Pho­tog­ra­pher’s lens soft­ens na­ture’s hard­ness

Pilbara News - - News - Tay­lar Amonini

Ex­celling at im­mor­tal­is­ing the beauty of the Pil­bara through her pho­to­graphs, Donna Col­liver out­did her­self this year when she was short-listed for not one but two of her pho­to­graphs for the 2018 Aus­traflora Cal­en­dar.

Find­ing pho­tog­ra­phy as a new way of see­ing the beauty in even the most ragged land­scapes, Col­liver has changed as an artist and per­son through the lens be­tween her hands.

Fol­low­ing her hus­band to the Pil­bara in 2016 from Mel­bourne, the mother of one dived head first into her hobby.

Af­ter promis­ing her late father she would make some­thing of her keen eye for beauty and find­ing her­self lost in a sea of red dirt, Col­liver picked up her cam­era and made the most of her new home.

“Be­ing up here it’s so easy to get lost and down be­ing so far from every­thing you know,” she said.

“But once you get out there the colours are just amaz­ing. The scenery is in­cred­i­ble, the moun­tains and clouds — it’s re­ally spe­cial.”

Coming from the grey scale of Mel­bourne, Col­liver said it’s the stark con­trast of the blue skies, marsh­mal­low clouds and red dust that ex­cites her when ex­plor­ing the re­gion.

“I al­ways bring my cam­era with me when ever we go some­where,” she said. “If I miss an op­por­tu­nity, I can use my phone, but it’s just not as good.

“I feel like I have more op­por­tu­nity here, there’s more to pho­to­graph, the weather is al­ways good so there’s no ex­cuse. Bit dif­fer­ent to Mel­bourne.”

From the small­est gecko hid­ing in the bricks of her house, to the milky way light­ing up the night sky, Col­liver’s face lights up every time she de­scribes her lat­est cap­ture.

“It’s def­i­nitely made the Pil­bara a lot more spe­cial for me since I ar­rived,” she said.

With her new found con­fi­dence, Col­liver de­cided to throw cau­tion in the wind and en­ter in the 2017 Aus­traFlora Cal­en­dar and quickly be­com­ing the Novem­ber artist.

“I’m very shy and had never done any­thing like that be­fore and didn’t un­der­stand how any­one could look at my photos and like it,” she rem­i­nisced on the mo­ment from last year.

“I know it’s not a huge thing, but I love it and it was just re­ally cool. Then this year I was think­ing about it all year, about what I could have en­tered, so I went on a few ad­ven­tures with my hus­band.”

The two photos short-listed for the 2018 Aus­traFlora Cal­en­dar this year in­clude a photo of Swain­sona For­mosa, the desert pea and gum trees at Kar­i­jini Na­tional Park.

“It’s def­i­nitely in­creased my con­fi­dence. I feel so great to even be short­listed.”

While the win­ners have not yet been an­nounced, Col­liver said the ex­pe­ri­ence has got her think­ing about her fu­ture in pho­tog­ra­phy.

“To do pho­tog­ra­phy as a pro­fes­sion . . . It’s the ul­ti­mate dream. I would love to just travel to beau­ti­ful and dif­fer­ent places and call it work, but I’m not the great­est out there yet,” she said.

“I’m still learn­ing each and ev­ery­day. I know what I’m do­ing but if you asked me to ex­plain it I would have no idea,” she said.

“It’s a lot of trial and er­ror for me and a lot of luck. I find my best and most favourite pic­tures are those I didn’t in­tend to go out and get.”

Right now, all her photos are fea­tured on the Face­book and In­sta­gram pages un­der Donna Col­liver Pho­tog­ra­phy — which she hopes one day will be the name of her own pho­tog­ra­phy busi­ness.

Pic­ture: Donna Col­liver

Col­liver said one of the perks of pho­tog­ra­phy is mak­ing ev­ery­day things beau­ti­ful.

Col­liver said her favourite things to col­lect and pho­to­graph were skulls.

One of the pup­pies look­ing for a for­ever home at SAFE Col­liver pho­tographed.

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