Natures Voice

Nature means different things to different people. I used to think of nature as a place of chirping birds, fresh air and intriguing things to be discovered, but now I feel a deeper connection.

It now seems a little strange to think of nature as having boundaries, a line where nature begins and other things end. Nature can’t be separated into parks and enclosures, away from things which aren’t nature. Nature finds itself everywhere. Nature just is. We are part of nature. It doesn’t take much to observe nature, to discover the clues and the parallels with our own lives, to find that we aren’t so different after all.

Humans specialise in planning, building and organising while nature suffers from our selfish battles for comfort and prosperity. It seems ironic that our collective lack of forward thinking is natures biggest curse, when it could be her greatest hope.

I have written the following poem to express the way I feel about nature, it was inspired by Australia’s southern landscapes, the landscapes I consider home.

Nature sways with inspiration,
reflecting ourselves, she is our teacher.
She shares our struggles and changing moods,
soaks in, adapts;
the dew falls upon her.
A fiery day withers and creaks,
and into our soul directly she speaks.

Mitchell Creek

2022, High Country, Victoria

A branch hanging over Mitchell Creek, Black and White
A fallen tree hangs over Mitchell Creek in the Victorian High Country

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The following two images, ‘Daydream‘ & ‘The Longer I Stand‘, were moments where I came to realise something new. Although the concepts weren’t new to me, I found I was photographing thoughts, ideas and emotions rather than simply capturing the places I found inspiring. They were moments that brought me full circle, back to the experiences of my younger years exploring in the landscape.

These moments made me realise that capturing the experience of nature, the effects of nature and a love of nature was completely different to simply making pictures of the places I visited. In a way, these pictures brought me closer to my childhood memories of those far away and seemingly untouched lands.

The Longer I Stand

2018, Toolangi, Victoria

The Longer I Stand
This small section of rain forest in Toolangi feels ancient and can be overwhelming to take in, I mean to really take in. Many pass through within a few moments. I find the longer I stand, the more I see. I begin to see details and relationships I had missed before. Sometimes a photograph needs time, just like an ancient forest.

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Daydream

2018, Murrindindi, Victoria

Daydream
The more I consider what photography is about, the more I realise it’s not about photography at all.

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A Walk In The Rainforest

2021, Black Spur, Victoria

A Walk In The Rainforest
To capture the Black Spur on camera, or any place for that matter, is a lot to ask from a multi sensory experience.  This image was merged from a static and dynamic frame to give a sense ‘being there’ which really pleases me.

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Black Spur Giants

2020, Black Spur, Victoria

Black Spur Giants
I’ve been in awe of these towering Mountain Ash since I was a child.

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Mountain Ash

2020, Black Spur, Victoria

Mountain Ash

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Over the past few years I have been making images of these wonderful chestnut trees, as the autumn branches find themselves nearly bare.

Chestnut Trees III

2020, Victoria

Chestnut Trees III
The colours of early winter and perhaps one of my favourite images.

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Chestnut Trees II

2019, Victoria

Chestnut Trees II
I find myself returning to this chestnut orchard as the years and seasons pass, and find very different moods.

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Chestnut Trees I

2018, Victoria

Chestnut Trees I
A cool foggy morning amongst the chestnuts.

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Vale of Belvoir

2019, Vale of Belvoir, Tasmania

Vale of Belvoir
Strong winds and a thick fog enveloped the Vale. The Vale of Belvoir in northern Tasmania remains relatively unknown with it’s often bleak appearance, at least in comparison to Tassie’s better known landscapes. It’s been used as grazing land over the last century or so and is now reserved primarily for the conservation of its unique grasslands, old-growth rainforest and at-risk species like the Tassie Devil and spotted-tail Quoll.

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Resilience

2018, Mutawintji, New South Wales

Resilience, Mutawintji
Mutawintji, in outback New South Wales has seen its fair share of land degradation and cultural destruction. To me at least, this tree living beside a canyon wall symbolises resilience in the land and a hope for the future.

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Myrtle

2019, Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania

Myrtle
Myrtle can be so expressive! These beautiful trees live in a patch of cool temperate rainforest between Lake St Clair and Mt Rufus, Tasmania.

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Transitions

2018, Healsville – near Maroondah Dam, Victoria

Transitions
A study colour and transformation.

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Black Spur Rays

2015, Black Spur, Victoria

Black Spur Rays
The Black Spur is often foggy, but the combination of light and atmosphere needs just the right balance to deliver rays this spectacular. I had been walking through the Black Spur when I spotted a deer hiding in the trees just a few meters away. It’s deafening call broke the silence and startled me. When I turned around again, the blue-gray morning had transformed and I suddenly felt about three inches tall, an incredible moment.

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Winter Approaches

2012, Lake Mountain, Victoria

Winter Approaches
Snow gums, scattered boulders and fresh air; my childhood memories of Lake Mountain.  Unfortunately this area is still recovering from the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires and will remain forever changed. 

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John Hardiman
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