work of Jackie Ranken, but she fooled me this time – I missed this one.  I didn’t miss her partner, Mike Langford’s offering, as I had attempted to photograph the same tree with a much, much lessor result.  Maybe I should go back in winter?


Mataouri Tree; © Mike Langford


Goroka; © Stephen Dupont

I should have recognised Stephen Dupont’s homage to Irving Penn with his Goroka, and if I had I would have put him closer to the top of my red dot list.

I was taken by the construction of Jack Picone’s Dhows 1 long before I was aware of his name connected with the photograph.  A Master of the documentary craft, it would also have hung with great pride in the Poole Collection.


Dhows 1; Jack Picone

I did recognise and enjoy my Queensland mate, Gary Cranitch’s Cane, but Roger Garwood’s Fred And Me…Spectators, Coolgardie, 1975 caught me totally by surprise.  Maybe it was because it was an early work a long ways from what I have come to expect from Roger.  I did bid for it, by the way, as I enjoyed the whimsy of the image.

Works by Doc Ross, from earthquake stricken Christchurch (In The Earthquake Gardens) and Charles McKean (The Family Drawers) were noted as possible contenders for the collection.

Oh the wild dreams of building a fantasy photographic collection from the digital world wide web.


In The Earthquake Gardens; © Doc Ross, Christchurch


The Family Drawers; © Charles McKean

Great Wedding, Great Party – Super Great Photographs


It Did Rain; © Adam Finch Brisbane 2014


Introducing The Groom, The Camera, Adam Finch and Mike Langford; © Jackie Ranken Brisbane 2014

Whilst there were far greater and more important decisions to be made regarding the impending nuptials between Louise and myself, it did occur to me that a photographer should be commissioned to document the event.


Photographic Dilemma; © Jackie Ranken, Brisbane 2014


The Photographer Who Said No; © Adam Finch 2014

Even a burnt out advertising photographer like me knows that such occasions should be recorded properly, correctly and by a professional ~ I have shot a few weddings in my time and recognised that there is a skill involved.  First talk to the Daughter.

NO WAY!  Not even the “inducement” that this would further her career would wash with her; also she wished to enjoy the party and not be concerned about the minutiae of the day.

As I cast my eye over the guest list I realised that there were almost as many photographers as there were civilian guests.  Many of them leaders in their fields both here in Australia and overseas.  We have a problem!

Being given the job of photographically tap dancing in front of a group of your peers is not necessarily the easiest task in the world – couple that up with the Groom having firm opinions about what constitutes a good photograph and a Bride who would prefer to do her thing behind the scenes; we now have a difficult commission.

Knowing that I have a very good friend who just happens to be one of the young breed of highly skilled creative wedding photographers now working in Australia, I broach the subject with Adam Finch.

Tie Adjustment + Photographer; © Jackie Ranken 2014

Tie Adjustment by Photographer + Photographer; © Jackie Ranken 2014

We have a deal; and coupled with the fact that equally good friends are staying with me prior to the event and have offered to document the event in a less formal and in an under no pressure manner.

Thank you Jackie Ranken and Mike Langford from Queenstown NZ.


The Secret Car Park Location; © Adam Finch 2014


The Bride and Her Daughters; © Adam Finch 2014











The Signing; © Jackie Ranken 2014


Well He Used to….; © Jackie Ranken 2014

A photography blog should be mostly about photography, so here are a selection from the day.










All Weddings should have a Photo Bomber; © Adam Finch










Creative Botanical Photographer –   Gary Cranitch; © Adam Finch 2014













Some Old Mates Catch Up; © Jackie Ranken 2014








Hide Matsuhisa Made it from Tokyo; © Jackie Ranken 2014











……..and the final photographic word should go to –


Creative Wedding Interpretation; © Gary Mitchell, 2014