January 12, 2020 2 min read
I have been shocked and saddened by the massive destruction brought by the devastating bushfire fires that have gripped Australia in recent months. The extent of suffering and loss to people, property, wildlife and the environment is at times beyond comprehension. The sheer scale at which this crisis is still unfolding is unfathomable.
One of the great privileges as a landscape photographer is that I visit and experience so much of this wonderous country. But the key purpose of why I do what I do is to share the beauty of the Australian landscape. It has therefore been horrible to watch helplessly as many parts of this country that I know so well and have championed and celebrated to others here and overseas have gone up in smoke.
Learning over recent weeks that locations I have photographed have been destroyed by fire has made my work become particularly poignant for me. I have watched areas already devasted by bushfires in recent years be thoroughly burnt again – meaning some of these areas will never regenerate. Future generations will simply never get to experience what I have in many of these locations. My photos and my work has therefore taken on new meaning to me - reminding me of the important role I and many others play in capturing photos that are now or will become a permanent reminder of what once was. I’m determined more than ever to get out and capture our wilderness areas before they too may succumb to such destruction in the future.
My thoughts and sympathies go out to those impacted by the disaster. I have endless gratitude for the tireless work of those supporting our country at this time, from our firefighters, emergency services, volunteers, defence force and communities who are supporting those impacted by the fires. I will continue to support, donate and assist where I can. While immediate donations will help today, the biggest individual difference we can all make will no doubt come as we help communities and the environment recover in the months and years ahead.
Since I was a young child, one of my favourite areas has been the Australian alpine regions. The Huts of the High Country are an iconic part of the alpine region and in the fires of the last few weeks a number of them have been destroyed. I took this photograph ofBradleys Hut, also known as Bradleys and O'Briens Hut a few years ago. Sadly, it was destroyed by bushfire in Kosciuszko National Park last week.
The Blue Mountains is a unique world heritage area and has suffered enormously in the latest bushfires. Like many, I’ve been horrified to see photos taken from similar vantage points where I took this photo with the fire raging across the scene. With much of the Blue Mountains burnt in recent months, I despair for the future state of this area. This view will never be the same again.