I claimed I was on a mission, and I’m sticking with the theme. I’m gradually getting up to speed on the nuances between various mallee and macrocarpa and where I may track them down, thanks to evenings spent poring over quaint brochures, wildflower society booklets, and the ABC’s weighty Native Plants tome. I’d recommend not sitting next to me at a dinner party and politely enquiring about it, lest I send you to sleep. Suffice to say, it is proving to be a treasure hunt for me, and easily as much fun.
As glamorous as this sounds though, hold your envy in check. This week I took a while to get some shots near a house that had no open curtains, a large number of cars, and frequent short term visitors. I briefly contemplated a side business in surveillance, but as the industrial seed oil smoke from the nearby fast food outlet enveloped my hair, I realised I wouldn’t have the tenacity. And I don’t eat donuts.
After about Day 3, W said he no longer needed to see my daily finds, but to let him know when I have something different. Luckily I have a boom or bust approach to, well, everything; a perfect foundation for making hay when nature shines.
So, at the risk of overdoing the mallee and macrocarpa theme, here are a few from the last few days. I’m gathering a body of such work over at Nina Williams Photography, so check in there every now and again, if you would like to see more. I’ll be taking calendar orders in November!
I always love to hear if you have a favourite, and please let me know if you are interested in the plant names!
Spurred by my singular mission for Australian iconographical supremacy, I have been burning up the kilometres in Perth’s hinterlands and developed a keen eye for the shrubbery of my favoured plants. Next time I will take a shot of the other view around some of these images. Envisage trucks and cars roaring past apace, and about every 10 minutes a ute horn and muffled yelling issuing forth. A strange custom, that one.
I’m playing around with backgrounds a bit. I cannot bring myself to snip off branches, preferring to shoot them in situ, but I have particular ideas about what I want my subject matter to sit on, and the background is not always ideal (the McDonalds red and yellow is SO dominating). I love the challenge of finding plants at the perfect stage, in the right light and manageable weather – it takes me back to driving around pre-dawn Victoria in the dark winter drizzle, with my travel mug of tea, and frozen fingers on the car heating vents. My happy place!
I’ve had an epiphany. Encouraged by my close buddy S, a glass of red wine, and some Palak Paneer, I have decided to channel my business energy toward creating beautiful, iconic, Australian imagery for both Commercial and private clients. My deep and abiding love of Eucalypts, trees, and this stunning continent has been on a steady simmer since I started photography, and is reasonably obvious in my general subject matter, but what was flirtation, has blossomed into commitment. What this means when someone asks me (or you) what I photograph, you can answer with a flourish, “Oh, iconic Australian images.” My interpretation of this is seeking out and celebrating authentic, unique, Australia – the people, the places, the flora and fauna. This includes both landscapes and close-ups, and images are geared for wall art, commercial brand and stock photography, and maybe, one day, textiles.
(For the Kiwi’s out there, this doesn’t mean I spurn my roots. Gosh, no. The same principles transfer to Godzone.)
Where to from here? I will be back out on the road, hunting and shooting, and looking for new material. Stylistically, I am experimenting behind the scenes, so anything could happen. At the very least, Mum will get another calendar this Christmas. Here are a handful of my latest finds.
I call this last one Eucalyptus rorschachii. I’ve done a few like this, and most look like scary ancient gods. I have a way to go with this concept.
My current obsession is gumnuts. From the nuggety little bell-shaped ones and the elfin button-like ones, to the basic gumnut babies shape that May Gibbs introduced to the world almost 100 years ago. On any given day you will find branches of them lurking in my car, gathered while walking or travelling, and saved for an as yet unidentified purpose.
Heading out in search of the ultimate specimen, I fell upon a wondrous world of shape and colour; nuts that look like they had been piped from an icing bag, tutus and hawaiian skirts bursting from them, pale greens and pinks that belong on textiles, and another reason to love the humble gumtree even more.