I'm reminded of the depth of vocal talent on programs such as The Voice and X Factor. Australian's typically high in anxiety and self-doubt about our ability to match it on the world stage somehow disregard or undervalue this talent. As a nation our propensity for cultural cringe is right up there with the best or worst depending on how these things are recognised. Similarly I suspect we harbour a disregard for our relatively crude, inhospitable, landscape that at first glance seems to be little match for the Swiss Alps, Devon meadows or Tuscan Hills.
And yet Australia is much more than a giant red rock plugged in its navel like belly button bling. Or the red outback. Much of the real bush also lies just beyond the fringes of our city centres and yet this bush is seen as something to negotiate on the way to some grander, more beautiful place. I'm not so sure that we don't always see the beauty close to home in the way that foreign visitors see much of Australia as exotic where we blink apathetically at the same scene.
As photographers we love to see the bush as a place of endless possibilities where the changing light and weather can provide a new take in familiar places. Brittle daylight yields to the moody blue vapour of eucalyptus oil to create a velvety atmosphere. We have tried to capture this authentic bush quality in this latest suite of images taken just north of Melbourne on the way to the Great Dividing Range. They're not of any place Australians might regard as exotic, but for many people overseas 'the bush' rather than 'the outback' remains a favourite place that has inspired many of our great writers, photographers and artists.
Australians need to believe in themselves as up there on the world stage and believe in this land for its ability to give back the obvious and not so obvious, the grande gesture and nuanced beauty that knows no borders.