Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Paganin House by Iwan Iwanoff

In case you haven’t heard this Floreat landmark caught fire last night and is in pretty bad shape. I will forever think of this house as the Fini house. Adrian I shot there at least three times during the Fini years, including a memorable winter fashion shoot for Perth retailers of yore, Aherns, on a 42° day.

I thought I’d share some shots from two visits we made for magazines. Angles were somewhat limited on our first visit as the Finis hadn’t long owned it and were still in the process of making some changes. The second shoot scored Adrian the cover of InSite Magazine a few years ago. The fashion shots will have to wait – they’re on film, no scans to hand.

You can read more about the house here.





Iwan Iwanoff designed home

Iwan Iwanoff designed home

Adventure Beckons!

Darren Smith

Darren Smith

After four years Darren, erstwhile assistant and ideas guy here at the studio, is joining the ever swelling ranks of Acorn alumni.

A native of Virginia, USA, Darren came to us via Boston, New York and France. He’s now headed for the bright lights of Amsterdam (no, no, not the red ones you fools!) to further his global reach.

Darren’s irrepressible energy and creative urge will stand him in good stead in Europe.

Darren departs these shores at the beginning of February. We’re going to have a send off on January 21st. Drop us a line if you’d like to come along.

Pippin Drysdale – WA State Living Treasure

Pippin Drysdale working on a vessel in the spray booth at her Fremantle studio

Pip in her Freo studio

How cool is that? Pip’s work has been recognised, awarded and collected worldwide. She was made a Master of Australian Craft in 2008 and now she’s been recognised here in WA as a State Living Treasure.

Pip’s status as a treasure has been well known to us since we started photographing her works almost 20 years ago! The WA Department of Culture and the Arts penned bio hints at Pip’s outgoing personality.

What the DCA doesn’t tell you anything about is Pip’s amazing talent with curries, so many of which we’ve enjoyed on shoot day lunch breaks. Or the way the radio is always on in the studio, more often than not tuned to the cricket or footy. Or that the delicate, calm works you see below are products of a joyous creative maelstrom consisting of visits and phone calls from a small army of wonderful assistants, friends and family with Pip at it’s centre.

Pip Drysdale Tanami Mapping 2 Porcelain Vessels

Pip Drysdale, Autumn Haze Australian Embassy Show Feb 9 2010

Pippin Drysdale Tanami Traces Group

Detail Tanami Traces Series III, 2004, Artist Pip Drysdale

A Tale of Two Thefts

A couple of days before last Christmas I noticed our front door was open as I came downstairs at 5:50AM. Odd, front doors aren’t supposed to be open in the night while you and your family sleep. Turns out our front door had been forced in the night and along with A MacBook Air thieves had taken an iPhone, iPad and a wallet.

Twenty minute later, police report having been filed, credit cards annihilated and phone provider alerted we logged in to Apple’s Find My iPhone service and located the phone in a carpark of a block of flats in Kwinana. A quarter hour passed and it moved to a corner of one of the units. After another quarter hour it left the flats and dropped into a small shopping complex for 5 minutes before heading north on the Kwinana Freeway. Not long after exiting west on South St the signal went dead and nothing further has been heard from that device. Our collective mood died too.

Two days later I got a little email from an address, subject line; “Kira’s MacBook Air has been found”. My Air had a new “owner”, Kira, and with it a new user account. Apple attaches a map showing where the device is located. iPhones use a combination of GPS and mobile phone tower triangulation to generate very accurate geolocation. Notebook computers are somewhat hamstrung in this regard and rely on known locations of wifi access points which can be a bit vague. This is supplemented by data from passing iPhones which are constantly “sniffing” wifi access points and reporting their locations to Apple’s database. The more densely populated an area around a stolen MacBook the more likely it is that there will be iPhones around refining the position of the computer.

My MacBook Air spent a bit of time in a very busy part of Fremantle for extended periods at odd hours for two days. Once Christmas was behind us I spent the better part a week watching it pop up all over SE Freo; I logged addresses from Hamilton Hill, Hilton, Success, Samson and Yangebup. It was never on long enough or at one address for long enough for the police to be able to do anything much, especially during the busy holiday period. By early January Kira was off the air.

Another week passed, another email from iCloud, subject line; “Tim’s MacBook Air has been found”. This time it stayed found, showing up day after day around the same address in Willagee. WA Police decided they had enough to search a particular house and in the middle of January Tim was charged with receiving stolen goods. Months later the computer was returned to us, with both Tim’s and Kira’s user accounts relatively intact.

Once we’d saved the thousand or so photos from the iPhoto libraries we pressed the little Air back into professional service and it started going home nights with Darren. This is where the story starts to get really weird… Darren’s house was broken into on May 9th 2013 and one of things nicked was the very same Air that just come home. And then…

Date: Sun, 12 May 2013 13:38:38 +0000 (GMT)

From: Find My iPhone <>


Subject: Maddi’s MacBook Air has been found

Well Find My iPhone is great, but we’d discovered its limitations earlier in the year and after canvassing a couple of options had decided to subscribe to Orbicule’s Undercover for Mac. Undercover is Find My iPhone on steroids. Once installed it runs invisibly in the background on your Mac. If your Mac is stolen simply log in to your UndercoverHQ account and click “report stolen computer”. As soon as you Mac goes online  it recognises it’s new status and switches to spy mode. Every 8 minutes it takes a screenshot and a photo of the user and uploads them to your UndercoverHQ account. It also uploads keylogs of everything except passwords.

Within hours we had photographs of three occupants of a household in Charles St, West Perth, along with screenshots of bank accounts, pay advice, Gold Coast real estate browsing, a Skype session. On and on. Within 48 hours we had given the police enough information to pay a visit and recover the MacBook, however no charges were laid. This time it was returned to it’s rightful owner within a week of the theft. Orbicule’s comprehensive expansion on the Find My iPhone concept was undoubtedly responsible for the incredibly fast result.

The last thing that “maddishiz” typed in the Google search bar before recovery was effected? “how to wipe macbook air”.

Anyhoo, why don’t you enjoy a few screenshots from each episode?

Here’s the sort of communication you get from Find My iPhone;

Receivers of stolen goods are creative too. As much as I’d love to share the 1723 photos that Timmy left behind I’ll confine myself to a few screenshots of the sort of thing you can expect to see from Find My iPhone and Undercover.

Darren Smith – A Thousand Facets

Some time ago I was approached by sound artist Leah Blankendaal to collaborate with her on an installation based around distortions and refractions. Our ad hoc coffee shop manifesto nailed down one absolute: both of us wanted the exhibition to be experienced in fantastic reality, rather than virtual reality.

This series carries a culmination of interests for me. I love pure aesthetics. I love science. This falls somewhere in the middle, and while produced using digital media the results are absurdly analogue. Here’s a taster to take the edge off  Monday. You’ll have to make your presence felt at Kurb Gallery to complete the set and to absorb the sound component.

Opening night is 6pm Saturday Sept. 21st 2013 at Kurb GalleryA Thousand Facets runs from September 21st to 27th.



2013 AIA Award Winners

With Rob off on holidays, I ventured out to the WA Chapter of the AIA last night to fulfil my duty to photography, architecture (and champagne) at Perth Concert Hall. My first ever AIA awards night gave me a sense of the full scale of projects happening across WA, as well as a great insight how the images we shoot are presented.

Public architecture had a total of seven awards. Bateman Architects, Christou Design Group, and Parry and Rosenthal all received commendations for Dongara District High School, Guildford Grammar Catalyst Building, and the All Saints Performing Arts Theatre respectively.


Guildford Grammar School, Architect: Christou Design Group

Dongara District High SchoolBateman Architects

All Saints College Centre for Performing Arts


Parry and Rosenthal’s PAC (above& below) and Taylor Robinson’s Merrywell (below) at Crown Casino both garnered Architecture Awards in the Interior category.


All Saints College Centre for Performing Arts

The Merrywell at Crown Perth, Taylor Robinson Architects

The Merrywell at Crown Perth,Taylor Robinson Architects


T&Z Architects received a commendation in the Colorbond Award in Steel Architecture for their steel and glass screen structure at ECU’s Joondalup campus.


Edith Cowan University rain screen T&Z Architects


Kerry Hill’s Campbell House took out the Marshall Clifton Award for Residential Architecture and two of the commendations were awarded to David Barr and Ross Brewin’s Suburban Beach House and Optimum Resource Architects’ Dress Circle Residence.


Beach Road house by David Barr and Ross Brewin

A Suburban Beach House, Architect: David Barr & Ross Brewin

Yallingup Residence Optimum Resource Architects


Jonathan Lake Architects won the Peter Overman Award for Residential Architecture -Alterations & Additions for their Fremantle Additions project and went on to take an Architecture Award in Small Project Architecture. Pendal and Neille received an Architecture Award in the Alternations & Additions category for their Claremont House.


Hampton Road House, Architect: Jonathan Lake Architects

Davies Road house. Pendal and Neille


The Harold Krantz Award for Multiple Residential went to Formworks Architecture for a project we’ve really enjoyed photographing; Lime Street development in East Perth.


Kevin Fleming St Bartholomew's  Formworks Architects

St Bartholomew’s  Lime St accommodation

St Bartholomew’s  Lime St accommodation


ARM Architecture & Cameron Chisholm Nicol ultimately took the night with the 2013 George Temple Pool Award for Perth Arena – four awards total, including the Jeffrey Howlett Award for Public Architecture, the Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture, and an Architecture Award in the Interior Category.

For a whole collection of pics of the Perth Arena, check out our April post. All and all, it was a delightful evening. You definitely can expect to see me there next year!


San Cisco in Treadlie Magazine

Fellow pilots of human powered vehicles in Australia will have noticed that until a couple of years ago our newsstands catered only to the mountain bikers and two wheeled race fans. Treadlie is the bike mag for the rest of us; commuters, e-bikers, weekend cruisers, polo nuts and, it would seem, a surprisingly large proportion of the Oz music scene.

Treadlie commissioned Acorn to shoot half of Freo sensation San Cisco for issue 10. (Which is on the aforesaid newsstands as we speak.)
Eschewing the usual street scene / café for something with a bit more local colour we convened at Freo’s North Mole with it’s “port” lighthouse providing essential seaside authenticity. KP drove the camera car, Josh and Nick shredded skinny rubber, Rob pressed the shiny black button and kept stuff vaguely in focus, soft skylight by your chosen deity.

Here’s how it looked in the mag, there’s how it looked before the gutter hit the lighthouse, down below are some out-takes. Stay safe.

Treadlie Magazine San Cisco story

San Cisco-an's Josh Biondillo and Nick Gardner riding Noth Mole

San Cisco-ans Josh Biondillo and Nick Gardner riding Noth Mole

San Cisco outtake

Pet Photo Booth


Pet Photo Booth Perth Fringe Festival 2013


The Perth Fringe Festival has been all the buzz in the office this morning. Rob’s done the Stoney Joe gig, Shirley recommends the Bogan Bingo, and for the last two weekends I’ve slipped off the commercial hat and have been moonlighting as an artist photographer at Pet Photo Booth. Our studio for the duration, courtesy of ArtRage, was the Spiegeltent, deep in the Urban Orchard. The so-called Third Musketeer of Pet Photo Booth, I’ve been working with Arthos (Justin Spiers) and Porthos (Yvonne Doherty) since my early days as an assistant and I feel privileged to have been invited to take part in this wonderful project as a photographer.


Five days of cats, dogs, chickens, sheep, children, and other animals. Everyone got along in perfect animal harmony, including most of the humans. Bookings were only a couple of minutes apart and we booked out well in advance! I love about working this quickly, being absorbed in the moment and using only the relationship with the subjects and materials at hand to produce creative results. Painted backdrops, delightful people– it’s a dangerous mix of cheese and portraiture, but very hard for it to go wrong.



Pet Photo Booth Perth Fringe Festival 2013


Pet Photo Booth Perth Fringe Festival 2013




2012 AIA WA Chapter Award Winners

Last night was awards night for the WA Chapter of the AIA. It’s been a few years since I attended but as a lay judge (in the Heritage category) I felt duty bound to show my face. And fill it with entrée, main and dessert of course.

How firmly David Karotkin’s tongue was pushed into his cheek when he said “there will be no losers tonight” remains unknown, however as the disembodied “Price is Right” voice read out the winners for the Public Architecture category it seemed as though everyone would definitely be a winner – 11 gongs in all!

Acorn Photo clients Site Architecture and TAG Architects were among them for Serisier Building and Coady Centre, Mercedes College and Roseworth Primary College and Education Support Centre respectively (below). (respectively).
Serisier Building and Coady Centre, Mercedes College

TAG Architects Roseworth Primary School Stebbing Way Girrawheen

George Temple Poole winner of 2010, Blane Brackenridge’s spaceship chic House in Cottesloe took out the Marshall Clifton Award for Residential Architecture with one of the two commendations going to the elegant pavilion based Wright Feldhusen Eagle Bay house (below and below).

52 Broome St

Eagle Bay Residence by Wright Feldhusen Architects

The Harold Krantz Award for Multiple Residential was landed by Officer Woods Architects for their wonderful medium density development in Stevens Street, Fremantle. Jenny and Trent were kept busy with this, their only entry this year, as it also took out the Walter Greenham Sustainable Architecture Award.

Stevens St Multiple residential, Architect: Officer Woods

58 Stevens St apartment B

CODA’s Women’s Health and Family Services building in Newcastle St and Parry and Rosenthal’s Southern Seawater Desalination Plant both garnered Architecture Awards in the Commercial category. Claremont Quarter by Christou Design Group and Hassell received a commendation for Urban Design.

Women's Health and Family Services

Southern Seawater Desalination Plant  Architect Parry and Rosenthal

Claremont Quarter, Christou Design Group

The judging experience gave me a great insight into how the images we shoot are used and seen by the jury panels. As I mentioned earlier, I was invited by the Institute to be a lay juror this year. First time. The panels are all comprised of three architects and one layperson. This year the Institute introduced a presentation day which is open to the public. Architects speak on their projects and supplement professional shot images with plans and photographs from the construction phase. Over the following weeks site visits are made by the jurors.

Kim Burges originally suggested I join the residential jury, but having photographed almost half the entered projects I felt the conflict of interest issues were too great. Instead I joined Nerida Mourdant, Eamon Broderick and Alex Quinn on the Heritage panel.

9 projects with wildly divergent briefs and budgets made it a reasonably tough job. The ultimate winner of the Margaret Pit Morison Award for Heritage went to Donaldson and Warn for their careful restoration and upgrade of the Marsala House, a spectacular 70’s listed house designed by Iwan Iwanoff. An Architecture Award and Commendation went to Griffiths Architects and Bernard Seeber Pty Ltd for Cathedral House and Fremantle Railway Station. None of these were photographed by me so no pics here retro fiends!

We’re moving

Our little patch of Townshend Road, Subiaco, has seen a lot of changes since the mid nineties when we set up shop there. In fact a quick audit of the area between Hay St and Subi Oval has us as the oldest business. True fact.

Anyways, we’re gorn. We’re leaving East Subi for the gentle vibe of West Subi. We’ve heard tell that, with favourable winds, you can hear the breakers at North Cott on a Sunday. Importantly we’ll still be within coo-ee of Jean Claude Patisserie and we’ll be closer to a train station (Daglish) as well as a pile of our mates.

From June 1st 2012 you’ll find us at 298 Hamersley Road. Subiaco.
Melbourne skyline at night with blurred squiggles

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