Despite the emergence of the ubiquitous phone camera, the art of black and white photography is alive and well in Australia.
A new exhibition of black and white photographs will premiere at Magnet Gallery, level 2, 640 Bourke St, on November 15.
Double Vision features works by David Roberts and Jeremy Rabie, bridging the technological shifts that have transformed the medium.
Roberts is a traditional photographer, carrying his huge view cameras all over the country, capturing Australia onto large format negatives and printing them in his purpose-built darkroom.
Rabie uses a dedicated digital black and white system, working mainly on the street and printing onto state-of-the-art papers which evoke the look and aesthetic feel of traditional darkroom papers.
Roberts has spent extended periods in isolation. Nine weeks above the Arctic Circle allowed him to observe the landscape evolve into winter before his eyes. His choice of camera was not necessarily a practical one: a Kodak Master view camera from the 1940s, accompanied by film and holders, tripod and lenses – with a total weight of over 50kgs.
This, along with camping equipment and food supplies, was dragged by hand through ice and snow on a daily basis. An issue with contaminated water resulted in a dramatic rescue by helicopter, but he has no regrets.
With a BA in philosophy and an MA in theology, David lived for over 10 years learning and translating the language of the Dene Indians and the Inuit First Nations People in remote regions of northern Canada.
He built his family a home, learned to traverse the ice as his daily commute and to hunt caribou. It was during this period that he developed an interest in photography.
Jeremy Rabie is a Sydney-based photographer whose street photography evokes a stark yet human response in the viewer. Convinced that black and white images best reflect the essence of photography, Jeremy has engaged with the complexities of monochrome to express his vision.
He was born and raised in South Africa during the apartheid years, where the violence and tragedy of daily African life, reflected in the remarkable images of the time and shaped his initial photographic awareness.
He has recently returned to his first love, photography, after a working life, which included activism.
This exhibition provides a landmark opportunity for Jeremy to expose his prints from the past few years.