The Nature of a Brief Existence

PHOTOGRAPHER

Hannah McGraw

TEACHER

Jo-Anne Hine

SCHOOL/INSTITUTION

Cannon Hill Anglican College, Qld

FINALIST IN

Secondary Upper Category

WRITTEN STATEMENT

My photographs provide a glimpse into the beauty of our local wetlands at Cannon Hill Anglican College (CHAC). They document my interaction with the wetlands over two months as I created sculptural interventions within the landscape, using materials found there. The wetlands offer a peaceful juxtaposition to the busyness of school and my photography attempts to capture that comforting sense of being surrounded by nature. When taking the water-based photographs, it was crucial that I determined the best time of day to capture them in order to achieve the clearest reflections in the water. To do this, I took a series of photographs every day for a week at different times, to determine if the photographs were more effective on a cloudy or sunny day at a particular time. As it turned out, the optimum time was in the morning on a sunny day. Any time past midday, the water was murky and the sticks were too heavily lighted. Another factor taken into consideration was the shutter speed as I needed to capture enough light and highlight the reflections. Additionally, the shutter speed was also important in capturing the vibrant colours present in the wetlands. The last technique, cropping, was employed to ensure the most interesting parts were included in each photograph. Furthermore, this was accomplished by trial and error. The black and white photograph (where the path is created in the midst of a grass lawn) positions the viewer to feel small and insignificant. This is a reflection of how miniscule I feel when surrounded by the uncontrollably force of mother nature; yet, I can still form a peaceful connection with it.

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