Home

Life of exploring shipwrecks on show at Museum of Geraldton with talk from marine photographer Patrick Baker

Jamie ThannooGeraldton Guardian
Patrick Baker with the anchor of the Batavia.
Camera IconPatrick Baker with the anchor of the Batavia. Credit: Patrick Baker/WA Museum

A marine photographer’s life of work exploring shipwrecks will be showcased with an evening talk at the Museum of Geraldton on Friday.

Patrick Baker will be sharing his stories about his work photographing underwater discoveries during his long, fascinating career.

Baker took underwater photos of shipwrecks, marine life, and geological studies across the world in his 44 years as a marine photographer with the Western Australian Museum.

Batavia wreck, canon Credit - Patrick Baker
Camera IconBatavia wreck, canon Credit - Patrick Baker Credit: Patrick Baker/WA Museum

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.

READ NOW

One of the highlights of Baker’s career was photographing the excavation of the Batavia during the 1970s, and the work he did as the remnants of the wreck were found remained some of his most cherished.

“I have to say my favourite photos of all, are the archaeological discoveries that sit hundreds of metres below the surface,” he said.

Patrick Baker exploring the Batavia wreck
Camera IconPatrick Baker exploring the Batavia wreck Credit: Jeremy Green/WA Museum

Aside from the Batavia, Baker also worked on Western Australian wrecks such as the James Matthews and SS Xantho, and wrecks from other parts of the world such as the HMS Pandora in Queensland, HMS Sirius near Norfolk Island, and 16th century Mary Rose in England.

“It’s really the study of the human connection with things, to me the thing about archaeology is getting insight into other people and the past, and shipwrecks are a true time capsule,” he said.

Diver Jeremy Green above the transom of the Batavia
Camera IconDiver Jeremy Green above the transom of the Batavia Credit: Patrick Baker

“Occasionally you really feel connected to these people, I’ve picked up things in the seabed and realised I’m the first person to touch this in nearly 3000 years.

“What you have is evidence of people from the past and that’s a very human connection I think.”

Many of the photos of the Batavia found in the Geraldton Museum were taken by Baker, and he said he has had a special relationship with the city the Batavia is so important to.

“I’ve had a long connection with Geraldton, almost 50 years. . . It’s been such an important part of my life, I’ve made some great friendships,” he said.

Patrick Baker taking a picture underwater during the Batavia excavation.
Camera IconPatrick Baker taking a picture underwater during the Batavia excavation. Credit: WA Museum

Fish & Ships: The photographic life of Patrick Baker will be held on Friday, October 28 at the Museum of Geraldton from 5pm - 6pm. Tickets can be found on the museum’s website.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails