landscapes and transitions
FROM learning her skills from her photographer and writer father, Frank Madigan, to capturing landscapes all over the world on film today, Rosemary Oldis feels most at home behind a camera. “He taught me to always have a camera around my neck and to have patience in waiting for the “moment”,” Rosemary said of her father’s tutelage, adding that she also became well versed in the practical skills of photography. “He loved to say that if you were able to use even one image from a whole roll of film you were doing well. “He would also say to me ‘don’t let people see your less than perfect shots, Rosie!’.” Rosemary has fond memories of also being joined by her mother, Dorothy, who was a skilled mimic and could often call birds that they could then photograph in a fleeting moment. A secondary school teacher, Rosemary moved to Tawonga with her family almost three years ago, and has truly taken to the North East and its beauty. Rosemary said she has never been far from a camera since those formative early days, and said that she often loses herself in the moment when taking pictures. “Photography teaches you to live in the moment and to be observant,” she said.
“My mind is wired now to see images everywhere and to be constantly subconsciously assessing the light. “It sometimes feels as If I see life through a camera lens. “I truly believe that, for me, photography is not a conscious process but more a way of seeing the world. “Light is the magic ingredient of photography, so my process is to notice the special light in moments and then to quickly decide how best to capture it before it changes. “A successful image capture will make my day.” Over the years, Rosemary said she has found much joy and inspiration in joining photography clubs, and has taken photos in landscapes across the world, from the North East to Scotland, Scandinavia, Iceland, the Faeroe Islands, Fairbanks in Alaska, Nauru and the Solomon Islands. Her work has been recognised overseas, with her winning fourth place in the International Loupe Awards in the Amateur Landscape section in 2013, as well as having an image included in the International Landscape Photographer of the Year competition in the Top 101 Landscapes section. “Each success is amazing as I enter full of hope but with low expectations,” she said, but acknowledged that winning awards had been a personal highlight. Rosemary said that the North East continues to inspire her work every day. “The North East is full of special places and amazing changes in weather,” she said. “A fellow photographer observed that transitions are where good images are to be found: transitions between weather events; or the transitions between valley and mountain; or the transitions as the seasons change. “The Kiewa Valley is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen and it is reminiscent of Scotland with its rugged mountain grandeur and contrasting green valleys.” One of her favourite places to photograph, however, is Lake Eppalock, near Bendigo, where moods vary from misty mornings to bright night skies and dramatic shadows and reflections of dead trees in the lake. Rosemary said untamed landscapes and night photography were her biggest passion for their unpredictability and beauty. “I love the snow for its amazing ability to distil a landscape to its simplest form and to render it monochrome. “I love wild places because there the photographer is the observer, not the controller, and you must just relax and allow yourself to find the image, rather than try to predetermine it or force it.” “Night photography is a whole different world that I am just beginning to master. “It presents many challenges, but it provides a special magic because the slow shutter speed allows the sensor to capture things that the human eye cannot see. “It is a very exciting form of photography.” Rosemary Oldis’ Painting With Light exhibition runs until September 20 at Windy Corner Café and Ski Hire Centre, Bogong High Plains Road, Falls Creek.
◆ INTREPID PHOTOGRAPHER: Rosemary Oldis has photographed landscapes all over the world.
◆ OTHERWORDLY: One of Rosemary’s images of the Kiewa Valley, entitled While You Were Sleeping #2.