The Arnold Schwarzenegger 1974 Sydney Opera House Photo Shoot

Arnold Schwarzenegger
The Opera House was only one year old and a great spot to take some photos. The best spot was over the Harbour Bridge at Sydney just under the bridge in a park.


Arnold SchwarzeneggerTo get the opera house up close I had to use a telephoto lens.

It was a cold April morning around 9 AM to 10 AM, the grass still had Frost and Arnold kept his shoes on. We met a journalist photographer at the spot.

I thought to myself “Let this guy take his pictures then I can concentrate on what I want to take.”

I put together some basic shots, shooting a little more into the frame so I had room to crop for good photos later.

I only took black-and-white because the weather was overcast and dull, even so I should have taken colour as you never get the chance again. I used a large-format with my negative 2¼ inch X 2¾ inches. The camera was a MAMIYA RB67 on a tripod. The lenses I used were a 250mm and a 360mm, which brought the opera house close. For the photographers I used a Kodak tri-X film 400 ASA and developed in the D76, 1-1 at 70°F.

Arnold SchwarzeneggerI always gave a stop more or processed a minute extra to give the negative more contrast, which is easier to use when printing.

I took several shots (not enough) in different positions; it took about half an hour to get what I wanted but Arnold was getting impatient and wanted to put his clothes back on as it was very cold and he had just flown in that morning at 6 AM from Los Angeles and wanted to get settled in a motel and eat.

There was another spot we took photos at which was five minutes away called Luna Park, I can talk about that another time.

Spoken by Robert and recorded By Scott Nailon