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West Australian Postcards Series

Postcards Western Australia Alex Bond Stormlight Publishing

West Australian Postcards

1989 marked the publication of my West Australian Postcards series. Starting out with just one lens and one 35mm film camera I set about the self inspired project to make a postcard series of a region that I have been associated with all my life.
 
The common theme for the series was the coastal ribbon of national park located between Cape Leeuwin in the south and Cape Naturaliste in the north. The region is broadly referred to as the Margaret river Region. Scattered between the two capes are the coastal hamlets of Augusta, Hamelin Bay, Margaret River, Prevelly Park, Gracetown, Cowaramup, Smiths Beach, Yallingup and Dunsborough. Named after the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park, this was the first postcard series in Western Australia to focus on a national park and reserves theme.

Over 25 years and 1.5 million postcards later, I tell the story behind creating this award winning West Australian Postcard Series. Stormlight Publishing 25 years of south west postcards is a fascinating look at how I came to photograph, produce, publish and distribute postcards in a time prior to digital technology and mobile phones.

Southern Forests and Southern Coast Porongurup and Stirling Range Series

With the success of the Leeuwin Naturaliste Series I was able to expand the national park postcard range to include the Southern Forests Series, South Coast and Porongurup and Stirling Range Series. The card range eventually extended east to Esperance with Cape Le Grand National Park, and west to Albany near Torndirrup National Park. Neighboring Denmark and William Bay National Park followed. Postcards were added from the south west's mountainous regions: Porongurup Range near Mount Barker with the rugged Stirling Range National Parks.  In the south west more postcards were made of D' Entrecasteaux National Park and Walpole Nornalup National Park near Walpole. The postcards also reached the forested regions of Northcliffe, Shannon National Park, Windy Harbour and Pemberton.

This makes it the most extensive West Australian postcards series of national parks to date.

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Western Australian Postcards Stormlight Publishing

postcards western australia Alex Bond Stormlight Publishing 2017

Western Australian Postcards of National Parks

Western Australian Postcards 25 years of southwest postcards Australia
25 years of southwest postcards

Leeuwin Naturaliste - Southern Forests - South Coast Postcard Series

I finally got around to completing Stormlight Publishing 25 years of South West Postcards.

For those of you familiar with my work you would know that I have been publishing and distributing images of Western Australian national parks since 1989 under my imprint Stormlight Publishing. Many of these images have been as postcards, as well as greeting cards, posters, calendars and books.

When I started publishing my postcards series in 1989 I had no idea where or how far it would go. Postcards series specific to national parks did not exist in WA at that time. Some retailers were sceptical about selling images that were not of something. They wanted identifiable subjects such as a recognisable memorial or a building. It was said to me that they were just pretty images of nothing. Others asked me where these places were as they could not be local places.

Starting out with a 35mm film camera and one lens I set about creating a postcard series that endured for a quarter of a century. 1.5 million postcards later, I reflect on the processes behind creating this award winning national park postcard series in a time prior to the prevalence of digital technology and the social phenomenon of mobile phone “selfies”.

Luckily for me I found plenty of south west retailers willing to give the postcards a go. Even more lucky for me is that they sold. This allowed me to eventually produce images covering regions along the south west and southern coastline of Western Australia. These included Esperance, Albany, Denmark, Walpole, Pemberton, Northcliffe, Augusta, Margaret River, Yallingup, Dunsborough, the Stirling and Porongurup Ranges.

If you are interested in landscape photography or just appreciate the unique beauty of the national parks in south west Western Australia then you will enjoy this collection of 70 postcard images. I have a limited number of copies on hand which I can post within Australia, otherwise copies are available directly from Blurb.

 

Hard cover | dust jacket | 82 pages | 70 images full colour | 10 x 8 inches landscape

West Australian Postcards 25 years of south west postcards
Stormlight Publishing 25 years of south west postcards ISBN 978-0-9874791-1-2
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North Point Cowaramup Bay Last wave of the day

North Point Cowaramup Bay Margaret River region

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.

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Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse four seasons in one day

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse

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.

Cape Naturaliste sunrise