Ted Richards has an eye for the quirky little things that appeal, “You see odd little things and you photograph them”.
Mr Richards has been a career photographer all his life.
“I am a photographer first, thinking less about art and more about the trade.”
Even so, the Batemans Bay photographer has had numerous exhibitions, including two this year.
“My exhibition at the library this winter asked if graffiti could ever be art,” Mr Richards said.
Mr Richards thinks it can. “Melbourne is the graffiti capital of Australia,” Mr Richards said. “Sure there is some rubbish – you have to be fair dinkum about it – but it can be absolutely amazing. They have school tours visiting it,” he said.
The other exhibition was at the Courthouse Museum.
“The museum picked out 12 people with an interesting hobby for me to photograph,” Mr Richards said. “I also work as a volunteer at the museum, photographing all the items in their collection. I go for a morning each week … it’s been four or five years so far. It’s a job that could go on forever but it keeps me working my trade,” he said.
Mr Richards began as an apprentice to an established photographer.
“I did the dark room work – it was all black and white then – you got a smack on the wrist if the prints weren’t up to scratch.”
Through his life, Mr Richards photographed diverse subjects, beginning at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, at the Australian National University. “I photographed all kinds of interesting things: operations on animals and stuff they would grow in petri dishes,” he said.
Mr Richards then bought a small photography business. “I started doing work for the old Melbourne Herald … from the late 60s to mid 70s,” Mr Richards said. “We had Vietnam, the drowning of Harold Holt , the upheaval in the Liberal Party.
“In 2001, I retired and sold the business, but was offered a job at the Australian War Memorial,” he said.
For five years, Mr Richards worked to convert all the WWI glass negatives to plastic: It took three people five years.
Mr Richards said his favourite job was a commission to photograph all of the churches designed by Edmund Blacket.
“He built all over NSW,” Mr Richards said. “The church at Bodalla, Blacket designed it. He died while building it – he did the inside but the outside was finished by his sons. That looks a bit clunky to me; they weren’t as good as their dad,” Mr Richards said.
Mr Richards was made an associate of the Royal Photographic Society for his Blacket photos.
Mr Richards next exhibition will run at the Courthouse Museum from January 10.
“It is entirely about the Batemans Bay bridge,” he said..
“The photos themselves are about the construction and appearance of the bridge.
“But also the quirky little things that appeal while you are looking at it.”