Rockscape portraits. Hawley Beach, Tasmania.

Orange lichen draped rocks against the turquoise waters, blue skies and light brown sand of spring is quite a delight for the eye. Mix it with family time, long sleepy, sunny days and fresh northern Tasmanian air, and I’d go as far as to say it’s sight is almost soul healing.

According to science, 20,000 different forms of lichen cover 6% of our Earth’s surface and is a cocktail of algae, fungi and bacteria living in their own tiny ecosystems.

These lichen are not only fascinating up close, depending on their size and shape as well as their environment, they each present as their own little landscapes.

I captured this series of the ones we got close to during our many walks along the beach. I would normally composition this type of nature series in my preferred 7×5 landscape format, but decided to switch it up and portray them in 5×7 instead. The result presents them almost as human portraits, which gives them a sense of personality quite seperate from the compositions we are so used to seeing where nature photographs are concerned.

I wanted the texture of each unique lichen form to be in focus, whilst also portraying its surrounding beach and coastal landscape, so decided to experiment with depth of field. The background needed to not simply be blurred out into a block colour, so as to still tell the whole story. I think I found a middle ground that allows for both.

I’m looking forward to more nature inspiration coming my way during future holidays at the family beach house – and the four images I have shortlisted for print out of this series, will come in handy as Christmas presents for the in-laws during our next rendezvous at Hawley Beach.

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