Category Archives: Portrait Photography

The Bridgetown 3 is here!!

      The Bridgetown 3 is here! The Bridgetown is a street style newspaper showcasing what this little vibrant town has to offer. It is produced by Vanessa Brogan, photographed by myself, written by Emilie Abbiss and designed by Bridgetown Design & Print.   A few words from the Producer… Welcome to the third…

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Bridgetown Portraits – A few of my favourites

Bridgetown Portraits Bridgetown Portraits I was recently involved in producing the new Bridgetown lifestyle newspaper. I feel very lucky to have landed the role as photographer shooting Bridgetown Portraits for this publication, as my main passion for photography lies within portraiture. 23 businesses and whilst very similar in perhaps the reasons behind their venture, are…

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Family Portraits in Bridgetown

Tom got in touch with me through He wanted some family portraits in Bridgetown – surprisingly enough! Its nice to know that one of the directory’s i’m with, is actually pulling it’s weight. I actually see everywhere these days. A directory which has put it’s money where it’s mouth is. In many ways,…

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Ross’s Swamp – The last of the Donnelly Mill Shoots

Ross's Swamp / Donnelly RiverRoss's Swamp / Donnelly RiverRoss's Swamp / Donnelly RiverRoss's Swamp / Donnelly River

This was to be the last of the Donnelly Mill Shoots for the exhibition. Kristopher who actually works at Donnelly was a willing and definitely appropriate candidate.I am not sure if he was aware what he’d let himself in for but he contributed greatly as he took to it like a duck to water.

I had heard the story about Ross’s Swamp a couple of times. Ross’s Swamp is situated about 4km from Donnelly Mill, and is apparently haunted. As Kris knew where this was, thus lessening the likelihood of us getting lost, it seemed apt that we should include it within the project. So the spooky story goes like this….


At the turn of the century it was fairly common practice for farmers to drain the local swamps of the south west in order to plant potato crops. Donald Ross officially took up this plot of swamp land in 1904, apparently in partnership with someone called Allen. At the time the surveyor arrived and surveyed the property in 1903, a camp had already been set up and the first drain had been dug. This drain wasn’t very deep, about half a metre, but is still evident if one knows where to look. Details of the lease are shown in both the Surveyor’s feild book and the original plan dated October 1903 and the first rates were paid in 1904 in the names of D Ross and P Allen. Two of the surveyor’s tree blazes marking the corners of the lease are still present.

By early 1905 D Ross was shown as the sole lessee, and his father, Colin, had joined him. There is conjecture that father and son had different opinions about harvest time and the first crop was lost. There are rumours that the agent for the second crop “took off with the money”, which may be related to the experience of J R Walter setting up business in 1904 with J P Bailey, who apparently left town suddenly, leaving the business struggling and eventually being taken over by Elders in 1909. It is also said that Donald indulged in heavy drinking that maybe culminated in financial difficulties and the loss of the property.

What cannot be questioned is the magnitude of Donald’s achievement in digging the trench so admiringly referred to in Colin Ross’ letter to his brother. The trench goes through solid rock that was removed with a pick and shovel. It is several metres deep in parts, and barely the width of a man’s shoulders. They had cleared a very rich swamp and reaped excellent crops which should have provided a comfortable living. They had moved from the original campsite into a hut. However, reports of the time indicate that Donald’s behaviour was erratic and that he was inclined to drink heavily.

On 11th January Donald was reported to have been in town saying that he was ashamed of himself for leaving the old man, and that he wouldn’t touch drink again. He then left town with a mate, and between them they had two bottles of whiskey and a bottle of gin. Colin walked into town and was heartbroken to find that Donald had gone off to Smithfield. He thought of going through to Perth, but decided he couldn’t be content if he left the state he was in. He was obviously concerned for Donald’s state of mind as he made a diary entry on 16th January:

“Donald has the DT’s badly, saying very strange things.”

The tragedy at Ross’s Swamp occurred sometime between Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th January, 1909 in the midst of a prolonged heat wave with easterlies described in the West Australian Newspaper as:

“A hot land wind blew during the greater part of the day and when one left a shady retreat, and ventured into the open, it was only to meet a blast as from a furnace.”
Maximum temperatures recorded in Perth were up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) with minimums of 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) and extremely muggy.”

The Events:
Sunday 17th January 1909
Two bodies, both shot with Lee Enfield .303 rifle, were found at 4.00pm by Thomas Henry Maslen and George Charles Maslen who were paying a social visit from their camp on the Donnelly River. They returned to Bridgetown and reported it to police same day.
Same day Constables Strapp and Thurlow left for the scene of the tragedy, arriving at the homestead at 2.00am Monday morning.

Monday 18th January 1909
Police representatives, PC James Strapp and Charles Thurlow arrived at the scene. Both bodies were taken to Bridgetown on the same day and identified by John Henry Smith. Commissioner of Police received a telegram from Inspector Holmes of Bunbury “Following wire received from Bridgetown Police. Supposed murder and suicide, father and son named Ross, 18 miles distant. Constable Thurlow and self leaving, bringing remains. Strapp”

Tuesday 19th January 1909
Colin and Donald buried in Pioneer Cemetery, Bridgetown (Burial Entry 99 and 100, page 13 Anglican Church Burial Book; Death Entries Blackwood 5 and 6, 1909); Undertaker – Polly Dakin, Bridgetown, Carpenter.

It would seem, from today’s recognition of PTSD, that Donald was suffering after effects from his war time experiences, that his father loved him a great deal and wanted to help him.

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Farm Family Portraits

farm Family Portraitsfarm Family Portraitsfarm Family Portraitsfarm Family Portraitsfarm Family Portraitsfarm Family Portraitsfarm Family Portraitsfarm Family Portraitsfarm Family Portraitsfarm Family Portraitsfarm Family Portraitsfarm Family Portraits<

Wyalkatchem is an amazing place for light. I will go so far as to say, it is my favourite place for light. There is quite alot of demand for farm family portraits out on the Wheatbelt. People always photograph best on their home turf. This combined with wheat fields, salt lakes (though not in this instance) and rustic old farm machinery, make it an ideal location.

The wheat is obviously very appropriate, being that Tracey and Jeremy are a farming family. And at this time of year it is lush and about the right height for small children. (Lush apart from the crop that i recently photographed my family in. Much to my brothers disgust. But we won’t say anymore about that!)
Unfortunately Katlin was full of flu. She did very well under the circumstances. And the flies were terrible. Thank god for photoshop I say

Wyalkatchem townsite is located in the central agricultural region, 192 kilometres (119 mi) east-north-east of Perth and 35 kilometres (22 mi) east of Dowerin. At the 2006 census, Wyalkatchem had a population of 344.[1]

When the extension of the railway east from Dowerin was planned in 1908 land was set aside for a future townsite in the area of Wyalcatchem Tank. The route of the railway and site for a station was not fixed until 1910, and action followed to then fix the position of the townsite and survey town lots. Following the survey of the lots the townsite was gazetted spelt Wyalkatchem in 1911.

When the railway from Dowerin opened in February 1911, Wyalkatchem was a minor siding only, but its importance grew when it was selected as the turnout point for a branch line leading north and then east to the Mount Marshall district. Thus a small village quickly blossomed on the town site. The branch line to Bencubbin opened on 1 February 1915 and the line from Dowerin was extended to Merredin in August, 1911.[2]

The extensive railway barracks in town are leased by the shire council from the Western Australian Governments Railway Commission. The barracks represent one of the few intact examples of its kind in Australia and are currently used as accommodation during Dowerin Field Days and as the headquarters of a hang-gliding club.[3]

Wyalkatchem is an Aboriginal name first recorded for a waterhole spelt Walkatching in the 1870s. The spelling Walcatching was used in 1881 when the Toodyay Road Board referred to a tank to be built there, and when the road from Northam to the Yilgarn Goldfield was surveyed in 1892 the spelling Wyalcatchem was used for the tank. The Walkatching spelling is probably the most accurate, as Aboriginal names in this region rarely end in em. The change of spelling from Wyalcatchem to Wyalkatchem in 1911 was done by the Department of Lands & Surveys according to rules the Department had adopted for spelling Aboriginal names. The meaning of the name is not known.[4]

In 1932 the Wheat Pool of Western Australia announced that the town would have two grain elevators, each fitted with an engine, installed at the railway siding.[5]

Home to a Cooperative Bulk Handling receival point that can hold nearly 120,000 tonnes of grain and crops, the primary industry in the area are wheat and sheep farming. The town also supports a gypsum mine that is situated just outside of town at Lake Cowcowing.[6]

The town won the state tidy town award in 2000 and 2002 and then won the national award in 2003.[7]

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *