Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – 21 May 2021

This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – a new exhibition at Magnet Galleries in Melbourne surveys the work of one of Australia’s most prolific photographers, Les Chandler.

Plus award-winning photojournalist Adam Ferguson has started a new blog where he shares his insights and experiences shooting for some of the world’s leading publications like The New York Times and TIME. Subscribe here.

Documenting Afghans in the Forever War: Eza Khan, 45, a garment seller with a wife and two children; he has been addicted to heroin for 15 years. Dawar Khan,17; his home was hit by a mortar that killed two of his brothers. Afghanistan, 2016 (C) Adam Ferguson

Also, Riga Photomonth starts next week. This year’s theme: “Life After Covid?”

Riga Photomonth (C) Katrīna Ģelze


Soldier Settler – Les Chandler

Born in 1888, Victorian Les Chandler was one of Australia’s earliest bird photographers, an interest in photography first emerging in his late teens. By 1915 Chandler was documenting the war on the Western Front, “a 400-plus mile stretch of land weaving through France and Belgium from the Swiss border to the North Sea.” Chandler took pictures with “a tiny camera hidden under his uniform.” Badly gassed in the war, when he returned, Chandler settled on a soldier’s plot in the beautiful region of Red Cliffs in the Mallee near Mildura (Victoria). Post-WWI, Chandler became a noted ornithologist and lecturer on natural history, but his camera was never far from his side.

Les on the Western Front circa 1915

There are more than 3500 pictures in the exhibition Soldier Settler. It is an eclectic collection that is representative of Chandler’s work, spanning the war years and his life in the Mallee. Chandler passed away in 1980 leaving behind an extensive archive.

Magnet Galleries’ Michael Silver, a seasoned photojournalist, has been working with the Chandler family and curated an exhibition of Chandler’s work in Mildura recently. Silver is excited to host this exhibition at the gallery in Docklands and says, “It’s a huge mixture of every format you could imagine.”

In 1912 Les first visited the Mallee, with his father.  It was the first time he had scrutinised the Mallee Fowl and little did he realise that he would spend most of his life photographing and observing this remarkable bird. The Mallee had already won his heart during these few weeks spent at Kow Plains and in 10 years’ time he was to return to this land that had captivated him, carve out a vineyard and orange grove and spend the rest of his life at Red Cliffs © Les Chandler
Les met his future wife Ivy Henshall when he delivered fruit to the Red Sun packing shed. They married in Mordialloc in 1931 © Les Chandler
“Portrait of a Gentleman” – Les’ cousin Henry Chandler © Les Chandler
”Thirsty Work” – a worker on Les’ Red Cliffs soldier-settler allocation – Block 406 © Les Chandler

Until 27 June, Magnet Galleries, Docklands Melbourne

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s