Julian Pearce Photography Julian Pearce Photography

About the Girraween portfolio

View the Giraween Portfolio

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These photographs were taken in Girraween National Park which lies on the border between Queensland and New South Wales. It is a place of granite boulders, clear sunlight and strong shadows, as well as the cool water from Bald Rock Creek which polishes the granite rocks over which it flows.

Having visited Girraween over many years, I decided in 2009 to spend a concentrated period over three years making photographs that capture the interplay between light and shadow, granite and water. The photographs explore the tension between chaos and order that is distinctively part of the Australian bush. They have been arranged in a sequence which shows the transition of the land from early morning, progressing through mid-morning to afternoon, and then dusk.

The photographs in the exhibition were taken using an ultra large format camera which produces negatives 11x14 inches in size. They have been printed from the original in-camera negative using the 19th century photographic technique of platinum/palladium printing. This involves coating watercolour paper with sensitised platinum and palladium salts and exposing the negative and the coated paper to UV light.

I find great pleasure (and occasionally frustration) in making these hand crafted photographs using traditional techniques and a large camera. The advantage of this approach is that the platinum/palladium is well suited to the high contrast that arises from strong sunlight and deep shadows and shows good detail in the highlights.

The photographs in the exhibition have previously been exhibited at point light gallery in Sydney from September to October 2012. The Girraween portfolio is being exhibited at the Queensland Centre for Photography from 23 February to 24 March 2013.

The catalogue comments by Mark Kimber, Head of Photography at UniSA include:

"The platinum process may have its origins in the nineteenth century but is at play here not for its olde worlde┬Ł quaintness but for its exquisite tonal qualities, After all there is no future in nostalgia. Julian's images are steeped in time, time in taking images, time in developing the negatives, time in making these glorious, sumptuous prints. They now invite us to spend time with each of them, dwelling on the play of morning or afternoon light on the surface of rock, tree bark or water. "

I hope you enjoy my photographs of this special Australian place.

Julian Pearce
March 2013