Landscape Photography Australia Bannister Creek Perth Alex Bond
Bannister Creek Perth, hand printed silver gelatin 16x20in

While everyone else had a real job I spent more than 25 years hiking and camping in south west 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 climbing some peak.

I find landscapes inspiring, whether it be a grand scene or an intimate detail. The West has a unique and ancient landscape. Our quality of light is as hard as it is voluminous. It provides me with a continual challenge to reproduce that quality within the limitations of a photograph.

Since 1989 I have been photographing and publishing my landscape images of National Parks and Regional Reserves under my imprint Stormlight Publishing. I also provide images to other publishing houses for their publications.

My introduction to photography was in the era of film cameras and light sensitive photographic paper. I learnt to 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.

Why? Because a negative must be worthy of all the effort, decision making, darkroom time, use of rare materials and archival treatment that it takes in making the print. Working physically with silver halide materials provides a thread of continuity throughout my work. The pleasure is in viewing a successfully completed print with emotional substance. Consequently I find it immensely satisfying.

 

 

Publications

Canning River Photographs -Dissociation
28 images Preview Book

Reproduction of the 28 silver gelatin prints from “Dissociation”, Heathcote Gallery.

Australian south west postcards Stormlight Publishing Alex Bond
70 images Preview Book

Starting with one lens and camera to publishing 1.5 million postcards later

Soft or hard cover book
40 images Preview Book

Lost in suburbia is one of the largest regional parks just 10km from the Perth CBD

Folio Images

Kent St Weir Canning River
Photo Canning River Kent St Weir Perth.  Printed this morning in my darkroom, I made this image last weekend just Read more.
Margaret River Australia
Laundry shed, Margaret River. I didn’t set out to deliberately make this image. Call it exploration or perhaps just a Read more.
Canning River Wetlands Perth
Canning River wetlands Perth. I often make my more personally satisfying images when I am alone. It’s not that I Read more.
Paperbark tree Walpole Nornalup Australia
Walpole Nornalup National Park Paperbark tree, photographed near Walpole reflects the tranquility on a quiet afternoon. Everything was still which Read more.
Bracken Fern
Bracken Fern Augusta detail, hand printed 16x20in silver gelatin. Bracken is ubiquitous in the paddocks, fields and forests of the Read more.
Flowing water Margaret River Western Australia
Flowing water Margaret River detail is a 16x20in hand printed silver gelatin print. The image is from an area along the Read more.
Seaweed Cape Leeuwin Augusta Australia
Beach detail seaweed Augusta, hand printed silver gelatin Beach detail seaweed Augusta. I made this image on the most south Read more.
Paperbark roots Walpole Nornalup Western Australia
Paperbark roots Walpole: located about 400km south of Perth, on the south coast, surrounded by magnificent karri and tingle forests, Read more.
Redgate Beach Margaret River Australia
Calgardup Brook Redgate Beach, hand printed 16x20 inch silver gelatin Calgardup Brook Redgate Beach is close to Margaret River and Read more.
Swamp sheoaks and hesperantha falcatta
Swamp sheoaks hesperantha falcatta Canning River, hand printed 16×20 inch silver gelatin- sold. Swamp sheoaks hesperantha falcatta grow in the Read more.
Margaret River Australia
Paperbarks Margaret River, hand printed 16×20 inch silver gelatin Paperbarks Margaret River this wonderful stand of old paperbarks are located Read more.
Man walking dog Canning River Regional Park Australia
Walking dog Canning River Perth, hand printed 11×14 inch baryta based silver gelatin print Walking dog Canning River Canning River Read more.
Morning mist woodlands Canning River Perth
Canning River woodlands mist Perth  hand printed 16×20 inch baryta based silver gelatin print -sold. Canning River woodlands mist Perth Western Read more.
Canning River oxygenation trail
Canning River oxygenation trail, hand printed 11×11 inch baryta based silver gelatin print- sold Canning River oxygenation trail, Perth, Australia. Bubbles Read more.
Wave Rock Hyden Western Australia.
Wave Rock Hyden Exfoliating Granite A few days ago I visited  Hyden a small country town about 350km inland, east Read more.
Dune Cabbage (Arctotheca populifolia)
Even in this age of digital cameras, there is still something truly amazing about  Polaroid Type 55 positive/negative film. Rated Read more.
Traditional Darkroom Printing

Hand Crafted Silver Gelatin Prints

My hand crafted prints are made on Czechoslovakian, Foma brand, silver gelatin fibre based photographic paper. There are only a few remaining manufacturers of this silver rich paper remain worldwide.

Fine art photographers and collectors worldwide consider fibre based baryta paper to be the pinnacle for black and white quality. They choose fibre based baryta paper for its greater detail and definition, extended tonal range and proven archival properties.

Print making begins with a film negative. Using an enlarger, the negative image is projected onto the photographic paper under darkroom conditions. To control image detail and contrast I employ tradition darkroom techniques. Such methods include dodging and or burning in. Dodging requires holding back exposure in some parts of the print. Burning in is the giving of additional exposure to some parts of the print. Dodging and burning is usually done by placing the hands or any object into the path of light. Burning and dodging steps have to be carried out repetitively and accurately. Because this is all done by hand it takes a great deal of skill. By its nature no two prints are exactly the same.

Once I have finished exposing the paper I develop the image. Under safelight conditions the paper is placed in a developer tray where the silver image appears. To arrest the development the paper is placed in a tray of stop bath. So that the photograph can be viewed in normal light all remaining unexposed silver halide must be removed. If not the print will eventually go black. To fix the image the print is placed briefly into acid fixer. This dissolves away the remaining light sensitive parts of the print.

Under wash water the fixer is removed and is inspected under normal room light. Further washing and a treatment in a hypo clearing agent removes residual fixer within the paper's fibre. It is then washed for a further 2 hours then air dried face down on plastic screen mesh.

To maximise their archival properties fibre based photographic papers are carefully washed and toned. I immerse the print briefly in selenium toner, replacing a thin layer of silver with more stable selenium metal. Further washing is applied before they are dried and mounted onto 100% cotton rag museum boards for exhibition.

I write in pencil the photograph’s title and my signature directly under each print on the museum board. On the rear of the boards I stamp my details including title, negative number, print date and signature.

My preference for exhibition prints is to place the matted print under a window mount behind glass within an aluminium frame.

The entire process to complete one print can take several days. To me a print crafted by the hand of the photographer provides a clearer signal of the depth of their vision. It demonstrates their original intention and interpretation of the subject more than any other print.

About

 

“I go for long walks in the bush or along the coast with my wooden field camera, a few sheets of film, a tripod and sometimes a tent and food. I like to take my time to absorb the environment, to rediscover and to reconnect. My direct involvement with the materials and techniques for making an expressive photographic print is of importance to me. I maintain a traditional darkroom, developing my films and hand printing all my black and white silver gelatin prints.” Read more