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ABSTRACT NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY : A JOURNEY THAT BEGAN ALONG THE GIBB RIVER ROAD
Having started out my photography as a commercial photographer I was used to being able to control every element of an image. I like ‘no fuss’ images and my style tends to lean towards minimalism. Concentrating on line and form comes quite naturally to me. Although I still like to work in a studio environment I have, over the years, found myself spending more and more time outdoors and enjoy all that nature has to offer. My photographic dilemma however was how to photograph, how to create an image, when I had no control over the scene. The sheer scale of nature has always been confusing to my photographic eye.
It was on a road trip along The Gibb River Road in 2016 that I discovered that by zooming in or using a macro lens to compose abstract images, I was able to create minimalist, abstract photographs of anything that nature presented. Concentrating only on shape, colour and texture I can create an image which has no bearing on reality, an image which to my mind is aesthetically pleasing. My ultimate reward is always when a viewer stops and lingers over one of these images.
AND SO MY JOURNEY INTO MAKING ABSTRACT NATURE PHOTOGRAPHS BEGAN
In 2016 I was part of a small photographic group on a road trip, travelling from Broome, Western Australia, first to Cape Leveque, and then across the Gibb River Road to Kununurra. The photography for this trip was focused entirely on the incredible landscape of the region. It is remote. An area of approximately 423,000 square kilometres with an estimated population of only 36,230 (2017). Rocks of the region date back 1900 million years and indigenous inhabitants are believed to have arrived 45 000 to 60 000 years ago.
There was little wildlife for me to photograph (apart from a snake) but I can safely say that this was one of my best ever photographic experiences. It was at this time that I began to concentrate on making the abstract images which eventually lead to my Nature’s Abstractions series.
The Gibb River Road is primarily a dirt and gravel track, approximately 700km, through the heart of the Kimberley region. Accessible only in the dry season, and only by 4x4, it was a uniquely Australian experience. During the 10 days that it took to travel the 700+km of this journey we had multiple punctures and the extreme road conditions even lead to a broken axle (of the trailer). I was happy to not have had any responsibilities for the transport.
Traversing this ancient land by day, nights were spent in well-equipped camp grounds, alone in my one man tent. Many nights were spent directly beneath the stars. People don’t understand why I would want to do this, journey into the wild and sleep outdoors. I can only say that until you have experienced the pure serenity that nature provides it is difficult to explain the allure.
For a comprehensive view of my abstract nature photographs from this and subsequent nature trips take a look at the full series on my website.