Rob Blakers

Rock, ice, rainforest + Topophilia

Rob Blakers    Rock, ice, rainforest

Landscape photography takes us out of the studio and away from the situations that we control. It is the engagement of thought and planning, strenuous travel and intuition. It is the art of finding ourselves in places where we are drawn into subtle nature, and of seeking images that convey that experience.

This exhibition presents moments from wild landscapes in Tasmania. It comes from fine winter light on ice and mountains, elegant sand-dunes and sand-stone, and ephemeral mist in quiet forest. It is the amazing Tasmanian endemic gondwanan flora and lingering twilight over the western sea. It is a collection of encounters, mostly recent, from three decades of pursuit.

Read Rob’s opening speech below.

view images online

 

Olivia Hickey    Topophilia

Artist statement: I am an explorer of the outdoors with a deep and long held connection to the wild places. I am often drawn to the hidden details within the land and find myself captivated by the complexity and beauty in the small. I collect natural treasures mindfully, transmute them into silver and return them to place.

This process ensures that they are still part of the land and highlights the magic of the hidden details. I strive to capture the intangible moments and create talismans that connect people to the ephemeral elements of place so they can be worn on the landscape of the body.

view images online

 

 

Opening speech by Rob Blakers

Rock, Ice, Rainforest
Wild Island, February 5th 2016

“Almost half of the images on display tonight are in the direct line of the fires that continue to burn in western Tasmania.

The 100 and more fires that were lit by lightning strikes on 13th January have had a devastating impact on the Tasmanian natural landscape, and in particular on rainforest and alpine communities, which have no tolerance for fire. Fire has burnt at the edge of Australia’s largest rainforest wilderness in the Tarkine, and rolled around the western end of the Central Plateau, and at Lake Mackenzie and the February Plains, for more than 3 weeks. Trees, plants and organic soils that were upwards of a thousand years old have been killed. In a warming and drying climate this is a one-way process – those communities will not come back.

The loss of the highland Gondwanic endemics – pencil and King Billy pines, cushion plants and other alpine species, has been ongoing since white colonization of Tasmania. Less than half of the pencil pines that grew here 200 years ago now remain. Most of that loss has been caused by people, through fires that were deliberately lit and also through fires started inadvertently.

The fires of the last several weeks are different and mark the era in which we now find ourselves. We still have direct human folly, but the consequences of indirect human folly have, for the first time in history, eclipsed those. The fires that began on the 13th are not natural fires but are one terrible way in which climate change now manifests in Tasmania.

In the decade from 1993 to 2003 there were 17 wildfires ignited by lightning strikes in Tasmania. In the decade that followed there were 30. In the last month alone there have been upwards of 130. This, coupled with the driest summer ever recorded in western Tasmania, makes a critically dangerous situation. It is precisely what the climate change modeling predicted.

Pencil and King Billy pines are wonderful things; they have been my favorites since I first came to Tasmania. The highland Gondwanan landscapes are unique in Australia, and corresponding high altitude long lived trees are globally rare and diminishing. In light of these fires, however, I now see the alpine pine communities differently. I saw them before as an incredibly special and beautiful feature of the Tasmanian highlands. I still see them as that, but now see them also as fragile relicts that need our utmost protection. These plants have been around for 65 million years yet today face unprecedented threats. To lose them in the wild in coming decades, a very real prospect, would be a hideous indictment.

In their destructive spread the fires have cast a pall of smoke over Tasmania. They have also cast a pall over the collective mood of most of the people that I know – people who understand and care for wild places. It’s grief at the specific loss of ancient pines and deep rainforest, but it is more than that. For many of us this event has touched a dread that we have carried, not always consciously, for decades. It’s the understanding that humans have plundered the planet for selfish ends for a long time and that the inevitable consequences of that abuse are now in play.

Climate change has landed on our shores and today’s fires are a part of that, but plainly the crisis affects more than our beautiful pencil pines and rainforests. We are in a fight for the life of the planet.

The dread that we feel, and the events that are becoming increasingly apparent globally, can be powerful motivators. Faced with dire questions of our own survival, there has never been such incentive for positive change. To not fight is to plunge further into denial and despair. Our past cannot be our future.

We need to reduce our own impacts and help those either unable or unwilling, to also do so. We need to cultivate our vegetable plots and cultivate our resourcefulness, creativity and intuition.

Let’s hope that in a hundred years we can all look around and see the places in these pictures – flourishing groves of pencil and King Billy pine at Mt Anne, the Arthurs, and in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, verdant rainforest in the Weld and the Northeast, (and of course in the Tarkine National Park), all being rained bountifully upon in a repairing Tasmanian climate.”

Contours of Tasmania – Summer Exhibition

Group exhbition with works by Tasmanian artists Peter Dombrovskis, Michael Weitnauer, Rob Blakers, Chris Bell, Jenny Burnett, Simon Olding, Barbara Tassell, Julie Stoneman, Fyona Storer, Kelly Gerdes, Deborah Wace and Loic Le Guilly.

view images online

Bay of Fires landscape & night sky photography workshop

5 days of photography in the Bay of Fires and the Blue Tier

Join Rob Blakers and Loic Le Guilly for 5 days of landscape, wildlife and night sky photography, staying at the famous Bay of Fires Lodge in northeast Tasmania.

Enjoy delightful Tasmanian cuisine, elegant accommodation and some of the finest landscapes in Australia.

THIS WORKSHOP ALSO RUNS IN OCTOBER

SCROLL DOWN TO BOOK

BayOfFiresLodge
aurora-australis-Tasmania-1825

Take your photography to the next level

The Bay of Fires landscape & night sky photography workshop includes:

– Sunrise and sunset photography on deserted beaches and granite shorelines
– Night sky, and with luck, aurora photography
– Wildlife and woodlands
– Instruction tutorials on image processing, exposure blending, focus stacking, stitching, 360 panoramas, medium format digital and more
– Small group discussions and relaxed information-sharing
– Time to explore the landscape and for quiet reflection

Beginners welcome !

Medium format digital photography

You will have a unique chance to try the 80 megapixel medium format system that Rob Blakers uses to produce incredibly detailed wilderness images.

Rob will share the techniques he has refined over the last 30 years to capture the best possible images, including focus stacking.

 

SCROLL DOWN TO BOOK

IQ1_RobBlakers
thumb_huge

A 360 panorama of Eddystone Point near the Bay of Fires Lodge
where we will be staying

Learn the secrets of 360 imaging

Loic Le Guilly has been producing 360 panoramas for the last 15 years. He will teach you his workflow to get the results he shares on Tasmania 360.

Additional information

Accommodation at the Bay of Fires Lodge

Accommodation at the Bay of Fires Lodge is twin share. Single travelers may be required to share a twin room with someone of the same gender. To guarantee a single room for the duration of your stay a supplementary price of 75% of full fee will apply. Please request this at the time of booking.

The workshop price includes:

  • Blue Tier enchanted forestreturn transfers between Launceston and the Bay of Fires Lodge
  • all meals and non-alcoholic beverages. A selection of Tasmanian beer and wines will be available for purchase whilst at the Lodge.
  • National Park pass for the Mt William National Park
  • full participation in the workshop, including all tuition
  • The workshop price does not include insurance coverage for trip cancellation or interruption, travel accident or delay, baggage delay or baggage theft, medical or hospitalization expenses. We recommend that you obtain travel insurance to cover these unlikely possibilities, as well as coverage for loss or damage to personal items including photographic equipment.

Please note

Workshop participants are responsible for making their own way to the Workshop meeting point in Launceston.

Is the workshop suitable for me?

  • The Bay of Fires Photography Workshop will cater to a wide range of interests and levels of experience. With the Lodge as our base-camp there is considerable flexibility regarding where and how far we explore each day. That said, walking is our mode of transport. Participants should be in good physical condition and general health, capable of comfortably negotioating bush tracks and rocky foreshores whilst carrying camera equipment and warm clothes. Please contact us if you are uncertain in this regard.
  • LLG_6063-2Workshop participants will be required to complete a comprehensive registration form at the time of finalising the booking. Information on any medical conditions that might have a bearing on your capacity to successfully complete the workshop should be provided at that time.
  • The workshop is recommended for people aged 16 years and over.

What to bring

  • warm clothes for 5 days – remember, this is autumn in Tasmania and we will be out early and late, at night-time and also in mountain rainforest at the Blue Tier. A detailed gear list will be made available at the time of booking.
  • comfortable walking boots
  • comfortable large day-pack or voluminous camera bag with room for warm clothes, water bottle and snacks
  • camera kit, including tripod
  • light-weight shoes/runners for use at and around the Lodge
  • light umbrella for inclement weather
  • personal items including water bottle, tooth-brush etc

Payment

To secure your place for the Bay of Fires Photo Workshop full payment is required at the time of booking. This full payment is non-refundable. In the event that a workshop is cancelled due to inadequate enrollment or other circumstances beyond our control, all fees will be refunded in full.

Final payment may be made by direct deposit, cheque or credit card.

For further information please contact Wild Island at 03 6224 0220 or Rob Blakers 0427 232 539.

Become a friend of Wild Island

Join our mailing list and stay up-to-date with our events and cool new products.

Win a print by Rob Blakers, Loic Le Guilly or Simon Olding (random draw every 3 months).

Close this popup