Landmark photography exhibition now online


The virtual doors are now open on the Library’s biggest and most significant photography exhibition to date with the launch of a new online version of Shot — the exhibition which opened at the State Library in October 2023.

Visitors can now delve into our extraordinary collection of two million images and explore a visual feast of 400 captivating moments by 200 photographers over three centuries.

According to State Librarian Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon: “The State Library is now home to Sydney’s largest photography gallery, and if you can’t visit us on Macquarie Street, or indeed you want to find out more post-visit, photography lovers across the globe will now be able to view this extraordinary collection of images in their own time.”

“Almost every photographic format and every year between 1845 and 2022 is represented, starting with Australia’s oldest photograph, an 1845 daguerreotype by George Barron Goodman,” says Dr Butler-Bowdon.

Highlights include:

  • early examples of colour photography (including rare photo-crayotype prints);
  • one of the original Paget plates Frank Hurley saved from Shackleton’s sinking ship Endurance in Antarctica in 1915;
  • iconic works by some of our most acclaimed photographers, including Max Dupain, Harold Cazneaux, David Moore, Olive Cotton; and
  • contemporary images and commentary by over 30 living photographers, including Stephen Dupont, Tony Mott, Anne Zahalka.

View SHOT online exhibition

To ensure the best possible user experience, the Shot online exhibition has been designed to be viewed on computer desktops only so users can easily move through the timeline to view images either by decade, alongside captions or at full screen with zoom capabilities. A mobile view will be developed later.

The Shot onsite exhibition has been extended to 3 November 2024 by popular demand. Presented with the support of the State Library of NSW Foundation. 

Collage of photographs