“Dracones et Equorum” (Dragons & Horses)
Beneath the surface of the temperate waters of southern Australia live truly unique species that are found nowhere else in the world.
Each image is composed using underwater backdrops that are carefully manoeuvred behind the subject and lit to create a “studio like” feel. After weeks underwater finding then communing with these unique animals in their natural habitats i’m soon elbow-deep in alchemy: paper stocks are hand-coated with emulsion, and chemicals mixed from scratch. Finished prints look genuinely antique in many ways drawing inspiration from Joseph Banks’ catalogues, or Darwin’s specimen collections. Yet these works have a modern edge… Combining the ancient palladiotype method with new technology and equipment to produce the final result.
For me crossing the line from machine-made to hand-made does necessitate a substantial commitment, and the work is certainly labour-intensive. But in the end, what unfolds before the eyes is no ordinary photograph each print is a handmade one-off… which seems fitting to do justice to the incredible natural beauty of the subject that is captured within the image.