The Pilbara Project Teaser

The Pilbara Project from Michael Fletcher on Vimeo.

Well here it is. A post at last. In my defense editing video is a longer process than editing one still image at a time. Those stills guys, Tony, Les, Christian, and Peter have it easy.

It was a real honor to be involved with “The Pilbara Project” and many thanks go to FORM for giving me the opportunity to hang out with some amazing photographers and not just the professional ones. It was also great to see the graduates of the previous photographic courses enjoying the experience of shooting with the pros and not being intimidated by their experience.

This clip though short took a lot of time to produce and I am already seeing ways I could of done it better but it’s just a taste of what is to come. I have hours of footage and audio to sort through and hope to add to the project in future visits to the Pilbara with my new mates Les, Tony, Peter x2, Carolyn, Linda, Jane, Faye, Judith, Nicole, and Simon. Christian didn’t get a mention because he’s my brother not my mate (too long sharing the same room hehe!!) but I must say that he is instrumental in all of us being here and for that reason I think we all cant thank him enough.

Cheers for now guys……

Mike Fletcher

My Pilbara Project

On Landscape:  Inherited expectations are reduced to no more than a hinderance against the vast spaces that belittle my concept of time and distance. Work dominates this landscape but doesn’t define it.  Vast projects shrink beside the land they try to possess, while everything is overpowered by the magnificent skies. Gold mines, both literal and imagined leave their mark, in both the landscape, and our dealings with it. The lie of the land can be deafening out here.

On Photography:  The colour palette I’m working with encompasses the entire visible spectrum: from purple, blue-cyan, green-yellow, to orange-red. A palette as broad and as muted as the land that reflects it. Even the most beautiful lenses fall short of seeing everything there is. How can a single plane of critical focus capture the complexity and sheer majestic presence of the Pilbara? I’m finding I need to combine numerous optical layers to even reach its surface.

On Editing Images:  I find myself needing to reduce the dominance of red. This washes clean the magenta-purples of distant ranges, clarifies the yellows in the spinifex, releases the vastness of the sky, adds vibrance to green foliage, and highlights the orange of the rocks and soil. This simple act shifts the land (orange) and the sky (cyan-blue) onto the colorimetric colour temperature curve. Light then appears to emanate from the land, and the land in turn lights up the sky.

On Weather:  A massive dust storm erupted, sucking vast quantities of soil into the sky. Between the lightening flashes and the spot fires they created, the sky had challenged the earth, and inherited the land. Later as the storms raged ahead of us, the storm clouds reflecting the land below shifted to purple. This dialectic between land and sky upstages our pictorial expectations. Yet another welcome surprise in a land full of surprises, both ancient and new.

On Art:  What I’m doing here comes from personal necessity. We all collect the richness of human significance in the best ways we know how. I’m no different. I’m just trying to visualize and analyze those ideas that don’t make sense to me, and hopefully this material thinking will be of some delight for others. Its genealogy is what delights me. Though ultimately my opinion is less interesting than what it might mean for someone to hold such an opinion. Like the land, I’m so happy to just be here.

Les Walkling

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FORM is an independent, not for profit organisation dedicated to advocating for and developing creativity in Western Australia.