Artist of the Outback Creative] Helen McDonald
Artist of the Outback Creative - Helen McDonald
Why do you make your art?
Living on a farm (mostly in drought conditions) in the Darling Downs made me think about the conspicuous diversity of the Australian bush landscape: The blue ocean lapping at sandy shores, foaming waterfalls slipping off sheer rock faces, barren empty deserts, trees wavering disorderedly in violent winds, rivers either serenely becalmed or turbulently agitated, native animals in their natural habitats and native fauna growing magnificently despite excessive droughts – and I wanted to be a part of it and capture it!
How do you make your art?
Armed with my 3 Canon cameras and bags of various lenses. I mainly use a 5D MK III as my work camera and have some fun with my others. Taking the picture is only part of a job. Like a painter using a paint brush and canvas, a photograph comes alive through the editing process. I’m not a fan of over editing which seems to be a favourite these days. I believe that the beauty of a picture can so easily be taken away through a high edit process. The beauty is to find your picture in the natural form or close to it.
What does it mean to you?
Lots of very early mornings of pulling myself out of bed, grabbing a coffee and driving in order to catch the fantastic light of a sunrise.
My most favourite time of the day is the morning, a few minutes before sunrise, when nature gets ready to put on a fantastic show with a light so invigorating and all encompassing, that it brings all that falls under it to life.
What inspires you?
It’s all here around us, a natural beauty that surrounds us all every day, however very few people get the opportunity to enjoy and explore it. In my images, I endeavour to capture the Australian Landscape in all its beauty, it’s harshness, it’s cruelness and its exquisite natural colours. The reality, the truthfulness of images is difficult to underestimate, the stories I tell in my photographs highlight the authenticity of the Australian bush life.
Who Inspires you?
Santa Fe Photographer, Gregg Albracht has always been a favourite photographer of mine. Many years ago, he took a picture called, The Messenger, and that picture changed the way I saw Animal Photography. The great Ansel Adams, the master of Black and White Landscape photography showed me the brilliance of light and dark.
Where Inspires You?
I could be anywhere when I see a picture, it all comes from the heart.
What Makes Your Art Unique?
I see the beauty in the harshness of the land. I feel the emotion of the landscape. I don’t see a picture, I feel it and part of my process is to bring that feeling and emotion to each picture that I take. If I get the viewer to feel something from looking at my pictures, then my job is done.
Thank you reading 'Our Meet The Artist' this week with Helen McDonald.