Folio: David Roberts

Folio: David Roberts

Photographer David Roberts has spent extended periods in isolation connecting with the land. 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 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 and it became an increasingly contemplative preoccupation. He realized that by using an ultra-large format view cameras that he could get the photographs that he was truly after – both technically and aesthetically. 

A finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize in 2014, David is one of the few photographers in the world given the privilege of a formal portrait session with The Dalai Lama.  With many famous faces in his collection, The National Portrait Gallery, National Library of Australia and other state institutions have purchased his work.  He was recently commissioned by The National Portrait Gallery to make a portrait of Nobel Prize-winning, Professor Brian Schmidt.  A process that he describes as a collaborative and highly contemplative time with this subject, David enjoys the fact that the equipment slows everything down and allows a new kind of intimacy.

‘Roberts behaves impeccably artistically….with a vision more from mid-last century than this millennium.’ Art critic Robert McFarlane.

33 Weeks. 11 x 7. 2015 Silver Gelatin. The lady said she felt ‘dreamy’ at this stage of her pregnancy. I tried to accommodate the feeling. Photograph was a finalist in the National Portrait Gallery’s National Photographic Portrait Prize.
Chadstone Shopping Centre. 8 x 20. 2006 Silver Gelatin. Part of a ‘Modern Cathedral’ series commissioned by the State Library of Victoria.
A Universe in a River. 11 x 14. 2004 Silver Gelatin. Photograph made in the course of a three week canoe paddle down the Yarra River.
Bernie’s Childhood Home. 8 x 20. 2017 Silver Gelatin. A friends childhood home.
Bridge over the Tidal River 8 x 10. 2004 Silver Gelatin.
Icon of Christianity. 8 x 20. 2013 Silver Gelatin. A 3.5 hour exposure.
Laundry Room Window. 11 x 14. 2006 Silver Gelatin.
Near Bonnie Doon. 5 x 7. 2019 Silver Gelatin.
Olinda, 2005 8 x 10. Chromogenic. Photograph made with 420mm Imagon lens.
Rob. 5 x 7. 2013 Silver Gelatin.
Sherri and Stash. 8 x 20. 2018 Silver Gelatin. Friends who are living their dream in the Flinders Ranges.
A Sunday morning in Sydney. 8 x 20. 2013 Silver gelatin. 
David Roberts, self portrait.
David Robert’s camera. Simpson Desert.

More of David Robert’s work can be seen on his website and Instagram.

His The Photograph Considered can be seen here.

Next Post:
Previous Post:
This article was written by

David Roberts is a fine art photographer based in regional Victoria.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.