Tuesday 21 February 2012

Photographs of Mid West Wildflowers by Cliff Winfield

The Mid West of Western Australia comes to life in spring with spectacular displays of wildflowers. The region begins in the south with the shire of Coorow then northward through Carnamah/Eneabba, Three Springs, Mingenew and onward to its northern end 200 kilometres the other side of Geraldton. It spans inland from the coast for over 800 kilometres.

These gorgeous photographs of wildflowers in the Mid West were taken by Cliff Winfield. They are Copryright © Cliff Winfield and may not be reproduced without his permission.

About the photographer Cliff Winfield:

Cliff Winfield – fifty years behind a lens – winfield06@bigpond.com

My sister gave me my first camera in 1960 when I was nine, an Agfa box brownie equivalent. When I was 13 I worked Christmas school holidays in Albert’s Bookshop in Perth to get money to buy the new ground-breaking camera – a 35mm single-lens-reflex. Thus began a life of exploring humanity’s relationship with nature, and interpreting it through a lens.

“I found that when I photograph, what I'm really doing is seeking answers to things.” – Wynn Bullock

I wanted nature to tell me what it was, so I could attempt to tell its story to others through my images. Doing the Western Australian thing - I left home at seventeen and went north; to Derby, then Broome in the Kimberley to work. Trading on my art and skill in photography, and the largely unseen Kimberley landscape and culture, I entered competitions and won prizes for my photos. However, I never pursued photography as a career, rather as a means of telling stories.  I returned to Perth and studied Applied Science – Biology.

That led me to get work for the Western Australian Forests Department as a seed collector. I was paid to travel all over the state collecting native plant seed for nurseries. Of course I took my camera and told the landscape stories through photography.

“Nature does not create works of art. It is we, and the faculty of interpretation peculiar to the human mind, that sees art.”  – Man Ray

I began to have my images published, and I was invited by my friend Richard Woldendorp to place my private collection in his burgeoning picture library business “Photo index”. This opened all sorts of doors, and my work was published by, for example, Time-Life, Readers Digest, Australian Geographic and WA’s Landscope magazine.

I still sell a few images to magazines and books, and specialize in interpretive photography, but I get most satisfaction these days from producing abstract images of nature and landscape.

“Photography is my home ground; when I’m lost I go back there for direction.”  – Annie Leiberwitz


Catherine said...

Beautiful! I particularly like the close-up shots showing individual in detail.

Catherine x

Julie Goucher said...

Wonderful photographs. I especially like the different contrasts.

John Oliver said...

These are lovely photographs. We have the best wildflowers in Australia!

Andrew Bowman-Bright said...

We sure do John! Many of these ones were taken at Coal Seam in your family's district of Mingenew.

Red Nomad OZ said...

Hi! Love these photos - am about to visit Carnamah (where my mother was brought up) for the first time. Also looking forward to seeing the wildflowers she speaks of so often! When were these pix taken?

Carnamah Historical Society said...

We're not sure of the exact date these photographs were taken but September is usually the ideal time for wildflowers. We'd love to know more about your family connection to Carnamah!

Red Nomad OZ said...

Hi again! I'm in Carnamah right now!! My mother lived on a farm - Glenisla - in the district and attended the Billeroo State School, apparently approx 3 miles from the farm. I'm trying to work out where Billeroo school actually was - and I'm guessing it's somewhere along the Billeroo road :)

Andrew Bowman-Bright said...

There's a plaque attached to a rock marking where the school was. If George Fowler is around I'm sure he'll be happy to give you specific directions - give him a call on 9951 1690.