Rod was born and raised in Sydney. During his teens he was introduced to the Australian outback by epic family driving trips across the continent, to Ayers Rock (now Uluru) in Central Australia, northern Queensland, and Western Australia. The deserts and isolated ranges and their mineral riches all fuelled his curiosity about the Earth and led to a career as a mineral exploration geologist.
Rod's first encounter with historic Islamic architecture was in Urfa, the reputed birthplace of Abraham, in south-eastern Turkey, in 2012. Struck by its elegance and beauty, Rod conceived a photographic survey, sensing that it might provide an entry point to exploring an unfamiliar human realm. That inspiration led to him photographing through Persia / Iran in 2014 and 2015 and through Morocco and Tunisia in 2016 and 2018. The project is ongoing and Rod intends to expand his coverage into other regions. It is that journey that Rod wishes to share here.
Rod explores historic Islamic architecture from the perspective of formal architectural photography. The emphasis is placed squarely on the architecture and on representing it accurately. Rod avoids convergence and tilting, the distortions typical of casual photography, by using a bellows-style view camera. He also avoids the clichés of placing cute children and cats or bicycles leaning against walls as 'foreground interest'. Eliminating all these distractions allows the architecture itself to step forward and be seen.
Travelling independently with a substantial tripod, a bulky view camera and sheet film and gaining access with them into restricted sites presents many challenges. The lasting rewards, however, are undistorted, quietly elegant and richly detailed portraits of some of our world's most amazing architecture.
Rod hopes that his photographs might encourage conversation, understanding and respect between our cultures.
Enquiries regarding licensing of images or purchase of prints made to archival standards are most welcome. Contact Rod at [email protected]