I am currently working on my new photo website and here are a few images from the "still here" series. These images were taken a few days after the terrible fires. I presume, most people from around the world would have heard of the Victorian Bush Fire. It’s was a large scale nature disaster and unfortunately a lot of people lost their lives and many more lost their homes and belongings. I am not a writer and I still cant find the right words to explain how sad and devastated I felt. How helpless.
At that time I was working around Smith Gully. I got up early one morning to record the burned forests. But ll I could see was the haze and smell the smoke. When I stopped I was ankle deep in ash and worried about how much more was going to get burned. About the dead people, people who suddenly lost their family and friends, about the chaos and heartbreak. I simply couldn't understand what I saw.
My usual aim is to find beauty and not disaster and devastation.
But I was drawn by this idea that I had to record the burned forests. That these images might work well with my forest project I have been working on over the last couple of years. I never made it to the forest. Roads were closed and my emotions were running high and I was rather teary.
I remember feeling guilty standing there taking photos, but suddenly I saw and found beauty in the most unexpected places.