Originally posted on my old website in November, 2021:
Last week, mid Nov 2021, two videomakers and I went on a road trip for the day and found ourselves deep into Victoria’s volcanic terrain. The aim was to capture me in my element, flying my drone and photographing the exquisite colours and formations of the salt lakes for a promotional video.
Having heard my stories of what I got up to out there in the field, Phil (director and photographer) and James (camera operator and editor) were eager to join the ride. I picked them up early, my car full of equipment, and off we went. It’s a two-and-a-half hour drive to Lake Bolac, so we had time to listen to some cool tunes and discuss the day’s shoot.
It was important to identify the right themes that specifically express my story as an artist, as a photographer and as a drone operator. In the About Me section of my website, I point out that I’m deeply inspired by the notion of nature as art, which has been the guiding force behind my creative drive all my life. In a future article, I will share with you how I have gained this perspective throughout my time here on Earth. For now, I'll stick to the present.
Embodying nature as art, I love to create mesmerising work with the least amount of interference on my behalf. My role is to focus on the framing: I choose what natural colours and formation are included inside the frame and leave Mother Nature to captivate us with her splendour. I see this as collaborating with nature.
This perspective also extends to the world in which I find these natural settings for my work—Victoria’s Western Volcanic Plains—with its windswept, flat-to-undulating agricultural plains, volcanic features scattered across the landscape, thousands of salt lakes and rich, red volcanic soil.
Among my themes are windmills; an ancient technology that collaborates with nature by working with natural forces, not against them. This is the case for the massive wind turbine farms spread out across the landscape that take advantage of the low wind-swept plains as well as the smaller, more traditional windmills used for agricultural farming. As Phil pointed out amusingly, they also resemble the propellers on my drone. So, as the day progressed, we gradually pieced together the themes that would make up the backdrop to my story.
Eventually, we made it to the mud flats of a salt lake near the township of Lake Bolac, looking to capture the classic ‘artist in his element’ and ‘artist deeply involved in his work’ types of shots. Later, we moved northwest to a region I hadn’t been before, and I was keen to explore certain lakes I’d found on the map. It was a lot of fun, I have to say, as we experimented with ways to combine James’s land-based footage with my aerial drone footage to portray me as an intrepid traveller on the road in search of magical salt lakes.
Our next stop, Mt. Elephant, is an extinct volcano 200 kilometres directly west of Melbourne. It’s a beautiful standalone volcano that juts up out of the surrounding flat terrain and a formidable, elephant-shaped mountain with its own crater. Visitors can walk up to the crater on Sundays. So, I’ll have to climb up or use my drone to check it out some time soon. For this day, however, Mt. Elephant presented us with a magnificent backdrop for more video footage in line with the volcanic theme of my work.
At this point, the day was coming to an end. It was a nice two-hour drive back home, which we spent listening to some more groovy music, discussing the events of the day and how we could put all this footage together in a way that will inspire you to learn more about my work and Victoria’s volcanic plains.