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Q+A with Laura

What inspires you?

It may sound cliché but nature will always be my greatest inspiration.

 

There is so much beauty in our Australian bush and I find that by simply slowing down and engaging the senses - tuning in to the sights, the sounds, the smells, in those quiet moments - that's when the magic is revealed.

 

Life on a micro scale is a beautiful thing - the way the light is refracted in a raindrop, glinting on a leaf like a tiny jewel. The way a eucalyptus blossom unfurls, slowly and perfectly, from the inside out. The awe-inspiring, intricate detail of so many of our native flowers. There is so much beauty in the most ordinary of moments.

 

The perfectly-imperfect arrangement of leaves and gum nuts as they lie on the forest floor. The warm, earthy tones and rich texture that can be found in a single strip of bark. There is a pure, raw magic to be found within our Australian bush and native flora that I find so inspiring, and is the constant driving force behind my work.

What's your photographic style?

A bit of a purist at heart, I’d describe my photographic style as quite loose and freeform, with a strong emphasis on telling the story of each of my subjects with total authenticity.

 

I don’t use a studio, a flash or a tripod, and love the adventure of being out in the bush with just a camera and backpack of lenses. This means that I am often at the mercy of nature, both with regards to finding the right composition, and achieving a crisp image despite the wind that all too often seems to seek me out! 

My artistic inspiration is based primarily upon the clean, high-key style of traditional botanical illustrations. However as it is of great personal importance to not use any form of digital manipulation to create those 'white' backgrounds artificially, over the years I have experimented with techniques that would enable me to record both my subject, and background, in-camera. 

 

Although it does require a combination of elements to achieve consistent results in differing natural light conditions, the base element in all of my high-key images is simply Nature’s greatest diffuser - an overcast sky.

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Why Australian natives?

The more time I spend observing and learning about our Australian natives, the more inspired I become. Not just for their shining beauty and intricate detail, or incredible diversity - I also love our natives for their strength, and resilience to weather our harsh Australian climate.

 

We are so blessed to have such inspiring flora in our own, big backyard. Living in some of the most inhospitable places on earth, our amazing natives endure heat, droughts and flooding rains with equal fortitude. 

 

In January 2005, one of the most devastating fires to hit South Australia swept across Eyre Peninsula with such ferocity it was difficult to comprehend. Landscapes, lives and livelihoods were destroyed in a blaze so fierce it reached upwards of 1000 degrees celsius, at speeds of over 100km/hour. Naturally, after such devastation it was impossible at the time to think the area would ever support life again. But watching our native species slowly rise after the first rains - from the blackened, totally barren landscape seemingly devoid of all life - was a truly awe-inspiring experience to witness.

 

When I stop to ponder and reflect upon even a few of the countless things that make our Australian species so special, it reinforces time and again the deep respect, appreciation, and connection I feel with my native surroundings.

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