Paperbarks Margaret River near Wallcliffe House.
Paperbarks Margaret River
Ready to hang
Framed Aluminium – graphite 74.5cm x 61.5cm
40x50cm Hand Printed Silver Gelatin Print, window mounted behind clear acrylic sheet
Signed, numbered, 2 of Edition of 10
Includes Postage and Insurance within Australia
This wonderful stand of old trees was located near Wallcliffe House, by the banks of the Margaret River. I say that now in the past tense. I happened to make this image just weeks before fires razed the Prevelly Park region in November 2011. The fire resulted in the loss of several homes and historic Wallcliffe House. It was such a hot burn it devastated the coastal heath and surrounding areas.
At the time I stood admiring the age of the trees I could not have envisaged a fire ravaging this area so soon. Fire is part of the ecological cycle in the Australian bush. Ironically, this fire was started by authorities with the aim to minimise risk. It did the exact opposite. 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. To open up the shadow details I gave additional exposure and reduced development to N-1. My technique for handling such high contrast scenes has changed. I no longer reduce development, but prefer to use a highly compensating film developing technique. That way I can give really strong exposure in the shadows while not losing detail in the bright areas.
Wista 4×5 on Kodak T Max film, I think it was a 150mm lens