History in the making 

WHEN local photographer Peter Sykes and publishing editor Debbie Sibbick took on the job of creating a coffee table book depicting Goulburn, they never could have dreamt it would turn into such an epic production.

The pair laboured on the project for more than 18 months, photographing 3000 locals and capturing stunning images of both the city’s natural and architectural heritage.

The end result was a beautiful, high gloss publication which provides a snapshot of everyday life in our unique corner of the universe.

Now, they are preparing for the official book launch, which will take place at the Council Chambers at 3pm on Friday.

The event will include speeches by both Mr Sykes and the mayor as well as a meet and greet, sale and signing.

The veteran photographer said he couldn’t be happier with the way the book had turned out however the task of capturing Goulburn through the lens was often arduous, with so much to document in so little time, and that by the end of the process it had well and truly become a labour of love for both himself and his collaborator.

“There were times there when we thought one of us was gunna end up in jail for killing the other,” he joked.

Mr Sykes said neither he nor Ms Sibbick had ever attempted a project this big before and that things did get stressful at times.

“There are 210 pages and 1007 photos,” he explained.

“We started doing the things we could do early in the chapter but there were a lot of things we didn’t want to start doing until we got a bit closer to 2013. Since about last September, it has just been a mad rush. It got to a point where from the end of December onward it just became seven Some of the nature shots took days, even weeks, to capture while the artist painstaking sort the perfect moment. The book includes not only picturesque landscapes but also stunning portraits of local architecture.

The pair was also interested in creating a comprehensive historical artifact to show what life is like in the city as it celebrates its milestone anniversary, this meant showing ordinary people in their natural environments.

“It’s about people and the life and the spirit of the town…” Mr Sykes said.

“We keep hearing about heroes these days and that some football player is a hero, but, the bloke who gets up every morning and goes to work and takes home a little bit of money to support his wife and kids, he’s the hero.

We don’t give them any credit at all but they’re the heroes. They’re the ones that make the town tick. The garbage man is just as important to the town as the doctor if he’s doing a good job, you know, and that is what we wanted to show… 

“We wanted to show the people of Goulburn and that they live in a beautiful place.

I’ve been to a lot of places and none of them are as nice as Goulburn. We also wanted to show other people that we live in a beautiful place and help promote the town.”

The book costs $65 and will be available at the book launch on Friday. It will also be available online at www.goulburn2013.com.au.

There are 300 limited edition hardcovers available, which cost $200. Each one is numbered and personally signed by the photographer.

Mr Sykes and Ms Sibbick would like to thank everybody who supported them, both morally and financially, to help make their vision a reality.

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