Carlo Margaret River Black and White Portraits

When I first photographed Carlo, above, he was already 83 years of age. I would often find him out in the paddocks, fossicking around for wood burls or looking for field mushrooms when in season. Before his passing, at nearly 90 years of age, I had the pleasure of making several memorable images.

Carlo Margaret River Bronica 645 Kodak Tri-X was made in 1987. I started a photographic project: photographing some of my family members and relatives around Margaret River. I didn’t set out with any particular plan such as a start and finish date, or a wish list of images, as perhaps you would for a commercial project. It simply took shape as I visited the region, usually several times per year. It depended solely on what opportunities presented themselves, at the time of those visits, for photography. Naturally, at some point during my visit I would ask if they would mind if I made some photographs whilst we talked. In some instances, there was only ever one photographic session, the confluence of opportunities and circumstances never re-emerging. Luckily in those situations, I got what I thought was a pleasing image, so mission accomplished.

When I first photographed Carlo, above, he was already 83 years of age. I would often find him out in the paddocks, fossicking around for wood burls or looking for field mushrooms when in season. Before his passing, at nearly 90 years of age, I had the pleasure of making several memorable images.

Most times I used my 4×5 field camera for the portraits, even leaving 4×5 Polaroid prints with my subjects after my visit, which was always a nice way to say thank you. Other times I used my 645 medium format camera, such as in the image above, which was easier to handle in rapidly changing circumstances. I used Kodak Tri X for both roll and sheet film, metering was all handheld. The films were processed by me. I hand printed Carlo Margaret River on 8×10 silver gelatin paper.

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alexbond

Since 1989, Alex Bond has published cards, calendars, books, and posters under his imprint Stormlight Publishing. His images showcase the West Australian environment. Bond's handcrafted, silver-gelatin, fibre-based prints are personally made by the author in his darkroom.

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  1. I think this is a great photo Alex. I like how it is so natural and I feel that your grandfather had a wonderful bright and jovial personality, very welcoming.
    We have a settlers cottage here in Margaret River and our fire place looks similar being so large with the red brick with white grout, was this photo taken in a wooden settlers cottage?
    Great photos and i look forward to seeing more of you work.
    Benji
    The Margaret River Guide

    • Thanks for your comments. My great uncle was a stonemason and helped build this house along with Carlo and his brothers, to replace an earlier 2 room wooden house that they had made. Prior to that they lived in tents for a long time. Carlo (who is not my grandfather) decided that the mortar between the bricks around the old kitchen stove need sprucing up, so he painted it white. Without his elder brother to argue with about his idea, I guess he got his way!

  2. Thank you Alex, my apologies for the mistake over your relation to Carlo. It sounds like Carlo did get his way with the fire. Amazing how hands on our predecessors were. Thank you for the background.