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 Nature Photography :: About Rob :: Statement

"Miles from nowhere
Guess I'll take my time
To reach there
Look up at the mountain
I have to climb
To reach there ..."

Standing on one of the giant granite outcrops that give the Ramshead Range its character I watch the storm sweep towards me across the main range. The vision of Mt Kosciuszko falters then vanishes behind a wall of sleet; a wall that will engulf me before my beard is much longer.

Looking around I see nothing to remind me of humanity. No roads, no buildings, no people. Only nature's objects, the giant granite tors, last winter's surviving snowdrifts, and the approaching storm. I am alone with the elements in the solitude of the Australian bush.

For years I dreamed of being a landscape photographer, working with a traditional style of camera that's changed little in over a hundred years. The words of Frank-n-furter haunted me: "Don't dream it, be it" he implored. So I stopped dreaming, purchased a five-by-four field camera, and proceeded to "be it".

Raindrops return me to the present, turning from the weather I walk to my nearby shelter. As I tread the soft alpine heath I think about what drives me to photograph the landscape.

The words of Cat Stevens come to mind. Like him I'll climb the mountain, and like him I'll "reach there", but unlike him I'm searching for an elusive combination of shape and form. An interplay of natural entities such as eucalypt and granite. The right light, and the calm state of mind that allows me to stop looking at objects and start seeing relationships and balance.

Only when all these elements are in harmony do I find what I'm looking for. A tranquil state of mind and matter that allows me to create images that are, by most accounts, peaceful and beautiful.

For I feel privileged to know the solitude of the Australian bush and I hope that, through my photographs, those who have been there will remember; and those who have not will find the will to go.

The storm hits, plucking at the fabric of my frail shelter as if trying to cast it to the valley below. This is nature at its most raw, it's wild and it will get worse before I see the cold light of dawn. I lay down, close my eyes and search for sleep with the sound of rain on canvas as my guide.

I marvel at how lucky I am.

"...Miles from nowhere
Not a soul in sight
But it's alright"
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Copyright © 1973-2018 Rob Gray, All rights reserved.
PO Box 450, Gin Gin, QLD, Australia.