The return of the Picture Postcard
After an absence of 21 months, the Picture Postcard is back in cyberprint—thanks to me now having the time I need to do it justice. On the cusp of an exciting new chapter, I will soon retire and do what I am meant to do: practising; learning; presenting; writing; teaching; encouraging...living a truly photographic life.
From now on, the Picture Postcard exists in the form of this blog annexed to my website. Posts will be brief, more accessible on a range of devices, and more regular.
The style of content will be similar to the old Picture Postcard but more interactive and, I hope, more useful for those who share a passion for photography. Video and sound will play a role in the new delivery, as they do in my presentations and workshops.
Let's get started!
Why so passionate about photography?
It teaches me to see. When you're a photographer you see the world in a different way. You notice things that go unnoticed by others. How do I know this? Because I've heard non-photographers remarking so often: "How did you see that?"; "Why didn't I see that?"; when looking at serious photographers' photographs.
I look, I see, I feel. That's a part of me—the way I feel about things that I see in the world around me: nature; drama; beauty; horror; harmony; rhythm; pathos; design; juxtaposition..to name a few. Through photography I have a chance to show other people how I feel about stuff. That's both exciting and fulfilling; reason enough to be passionate.
Dorothea Lange said "The camera is an instrument that teaches people to see without a camera." That might sound like an abstruse or flippant comment. It's so simple but true.
As a photographer, I look at the world around me with what I like to call rectangular intent...even when I'm not carrying a camera. It's what happens when you become addicted to this art. There's something wonderful about excising a snippet of the scene beheld and enclosing it in a rectangle, the bounds of a photographic study. By doing so we are saying to those who would look at the photograph, "This is what engaged my eye and heart when I was there. Above all else, this is how I saw it—what I kept of the experience".
It's as simple as that.
We arrived at the Wilson River Nature Reserve at 09:00 in the morning, a group of friends in photography. Laid before us was a rainforest habitat, a crystal river, and the prospect of a day to explore it with our eyes and imaginations.
Agreeing to meet back at the picnic area at noon for lunch and discussion, we each went our own ways.
I walked across a rustic timber bridge and into the shade of the trackless forest, keeping the tumbling river within earshot. I knew the water, always full of promise, would draw me like a magnet as usual, but determined first to explore the damp forest margin as I headed upstream. It's too easy to fall into the trap of repeating what comes easily.
I hadn't gone far when I discovered a story. Up ahead, a glimpse of red among the greens and browns caught my eye. Soon I was standing over a bedraggled smatter of red and blue feathers and grey down pasted on earth and a rotting log; the grounded remains of a crimson rosella (Platycercus elegans) known to bushmen as the mountain lowry. Even after death I felt that the scant remains of its vivid feathers were living up to its Latin name.
What had killed it? Because of the habitat, my guess was a grey goshawk (Accipiter novaehollandiae), an agile raptor with powerful legs and talons and short wings for manoeuvrability among the trees and vines of forest. I imagined the rosella's alarm call, a short chase, the flurry of feathers, and the piercing vice grip—then silence.
Phillipa, I'd be delighted for you to quote me (from PP 15 Nov 2014 - 'How's the serenity'). Artists unite! It's available on a T-shirt along with some other favourites I've collected and my motto 'If it moves you, shoot it!' :-)
I LOVE your comment "Of course I Photoshopped it, I'm an Artist". Can I quote this?
Am sick of people suspiciously looking at my work and asking the obvious!
What a lovely start to November. As always I love your work and look forward to seeing more of it. I am sure you are not retiring but transitioning to a new stage of life. Thank you and good luck with it all...
WOW I love the photo Sunbathers, I love the commentary, I love the process, the ideas and sharing how you come about the final image. Thanks. I'm so happy you are back!!
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