33 Stunning Images That Reveal The Story Behind Australia’s Most Iconic Photograph

There’s more to Max Dupain’s Sunbaker than you might think.

1. The Sunbaker, a 1937 photograph by Max Dupain, is one of the most well-known Australian images of all time.

Max Dupain / Via Creative Commons

2. But the image wasn’t actually printed until 1975, when it was featured in a retrospective exhibition of the work of Dupain (pictured below).

Olive Cotton / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

3. This is because the negative for Dupain’s preferred version of the image was actually lost. Today, only one known print of this version exists - shown below, from a collection at the State Library of NSW.

Max Dupain / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

4. The collection also features this photo, which showcases an entirely different angle of the image.

Max Dupain / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

5. The man in the photographs is Harold Salvage, a British builder and friend of Dupain’s.

Max Dupain / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

6. The shots were taken on a camping trip to Culburra Beach on the south coast of NSW.

Max Dupain / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

7. A large group of friends went on the trip with Dupain and Salvage.

Max Dupain / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

8. One of those friends was builder Chris Vandyke, who owned the collection of these images that is now at the State Library of NSW.

Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

9. Also on the trip was fellow photographer Olive Cotton.

Max Dupain / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

10. She took many photographs on the trip herself, including this shot of Dupain and Vandyke.

Olive Cotton / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

11. This photo of Dupain, Vandyke and an unidentified woman.

Olive Cotton / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

12. And this photo of Dupain with his cameras.

Olive Cotton / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

13. All together the images provide a gorgeous glimpse into Australia’s past.

Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

14. They add context to the iconic Sunbaker.

Max Dupain / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons
15.
Max Dupain / Creative Commons / Via State Library of NSW

16. And expand on everything the image represents.

Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

17. They showcase quintessential parts of Australian culture.

Max Dupain / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

18. Beach life…

Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons
19.
Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / Creative Commons / Via State Library of NSW
20.
Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons
21.
Olive Cotton / Creative Commons / Via State Library of NSW

22. Mateship…

Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons
23.
Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / Creative Commons / Via State Library of NSW
24.
Max Dupain / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

25. A sense of fun…

Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons
26.
Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons
27.
Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / Creative Commons / Via State Library of NSW
28.
Olive Cotton / Creative Commons / Via State Library of NSW

29. And the beautiful landscape.

Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons
30.
Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons
31.
Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / Creaetive Commons / Via State Library of NSW
32.
Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / Creative Commons / Via State Library of NSW

33. View the full collection here.

Max Dupain and Olive Cotton / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw / Creative Commons

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Jenna Guillaume is a senior editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney.
 
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