Geoff Schirmer is a self-taught black and white image maker who does his own film processing and printing. His journey in this elemental form of photography began at Portland in 1973. He was attracted to the landscape of the Bridgewater peninsula, exploring symbols in landscape and nature as metaphors of the human spirit, weathered by, yet enduring the seasons of life.
He remembers, with gratitude, the generous advice and encouragement given to him by Cor Melis - a professional photographer at Portland.
Geoff was encouraged by early success as a member of the Portland Camera Club, winning the Black and White section of the annual Western District - Victoria - Inter-Club exhibition in 1974 and 1975.
An accomplished rock-climber, he further honed his photographic skills in capturing some of the spectacle of many climbs in the Blue Mountains-NSW, and the Grampians and Mt Arapiles-Vic.
After moving to Melbourne in 1978 his photographic journey continued, in both black and white and colour, during extensive bushwalking and cross-country skiing in the Victorian Alps.
His photography has appeared in the following publications:
- Arapiles - a Climber's Guide; Keith Lockwood 1978
- Arapiles - a Million Mountains; Keith Lockwood, Skink Press Natimuk 2007
- Arapiles - Selected Climbs; Simon Mentz/Glenn Tempest, Open Spaces 1999
- Arapiles - Selected Climbs-2nd Edition; Simon Mentz/Glenn Tempest, OS 2008
- Skiing the High Plains - Harry Stephenson, 1982
- Wild - Australian magazine.
- Mountain - UK magazine.
- Calvary Bazaar - Greensborough 2000
- Celebration Arts - St John's Southgate 2000
- Darebin Artists Rampart - Northcote Library 2000
- Coonara Gallery - Olinda 2000
- Darebin Artists Rampart - Northcote Library 2001
- Beech Forest Fine Art - Beech Forest/Otways 2005
- Little Malop Fine Art - Geelong 2005
- Portland Arts Centre - Portland 2008
- Ringwood Black and White Photography Club - Annual Award/Set Folio 1988 1st
- Ringwood Black and White Photo. Club - Annual Award/Open Folio 1988 1st
- Australian Photographic Collectors'Society Exhibition - Melb. 2001 - 1st
- Australian Photographic Collectors' Society Exhibition - Melb. 2002 - 1st & 2nd
- Australian Photographic Collectors' Society Exhibition - Melb. 2003 - 2nd
- Australian Photographic Collectors' Society Exhibition - Melb. 2008 - 1st & 3rd
Equipment and Method
Using the traditional process of negative and print the photographer works with a broad range of cameras - standard 35mm - medium format (6x9cm negative) - and large format - (4"x5" negative, and 8"x10" negative). The prints, on premium grade fibre-base paper, are processed, mounted, and framed at an archival standard.
Why Black and White?
Geoff continues to be drawn to the elemental character of black and white - to the way it lends itself to the portrayal of the essence of things, to that which is symbolic and evocative.
Black and white presents the viewer with a different way of seeing. It invites the viewer to experience a subject in terms of shape and form - tone and texture - light and shade - without the distraction of colour.
The darker nuances of black and white can be symbols of the unconscious - of that which Carl Jung called "the shadow of the psyche".