Paperbarks Margaret River, hand printed 16×20 inch silver gelatin
Paperbarks Margaret River this wonderful stand of old paperbarks are located near Wallcliffe House, on the banks of Margaret River. This image was made just weeks before the Margaret River fires razed the Prevelly Park region in November 2011, resulting in the loss of many homes and historic Wallcliffe House. The area surrounding these trees was badly burnt and denuded of all vegetation, but a few of the older veterans pictured here still remain. The photograph is high in contrast due to the dappled sunlight and deep shadow. Additional exposure was given to open up the shadows and development was reduced. Film was 4×5 Tmax. About hand made silver prints.
Granite Canal Rocks Yallingup hand printed 16×20 inch baryta based silver gelatin print
Granite Canal Rocks is a detail study of the many rock formations which characterise the area. Canal Rocks Yallingup has remarkable granite formations and canal like structure that form a massive bulwark against the pounding Indian Ocean swells, creating dramatic plumes of sea spray. The area is characterised by cliffs and rocky headlands and some small sandy coves. Canal Rocks weathered granite formations and coastal cliffs provide a range of potential compositions. Some shapes and patterns look like they are just ripe for a sculptor to release them into some free form. The patterns and shapes of the rocks combined with the heaving ocean swell are mesmerizing and it is easy to lose track of time watching the endless swell lines marching towards the impenetrable rocks. Tmax 400 4×5 sheet film with a 210mm nikkor lens with a cut in exposure and additional development. About hand made silver prints.
Seaweed Cape Leeuwin, hand printed 11×14 inch baryta based silver gelatin print
Seaweed Cape Leeuwin Augusta Australia. One advantage of a 4×5 field camera is the bellows extension. Most field cameras will have a bellows which will extend out to approximately 300mm. With a standard focal length lens of 150mm this bellows extension can theoretically provide sufficient lens extension for one to one image magnification. It was just this set up that I used in this image of Leather kelp on the beach at Cape Leeuwin. The movement of front or rear standards can assist in optimising the plane of focus. In this image even the white grains of sand show clearly. About hand made silver prints.
Karri forest Margaret River
Karri forest Margaret River with coral vine and purple hovea wildflowers at Boranup just south of Margaret River. This unique stand of karri forest is the most western edge of the karri forest belt. These karri grow in limestone based soils as opposed to dark rich karri loam which is found around Pemberton and Walpole. Just above the purple hovea and red coral vine in this image you can see a limetone cliff edge. Its the presence of limestone which is responsible for the numerous caves within the Cape Leeuwin to Cape Naturaliste region. This image was made with a 6×4.5cm format Bronica ETRS camera using velvia film and a 40mm Bronica lens. It has been published in magazines and calendars and in my Leeuwin Naturaliste postcard series where it has remained popular for over 20 years.
Karri forest Margaret River is available as a limited edition 16×20 inch photograph and larger.
Clematis flower Old Man’s Beard. Yes it’s an odd name, but old man’s beard is a common name to describe the feathery tendril like appearance of the native clematis flower as it matures. This soft, fine structure is so delicate it literally blows away on the breeze. Luckily there was no breeze on the evening I made this photograph, I was tucked away in a sheltered section of thick coastal heath, south of the Margaret River. The sun was almost on the horizon, but undeterred by the fading light. I pulled out my trusty wooden field camera from my backpack and reached for my 150mm Schneider lens. Comparative to the 4×5 inch size of the transparency, I knew I would want to achieve at least a life size reproduction to fill the frame adequately and I had just enough bellows extension, about 300mm, to do it. With a 2 stop exposure increase for the bellows extension plus an additional adjustment for reciprocity failure – the velvia film was exposed for about 90 seconds. I also made some black and whites negatives. Somewhere in those I have a blurry looking ant as it walked around the flower during the exposure. The local talent can be uncooperative at times.
The 4×5 velvia was processed in Tetenal 3 bath E-6 which I have been trying out recently in my jobo processor, the perfect activity for a 40C degree day! This is a “straight” scan off the tranny.
North Point Cowaramup Bay is where I had been exploring the coast for new images over the past few days. As the sun was setting I was reflecting on how I had started the day, near this spot, before dawn. About 12 hours ago, the blue pre-dawn gloom of the night sky was giving way to the soft magenta projected skywards by the earth’s shadow. The sea had been relatively calm that morning, but the swell had been building steadily all day, something I had noticed further up the coast where I had spent the day hiking and exploring. Now I was back at Gracetown at sunset, my movements had gone full circle.
The coastline around North Point Cowaramup Bay offers elevated views over the surf breaks. North Point is a granite cliff face and rock outcrop, strewn with boulders the size of cars. As the sun set, a few people with cameras materialised at certain vantage points around the cliff tops, looking towards the sunset. But my camera was aimed squarely at the last surfer of the day, bobbing gently in the swell off North Point, waiting to catch that final wave of the day before the fading light. A set appeared, he took off, cutting clean lines across the back lit wave, riding it all the way past the point.
I included this image in my latest update and printing of my Leeuwin Naturaliste postcard series, which will be available shortly. It has come as a bit of a shock, but next year, 2013, will be the 25th year I have been producing this series of cards that have showcased the coastline between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin and the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park.
Cape Naturaliste at sunrise with the shadow of the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse projecting across the Cape’s heathland. Spring is a wonderful time of year to be out photographing. Of course there are the Spring wildflowers, but even more exciting is the constantly changing weather and the drama it plays out on the landscape. I had left Perth about 3am on a cold clear morning. By the time I had reached Bunbury, pockets of mist were collecting in the open fields and flowing westwards towards the warmer coast. When I reached Busselton, visibility was reduced by what was now a congealed bank of mist, the beam of oncoming car headlights barely penetrating it. The dense mist remained all the way to Dunsborough, but just 5km out of town on the way to Cape Naturaliste the mist suddenly disappeared.
I was on my way to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse having arranged in advance with one of the guides to accompany me so that I could get some sunrise images from the lighthouse as part of an update to my Leeuwin Naturaliste postcard series, now in their 23rd year. Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse sits high above the limestone cliffs of the Cape, and is shorter than its more southerly cousin, Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, which sits on a low, granite finger that protrudes into the ocean. While Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse may not be the tallest it certainly has commanding views of the Cape, Geographe Bay and the Indian Ocean. From the lighthouse I could see the morning mist which I had driven through flowing offshore into Geographe Bay. For a brief moment the sun broke through on the horizon, flooding the Cape with intense yellow light, creating dramatic, colourful scenes both east and west. I sighted several whales offshore making their annual migration. All too soon some rain laden cloud from the south had rapidly swept over the Cape, throwing the landscape into a deep shadow, the first spatter of rain drops hitting me. My work finished, I left the Cape, the rain was passing and the clouds were giving way to vast expanses of blue sky with bright sunlight hitting the distant landscape. Mist, cloud, light rain, a colourful sunrise, and the promise of a warm sunny day, Spring offers four seasons in one day.
Shrines fishing gods: we were walking around Augusta just on dusk, down by the banks of the Blackwood River. A beautiful windless evening with barely a ripple on the water. The clouds’ reflections were creating abstract patterns with soft pastel hues. Fishing is obviously a popular activity and every 20 to 50 metres dotted along the banks you will find these little fish scaling tables in various shapes sizes and design. As they floated in their own reflections they reminded me of little shrines or temples. The oil rich yellow lipped mullet caught fresh from the Blackwood are among my favourite fish. May the fishing deities be pleased.
Cape to Cape Spring time ramble. Spent the last week in the south west and Spring is definitely out. I was doing a few coastal walks, the weather was wonderfully changeable, rainy and blustery one day, then calm, fine mornings with light wisps of high cloud the next. Just the sort of conditions I like most as it offers a wide range of photographic opportunities, from different light qualities to varying subject matter. On my way back one fine morning I sheltered for a while under these peppermint trees which were laden with white trails of bloom. There was the added bonus of a small brook and the sound of running water. So nice to see some water flowing in the brooks and streams this year compared to the dryness of last year. It’s a great time of the year to get out and do a bush walk, ramble, hike or what ever you choose to call it.
Be tenacious. These wind swept branches are an example of how tenacious life really is, even in adverse situations. With its roots wedged between massive granite boulders, the sheer force exerted by millions of minuscule living cells is sufficient, over a long period of time, to lift and displace these rocks just enough to allow this tree to grow. And given its size it has successfully adapted and overcome environmental extremes such as no soil, prevailing winds (sometimes at gale force), salt spray, diminishing rainfall and intense sun exposure.
I can only guess how old it is, but this is one of a few larger specimens that sprawl out for several metres over the boulders at Cape Naturaliste.