explore | observe | create
Hi! I’m Barb, a photographer and writer living in nipaluna/Hobart.
I acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the Country on which I live, work and make my art, the palawa and pakana people of lutruwita. I recognise their continuing connection to this land and these waters.
Wandering through the city with my camera is something that always makes me happy. It allows me to explore my world, to see things I might otherwise miss, and to discover beauty in the everyday. And when I’m done exploring, I love to document my experiences.
With an ancestry that includes an engineer, a builder, a draughtsman and a photographer, it comes as no surprise to me that I’ve come to love photographing buildings and the spaces around them.
While Tasmania is renowned for being rich in sandstone heritage buildings of the 19th century, I find myself drawn to the clean and simple lines of modern structures, many of which are less loved and appreciated than the older buildings. I’ve developed a particular attachment to concrete monsters. I look for the beauty in these buildings, and try to show this through my photography.
Most of the photos on this blog are from Hobart because it’s where I spend the most time and I don’t get out much. This has the advantage of forcing me to constantly seek new and different perspectives within an environment that I might otherwise tire of because I’ve seen it all.
I enjoy photographing buildings from different viewpoints and am learning to observe how the light plays on them to create different moods. I delight in finding new angles to buildings that I see every day, in watching how the light plays on the façades and then capturing what I see to make an image that presents my interpretation of the building.
In a small city like Hobart, we’re lucky to have a diverse range of building styles to photograph, without becoming overwhelmed by the constant, significant change you might find in larger cities with massive-scale developments in progress. (Though I do love gazing at skyscrapers and city skylines and if anyone would like to take me to New York for an architecture tour, I can go almost anytime.)
Because of Hobart’s small size, sometimes the challenge is to find a different perspective of a well-known building that everyone photographs, and sometimes it’s to find a less obvious and, on first sight perhaps less interesting, building and see something in it that I hadn’t noticed before. This often involves looking up.
Another element of photographing buildings that I like is capturing how our street views change over time. Nothing is permanent, nothing is fixed, everything is constantly changing. Buildings are not permanent, streetscapes are not static, views are temporary. And you might think that a streetscape or a building (that isn’t being built or demolished) is going to look the same from one day to the next—until the next major alteration takes place. But it really isn’t. The light on the building changes from hour to hour, day to day and season to season. The sky is constantly changing and providing a different background against which to photograph the building. Dirt accumulates. Façades are cleaned, window displays are changed, curtains are opened. Windows are broken, paint is applied (unfortunately, in some cases), spaces are renovated. Leaves fall off trees and then they grow back again.
It is a dynamic world to explore and document.
You can find more of my work at barbdunfordphotos.com and at straightlinesgirl on Instagram.