For a year or so while studying at the Photography School, I was  the RMIT student newspaper Catalyst's official photographer (one of?). That usually involved taking pictures of the entrants to the Miss RMIT competition (Miss Engineering 1968 where are you now!) and any official events and visits (see the Harold Holt session). Every once in a while they would publish a photo-spread like this one, Gertrude Street Fitzroy at night. 

I think it was arranged by artist friend Mike Morgan who was also going to do sketches, and together we headed first for the pubs that walking past in daytime had seemed sedate.  Many of the dozens of hotels along Gertrude Street were closing down, and between them vacant lots full of rubble gave it all a battleground feel. (It's very different now.)  At night it was a hangout for some tough people, prostitutes, pimps and drunks who threatened to smash my camera and my face in. I worked with my Pentax inside my jacket and was as unobtrusive as possible. For me it was also a technical exercise, pushing Tri-X to 1000ASA+ and working with as slow a shutter speed as I dared. Some of the images look like flash, but they were all available light. We walked the back streets past the brothels and I remember the night was scary and exciting. It was also notable because we finished with big slabs of fresh burek wrapped in butchers paper at 2.30 in the morning. That burek shop became a favourite when I moved to live in Carlton. I've always liked these photos as well.

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