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Port Jackson Shark - Picture Story

Oct 9th, 2019 • Stories

This Port Jackson Shark, July 1990 was found on Cockburn Sound, south of Fremantle, WA, dead, dessicated and discarded, but still beautiful.

Port Jackson Shark, studio photograph, 1990

Our studio was originally a photographic studio dating from about 1897 and the part above the stage was angled for skylight glass, but later covered in corrugated iron painted white.

The heady aromatics of decaying shark innards

After the photography the shark was left under the studio stage to complete the drying process.  But the shark was not as dry as it seemed, and continued to release the heady aromatics of decaying shark innards.  On our second story level this was fine, as we tended to keep the windows open on warm days to let the Freo Doctor evening wind through from one side to the other.

What was really happening was that the shark innard effluvium was heavier than air, and sank through the floor boards to the shops below.  On the first floor below the studio was a costume hire shop and on the ground floor a lunch bar selling hot meat rolls.  The two owner dudes came up to find the source of the scent, but on the elevated level of WA Filmworkers there was nothing to smell.

The shark, when properly dry, was given to Angela Rosen in exchange for an etching of another dead fish.


Making the picture was easy enough, a couple of Redhead lights bounced off the ceiling, camera Sinar Norma, Rodenstock Apo-Ronar 240mm, and on Kodak TMY film.


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