This photograph was taken by Archibald James Campbell on a Christmas trip to to Lysterfield in 1903. It comes from an album containing 181 photographs taken during various trips throughout Australia. Most of Campbell's photographs were intended for a public audience (of natural history) however contained in his collection are many intimate moments of people in the Australian bush from the late 19th century to the 1920s. Here he reveals the level of order imposed on the bush during a camp out. A sheet and a makeshift sign provide privacy for the ladies' bathing, while other images show complex tent arrangments dividing the camp into utilitarian areas such as kitchen, dining hall and laundry.
Campbell's interest in nature was aroused in childhood at Werribee, Victoria where he lived with his grandparents until the age of 10. His first love was egg-collecting, and his general interest in birds was further inspired by the study of John Gould's works at the Public Library. He was for many years active in the Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria. By 1896 his collection of eggs represented 500 species.
Campbell initiated the first of several dinners which led to the formation in 1901 of the (Royal) Australasian Ornithologists' Union; he was president in 1909 and 1928 and co-editor of its journal, The Emu, for thirteen years. Campbell published widely and was an early advocate for the protection of the Australian bush. He was also a keen photographer, having taken up courses at the Working Men's College in Melbourne, and has been acknowledged as one of the first Australians to employ photography in his fieldwork. Campbell's egg collection, along with his vast image collection, is housed at Museum Victoria.