Alex Bond practises film-based large format landscape photography in Perth Western Australia. His photographs are created while hiking with his large-format 4×5 field camera.

He continues to use sheet film for its slower pace, because it’s tactile, and for its inherent aesthetics. Although now considered an alternative photographic process, Alex still practises traditional darkroom printmaking using fibrebased papers. The result is the creation of a contemplative, handcrafted, indeed unique silver gelatin print collection of Western Australia landscapes.

“Alex Bond knows when not to take a photograph. His approach to capturing the WA landscape on film is based on patience and attunement. The results have found a worldwide audience.”

Stephen Scourfield, The West Magazine, The West Australian Newspaper

calgardup brook margaret river region

While everyone else had a real job I spent more than 25 years hiking and camping in southwest Western Australia. With my trusty wooden field camera and a few sheets of film, you can find me out on the coast, in the bush or exploring some peak.

I go for long walks. It gives me time to become immersed in my surroundings. In my backpack, I carry my field camera, film, tripod and sometimes a tent and food.

The West has a unique and ancient landscape. Our quality of light is both as hard as it is voluminous. It provides me with a continual challenge to reproduce that quality within the limitations of a photograph.

Film cameras and light sensitive photographic paper

large format landscape photography

My introduction to large format film landscape photography was in the era of film cameras and light-sensitive photographic paper. Film cameras such as my field camera are very simple and robust. I am frequently working outdoors in rain, dusty or salty conditions.  My wooden 4×5 film camera does not require any batteries and is lighter than a digital SLR.

Hand Crafted Silver Gelatin Photographic Prints

traditional darkroom dodging burning

I develop my film in a tank and print my photographs in a traditional wet darkroom. By today’s standards, it is neither fast nor easy. But it is a process I maintain to this day. It remains alongside my digital workflow.

Printmaking by hand is the final and possibly most important act in this creative cycle. This level of involvement gives an unquestioning intention and authenticity to a photographer’s works.

silver gelatin prints clamshell

I explore my subject over a period of years. I do not plan to extract, I work to discover. Many of my images fail, but those I’m happy with coalesce into print collections. When I feel satisfied with a body of work, then I’ll move on.

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Bushwalking with a 4×5 camera. Traditional darkroom printmaking @Oldskoolfilm