Posted on

Frenchman Peak Cape Le Grand Esperance Woolly Net-bush

frenchman peak Calothamnus genus cape le grand national park esperance

Frenchman Peak

Frenchman Peak is an exposed coastal granite peak located in the Cape Le Grand National Park. From the summit you have 360 degree views of this remote national park and its stunning coastal scenery. The peak is an important place in local Aboriginal culture and is named Mandooboornup. It was the surveyor Alexander Forrest in 1870 who gave it the European name Frenchman Peak.

Granite domes and white sand

I made this image during a visit to Frenchman Peak in 1990. My tent was set up at Lucky Bay camp ground just set back from the beach. This is one of many stunning coves and beaches within the park. Other nearby coves include Thistle Cove and Hellfire Bay. All the beaches have fine squeaky white sand that is blindingly bright in direct sunlight. These sands amplify the clarity of the Southern Ocean turning the beaches almost turquoise in colour. Bald granite domes dominate the headlands, punctuating the beginning and end of each bay. In those days the beaches were almost deserted in the off peak season. I rarely saw more that one or two cars a day.

Taking time to explore

I spent several days walking along the coast and nearby peaks with my view camera in my back pack and my tripod resting on my shoulder. On this day I had hiked the slopes of Frenchman Peak, stopping frequently along the way to explore anything visually appealing. I found some interesting displays of moss gardens and pincushion plants as they tenaciously clung to life on the granite slopes.

The day had started off bright and sunny with a steady onshore breeze. By the time I had arrived at the summit the clouds had rolled in and the breeze dropped right off.

Distance versus detail

This change in light also changed the whole nature of my surroundings. The dominant glare of distant beaches was replaced by a softer presence. As my eyes adjusted to the light foreground objects became more detailed. The bright distant beaches diminished in their dominance. Distance was giving way to foreground details and objects. Shadows opened up to reveal delicate details of stone texture, wood grain, leaf litter and bright red flowers. The foreground colour also appeared more saturated than when in direct bright sunlight. The red Calothamnus flowers contrasted brightly against the verdant green.

Conscious recognition

After marveling at the coastal views afforded to me along the trail I now found myself staring instead at the composition in front of me. It was a strange moment of realisation as I became conscious that this was a photographic composition. My problem was that where I was positioned there was a steep rocky slope at my back. I could not climb it to gain height (or a tripod footing), nor could I move back and gain subject distance.

Saved by simplicity

I would just have to make the best of the situation. My camera kit consisted of only one lens, a 90mm Grandagon. For the first six years which I owned a 4×5 camera this was the one lens I possessed. This focal length has wider angle of view than a normal 150mm lens, allowing me to include more of the subject into the composition under such cramped conditions. I simply accepted that I had to make the composition work with what I had. Sometimes after lots of effort a composition just doesn’t work. However, on this occasion I think it does.

Frenchman Peak summit

Placing my chin over the centre of the tripod I placed it into the position I thought best worked for the image. Pulling my wooden 4×5 field camera from my ruck sack I set it up on the tripod. Then I quickly added my 90mm lens and with my head under the focus cloth brought the image into focus on the screen. In the low light the white lichen on the rocks took on a gentle glow. Shadows opened up with delicate details. And the red of the claw flowers stood out against the green. The image imparted a sense of stillness and peace which I was feeling at the summit.

I carefully measured the scene for exposure using my one degree spot meter. I made a single exposure on Fujichrome 100. With only 12 sheets of 4×5 colour transparency film for the entire 4 day trip my exposures were frugal.


When I finally saw the processed chrome at home on my light box I was initially delighted. Everything was better than I had hoped for. The contrast range and colour was just held within the film’s range. Only there was one problem. A speck of dust was photographed into the top left hand corner of the sky. Dust is always a problem with sheet film for two reasons. First, film substrate can become electrostatically charged with handling, thereby attracting dust. And second, the film’s large surface combined with manually loading of each sheet into a film holder also increases its exposure risk to airborne dust.

Roll films on the other hand do not suffer from dust imperfections so frequently. On the other hand 120 roll films and 35mm cassettes are loaded at the film factory in a dust free laboratory environment.


Imperfections are part of the film photography’s material process. I accept that I much rather have made the image with its dust than have no image at all. I eventually printed an original cibachrome 12×16 print of Frenchman Peak from this transparency in a friend’s darkroom. That fine speck of dust is visible but you have to really look for it. It is just a reminder to me about the medium of photography. Mastering your control of materials is awesome but in the real world things still happen outside of your control . These days you can easily remove dust from a digital scan with just a click of the mouse using photoshop. No need for a second thought. Maybe that’s a loss to the skill of craftmanship?

I am guessing at the identity of the bush on the summit of Frenchman Peak. Based upon an Esperance Wildflower Blog site I think it may be Woolly Net-bush – Calothamnus villosus (check out this useful site) . If you know for sure let me know.

Wista 4×5 wooden field camera, 90mm Rodenstock Grandagon lens, Fujichrome 100 4×5

Posted on

Albany South Coast Western Australia 4×5 Field Camera

Albany south coast Andersonia sprengelioides

Albany south coast, Andersonia sprengelioides

Albany south coast is one of my favourite locations. When the summer weather sets in, Perth can get hot.  The region offers a refreshing cool change with dramatic coastal scenery. Even in summer, small low pressure systems brush the coast near Albany. The change in weather not only means cooler temperatures but also changes in the quality of light.

Light Quality

I often think of light qualities in terms such as painterly, mysterious, dramatic, soft or hard. Approaching weather changes can provide a mixture of rapidly changing light qualities. That’s what makes photographing during periods of change interesting and challenging.

Cliff Tops

I was walking along the granite cliff tops near Albany when I made this image. It was late in the day and the sun was about to set.  The light was angled low casting deep shadows between boulders. In contrast to the deep shadows bare granite rocks glistened almost white. This is a high contrast scene that taxes your ability to record it on colour transparency. Interesting light is nearly always photographically problematic.

Colourful Coastal Heath

As I looked towards the direction of the setting sun I saw the various hues of green, brown, crimson and delicate white tips carpeting the foreground. Thanks to The Wildflower Society WA members who helped identify the ground cover is Andersonia sprengelioides rather than Andersonia caerulea as I had originally thought.

Tech: Wista 4×5 field camera, velvia 50 ISO, 90mm Grandagon lens, no colour filter.

Posted on

Redgate Beach Western Australia

Redgate Beach Margaret River

Cape to Cape Trail

Redgate Beach Western Australia walking the Cape to Cape trail. I was walking from Bob’s Hollow to Redgate Beach. The day had started outed breezy but pleasant. Now it had suddenly turned stormy.

A blustery cold front was fast approaching the coast. Low scudding clouds moved rapidly across the sky. Dramatic displays of bright spots and dark  shadows moved across the coastline. A break in the clouds low on the horizon gave a late burst of sunlight illuminating the foreground rock. The surrounding tidal patterns made gentle swirls in the sand.


The light was rapidly changing and I needed to move fast. It’s times like these that familiarity with your photographic gear really helps. Luckily my camera is very simple to set up. Basically it is just a wooden box with leather bellows. There is a lens at one end and a sheet film at the other.

It was already spotting with rain and the wind had picked right up. I quickly opened my tripod and got my wooden field camera from out of my day pack. At my back were some low dunes. These just sheltered me from the full blast of the wind but also restricted my movement for composition. But without this shelter it would have been almost impossible to focus my camera with my head under the focusing cloth.

Sometimes to get a memorable image you have to take your camera out into dramatic and changing weather conditions. Salt spray, sand and rain can all take a toll on your gear.

Making the exposure at just the right moment was critical. I wanted the pyramidal spray of distant surf breaking against Isaacs Rocks to be central in the horizon. Redgate Beach Western Australia was made with a single exposure on my last remaining 4×5 sheet for the day.


Velvia 4×5 inch film Wista Field Camera and 90mm lens.

Posted on

Forest floor Porongurup National Park Western Australia

forest floor porongurup national park

Forest floor detail Porongurup National Park

Forest floor Porongurup National Park Western Australia. The weathered granite domes and outcrops of this range were formed deep underground when Australia collided with Antarctica to form Gondwana. In the valleys formed between the domes grow the most eastern remnants of karri forest.

Karri trees shed great strips of bark around Autumn and the forest floor was littered with it. Rain had dampened the bark further enhancing its deep red colour. Karri leaves also littered the floor and their bright yellow contrasted with the red bark.

I remember having to kneel down on my hands and knees for this image. The light level was so low in the rain that the exposure took about 2 minutes on velvia 4×5 inch sheet film.


Posted on

Denmark Native Pigface Wilson Head Western Australia

Native pigface Wilson Head Denmark

Denmark Native Pigface Wilson Head Western Australia.

This beautiful headland near Denmark has views across the Wilson Inlet towards the stunning Nullaki Peninsula.

Hidden around this rugged headland are sheltered coves which afford some semblance of shelter from the prevailing winds. As a result the botanical diversity clinging to these sandy wind blown slopes is amazing. In a single square metre you will discover a myriad of small plants and bushes. This is especially noticeable around spring time when the different plants produce their distinctive flowers.

Most dominant are the striking pink or mauve flowers of the Native Pigface. This unfortunately named dune loving succulent has a yellow flowering South African relative.  It is more common than the pink flowered variety. You can easily find South African variety growing profusely in coastal dunes around the west and south coasts.


Posted on

Sundews South West Australia wild flowers Pemberton

sundews south west australia

Sundews South West Australia Pemberton.

Sundews South West Australia take their family name from the word Drosera. This family name refers to the plants’ dewdrop like sticky secretions. If you look carefully you will see them covering their leaves.

Most of the coastal regions have ancient soils and as a result are poor in trace nutrients. Sundews have evolved their own way of dealing with this problem by eating insects. Although they do not have teeth they are carnivorous plants.

Insects searching for food are attracted to the flowers. They become stuck in the delicate but highly sticky honey-like secretions. Unable to move the unfortunate bug is then digested by these secretions. This leads to the release of nutrients the sundew could otherwise not obtain from the soil.

This image was published in my book about the landscape surrounding the Pemberton Wine Region.

Posted on

Warren River Moons Crossing Pemberton

Warren River Moons Crossing

Warren River Moons Crossing Pemberton

Warren River Moons Crossing Pemberton. This is a popular camping and fishing spot with the locals within the Warren National Park. It is best approached by 4WD, especially in wet weather as the track is steep and parts can become slippery with mud. Fringed by towering karri forest the river alternates between broad open sections of slow moving water to shallow rapids over rocks and through tea tree thickets.

This image was used for a double page spread in my book about the landscape surrounding the Pemberton Wine Region.

In the days of the first Europeans moving into the area there were of course no roads or bridges. They traveled through the forest on horseback towing their belongings in a cart. Obstructed by the river they were forced to search for naturally shallow areas of the river they could cross. Moons’ Crossing is one such place.

Posted on

Modified Stand Development Ilford FP4 with Foma R09 and LC29

Modified Stand Development Ilford FP4

In my recent experiments with modified stand development I was surprised to find that I could not only reduce contrast in the highlights but actually improved middle and lower values separation with almost half a stop film speed increase. The following results are from stand developing FP4 4x5 sheet film with Foma R09 and Ilford LC29 developers.

Why use Modified Stand Development?

For those of you new to Modified Stand Development, it essentially involves minimal film developer agitation compared to more common film development agitation techniques.

The image above is an example where the use of a modified stand development in a high contrast situation helps to retain important tonal values. Here I used FP4 4x5  film which I stand developed in highly dilute Foma R09 developer. The camera was pointing directly into the sun just behind the paperbarks. A hand printed silver gelatin print was made on Fomabrom 16x20 inch fibre based paper.

For the past few months I have been trying out FP4 film in 4x5 format. In a previous post I discussed how to establish your personal film speed index and normal development time using a few step wedge tests. These tests do not require expensive densitometers. All exposures in these tests where made with Ilford FP4 rated at 64 ISO.

In this post I am exploring a modified stand development technique. High contrast situations abound in photography and one of the chief benefits of stand development is to lower contrast without loss in film speed.

Treading where others have gone before

It was whilst attending a John Sexton lecture in 1995 that I first heard about Sexton's use of minimal agitation and dilute developer in handling extreme contrast. He was photographing the space shuttle and Hoover Dam for his book Places of Power. Sexton outlined in detail his use of dilute HC110 developer. Not only did he achieve lower contrast but he found improved separation of middle to low print values.

More recently my interest was piqued by a reference to modified stand development in Bruce Barnbaum's "The Art of Photography" and Ray McSavaney's works.

You may ask why bother with a modified stand development? In high contrast situations you can shorten film development to suppress the development of dense parts of the negative, and therefore reduce overall film contrast. But shorter than normal development times, sometimes referred to as N-1 or N-2 development come at the cost of film speed. 

Shadow areas of the image receive less development when using a short development time.  The result is loss of shadow details and effective film speed and this has been well documented in Ansel Adams' photography series "The Negative". You can see this loss in my N-2 step wedge test below in Modified Stand Development comparison of low values.

Step wedges for comparison

To chart my results in a measurable way I reverted back my use of step wedges as previously described in my post on conducting film speed tests. Making a series of step wedge photos photographed in identical lighting  I exposed the films one after the other and put them aside for developing later under differing developing conditions. In this article I describe 4 different conditions for comparison.

1. Normal development 10 min with LC29 continuous agitation

My normal development for Ilford FP4 and LC29 is 10 minutes @ 20ºC with continuous development in a Jobo processor. I dilute 15mls of  LC29 concentrate with 585mls water. After development I follow with the standard stop bath and fixing procedures.

Continuous film agitation Jobo processor
Continuous film agitation Jobo processor

2. Stand development 30 min with LC29 developer

My first stand development tests with Ilford FP4 4x5 was with my regular developer of choice Ilford LC-29. Initially, my first development test was as short as 10 minutes, but after several tries I eventually settled upon the following: 30 minutes using 15 ml of LC29 added to 1400mls of water

  • Pre-soak the film for 3 minutes
  • First 20 secs pour developer into tank
  • Complete first minute agitating with one tank inversion every second
  • Stand  Jobo film tank in a 20ºC water bath
  • 2mins give 5 tank inversions in 5 seconds and return to stand in water bath
  • 10mins give 5 tank inversions in 5 seconds and return to stand in water bath
  • 20mins give 5 tank inversions in 5 seconds and return to stand in water bath
  • 30 minutes discard the dilute developer and proceed with normal stop bath and fixing
Water bath stand film development
Water bath for stand development

3. Stand development 30 min with R09 developer

  • 30 minutes using 6 ml of R09 added to 1400mls of water

All other steps the same as in test 2.

4. N-2 development 6 min with LC29 continuous agitation

N-2 development for Ilford FP4 and LC29 is 6 minutes @ 20ºC with continuous development in a Jobo processor. I dilute 15mls of  LC29 concentrate with 585mls water. After development I follow with the standard stop bath and fix steps.

About Step Wedges

These are contact printed step wedges made on grade 2 normal fibre based paper showing print values.

This 21 step wedge measures Zone 10 at step 1 and Zone 0 at step 21.

Each step represents a one half stop difference. Step 11 represent Zone 5, Step 7 represent Zone 7 and Step 5 represents Zone 8.

Modified Stand Development comparison of the high values

The top step wedge for FP4 10 mins LC29 continuous agitation shows normal development for the highlights. Texture would be held in Step 7/ Zone 7 but by Step 5/Zone 8 fades to just off paper white - indicated by red arrow. This is normal contrast as printed on normal - grade 2 - photographic paper.

The second wedge down is FP4 30 mins Stand development in LC29. It show good equivalent middle value at Step 11 compared to the top wedge. Its high print values at Step 5/Zone 8 show slightly more tone than normal, indication slightly less highlight development. The degree of contraction is about N-0.5

The third wedge is 30 mins Stand development in Foma R09. Notice the extended greys from Step 11/Zone 5 right through to Step 1/Zone 10. There is no pure white showing. Development of the negative receiving the greatest amount of exposure has been slowed right down. On this test it looks like the degree of contraction is N-4 or greater.

The bottom wedge is N-2 development 6 min LC29 continuous agitation. Step 1/Zone 10 has greater whiteness and hence negative density than the R09 wedge immediately above. However it grey scales extend much further from Step 11/Zone 5 to Step 1/Zone 10 than in the two wedges above it. Contraction appears close to N-2.

Modified Stand Development High Values Results

Modified Stand Development comparison of the low values

Now lets examine the low print values.

Step 11 represents Zone 5, Step 15 represent Zone 3 and Step 21 represents Zone 0.

The top step wedge for FP4 10 mins LC29 continuous agitation shows normal separation for the low print values.  Shadow texture would be held in Step 15/ Zone 3.  But by Step 18/Zone 1.5 - indicated by red arrow, it almost becomes indistinguishable from paper black. This is normal contrast as printed on normal - grade 2 - photographic paper.

The second wedge down is FP4 30 mins Stand development in LC29. It shows improved separation of values in especially around Step 17/Zone 2 and Step 18/Zone 1.5 when compared with the wedge above. On the paper proof expansion look equivalent to about one half stop, that is one whole step in the step wedge.

The third wedge is 30 mins Stand development in Foma R09. Again there are improved separation of values in especially around Step 17/Zone 2 and Step 18/Zone 1.5 when compared with the normal wedge above. Again, there is about half a stop in film speed gain. Step 11/ Zone 5 looks a little darker than Step 11 in the normal wedge.

The bottom wedge is N-3 development 6 min LC29 continuous agitation. Step 17/Zone 2 is darker than its equivalent Step 17/Zone 2 in the normal wedge. This would suggest a film speed drop of one half stop, consistent with the findings of other photographers.

Modified Stand Development Low Values Results


Modified Stand Development of Ilford FP4 4x5 film not only can reduce film contrast but can increase film speed with improved separation of low to middle tones. This was achieved with both Foma R09 and Ilford LC-29 developers when using 30 minute developing times.

At 30 minutes development Foma R09 demonstrates a greater "compensating" effect than Ilford LC-29. The R09 at 30 minutes achieved a contraction in high values of at least 4 stops.

In general longer development of film with subsequently less agitation assists in the production of improved separation of the middle to lower values. The technique allows for both normal film contrast and lower film contrasts to be achieved.

Modified Stand Development is an important contrast control technique  and may also have great application to photographers using roll film.


Ansel Adams, The Negative, second volume of the Ansel Adams Photography Series, New York Graphic Society, 1981

Bruce Barnbaum The Art of Photography 2nd Ed, Rocky Nook California, 2017

John Sexton, Australia and New Zealand Tour 1995 Seminar Notes, Kodak Professional Imaging, 1995

Foma R09 can be purchased in Australia from Chris Reid at Blanco Negro

Posted on

Pemberton Southern Forests Western Australia


Pemberton -film location for Jasper Jones

Visiting Pemberton Western Australia is like stepping back in time. It was the perfect location for the recent filming of Jasper Jones, starring Toni Collette and Hugo Weaving.

Pemberton is one of the few remaining south west towns  that still have surviving buildings from earlier times. Rustic timber mill houses, a main street, meeting halls and back alleyways all speak of yesteryear.

Pemberton mill town workers' cottages Pemberton, Western Australia
Mill workers' cottages

Pemberton Millhouse Cafe, Pemberton, Western Australia
Vintage cars on a jolly, stop at a main street cafe

Pemberton Misty morning karri forest near Pemberton Western Australia
Misty morning karri forest near town

A Brief History

Pemberton history goes back a long way. Nyoongar people hunted, gathered and traveled extensively throughout the region for thousands of years. By comparison Europeans have only been here for a blink of an eye. 

karri forest mist australia
Pemberton forest

Grazing and Timber

Around 1860, European settlement started with grazing and pastoralists. In 1907 the construction of Trans Australian Railway Line created a huge demand for thousands of wooden sleepers. Meeting this demand a hardwood timber mill was established in Pemberton and supplied by the local forests. Prized hardwoods, such as karri and jarrah trees were used in the construction of the Indian Pacific line.

Cattle grazing Autumn Pemberton Western Australia
Cattle grazing Autumn

Early Agriculture

Yet agriculture in the south west was still struggling. In a bid to boost population and clear more land for agriculture, the State Government embarked on the Group Settlement Scheme around 1920. The Scheme enticed post World War One British ex-servicemen and their families to take up farming. Many applicants to the Scheme had no agricultural experience. Nor where they made aware that the land promised was uncleared karri forest. With little more than an axe and spade supplied by the government, the settlers were faced with clearing land for crops and cattle with their bare hands. Needless to say, it was an abject failure with many families starving and walking off the land.

Beedelup Falls above Karri Valley Dam

Hops and Tobacco

Tobacco were grown within the region for a short time.  During World War Two there was a tobacco shortage and production was at its peak. However production declined not long after.

Hops for beer making was grown for nearly 50 years. They were used by Perth's Swan Brewery. To irrigate the hops, Waterfall Dam also referred to as Karri Valley Dam was constructed at Beedelup Brook. Eventually the hops market became less viable. Eastern States hops could be produced at lower cost, which spelt the end to that industry.

Gourmand Awards Karri Valley Dam Karri Valley Resort Pemberton
Relaxing early morning fishing at Karri Valley Dam

A second wave of migration of European migrants occurred after World War Two. Agriculture was still slow to develop until tractors became more widely available. This lead to the rapid clearing of land. Many of the migrants came from farming backgrounds. What followed was an expansion of cattle farming and agriculture.


Four National Parks

With time other industries such as tourism developed. The town's close proximity to several national parks gave visitors a range of attractions. There are towering karri forests, secluded rivers, inland sand dunes and rugged coastline.

White sand and tannin water Donnelly River

Donnelly River Pemberton
Sunset, Donnelly River D'Entrecasteaux National Park

Donnelly River Cruises near Pemberton.
Majestic rivers and rugged coast Donnelly River near Pemberton.

There are several national parks adjacent to Pemberton.  These include the Warren National Park, Beedelup National Park, Gloucester National Park, and the D’Entrecasteaux National Park. There are rugged coastlines and extensive inland sand dunes.

Winter flow, Lefroy Brook, karri forest, Pemberton, Western Australia
Winter, Lefroy Brook Pemberton

D’Entrecasteaux National Park, Western Australia
Limestone cliffs D’Entrecasteaux National Park

Yeagarup Dunes, Pemberton region, D’Entrecasteaux National Park, Western Australia
Sunrise and low mist at nearby Yeagarup Dunes D’Entrecasteaux National Park

Others consist of heavily forested regions with sheltered rivers and creeks. Farmlands and vineyards boast large  dams which characterise much of regions’s unique landscape.

Warren River at Moons Crossing, Pemberton region, Warren National Park, Western Australia
Warren River at Moons Crossing Warren National Park

These parks and the proximity to the Southern Ocean contribute to a clean environment for food, wine and tourism.

Sundews Jarrah forest Pemberton
Sundews Jarrah forest

Pemberton Artists

Artists have been drawn to the Pemberton region for years. If you are visiting the area call by the studio of Peter Kovacsy. Peter is a renowned artist who has been living and working in the region for several decades. Through the mediums of wood metal and glass, Peter references the environment and the interplay of light. He is the only local creative with a studio arts practice. His studio gallery is well worth a visit, you may even be lucky enough to see a work in progress.

peter kovacsy gallery 2008
Peter Kovacsy Studio

Climbing Giants

At around sixty metres tall, karri trees are some of the tallest eucalyptus trees in Australia. To the ever resourceful forest workers they also served as useful fire lookout towers. You can climb these lookouts but it is not for the faint-hearted. Two fire lookout trees open to the public. The Bicentennial Tree in Warren National Park and the Gloucester Tree in the Gloucester National Park.

Climbing the Gloucester Tree

Pemberton Cool Climate Wine Region

With its clean environment, proximity to the Southern Ocean and buffering by national parks the region  attracted the attention of the wine industry. Described as a cool climate wine region it offers the advantage of a slow and controlled development of the grapes. This is desired by wine makers for enhancing flavour development.

Pemberton cool climate vineyards
Morning mist lifting off vines near Pemberton

Initially just a handful of vineyards and cellar doors had set up around Pemberton. The Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation gazetted the Pemberton Wine Region in 2006. It extended south of Manjimup towards Northcliffe with Pemberton at its centre.

Pemberton Wine Region Book

In 2008 I published the hardcover book Pemberton Wine Region Western Australia. It is the first premium quality photography book to focus on this emerging region.

Pemberton vineyards
Vineyard beside towering forest
pemberton grape harvest
Hand picking grapes

The region's unique terrior is visually explored, showcasing its outstanding natural beauty. Images of majestic forests, rivers, massive sand dunes and rugged coastline capture the landscape that shapes the region’s wine and character.

pemberton wine region book

Silkwood Winery Pemberton
Vineyard lunch beside the water

The book was the Australian finalist in two categories at the Gourmand Book Awards recently held in Paris 2010. The categories were Best Wine Photography and Best Book on New World Wines.

Australian Wine Region Pemberton Autumn Colours Picardy
Vineyard in Autumn

Pemberton wine region Autumn colour
Autumn in the vineyard
Posted on

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.