Through her prose and her photography, Justine articulates the beauty and grandeur of country SA so very well. In a past life I used to live in the Mid North, so I find her work tremendously comforting and nostalgic.
Similar to my previous guest, Mel McKinlay, Justine is all about documenting the moment in time. She also has an intuitive sense of composition, understanding that less is often more and that there is a certain elegance associated with minimalism and the use of negative space.
1) Describe your style, are you inspired by any type of photography or specific photographers?
I’m not sure I can coin or describe my style but I love landscape photography, particularly of the Australian bush and natural light.
For me, it’s often more about the experience of finding a beautiful location and documenting a moment in time.
If you went back to the same spot, at the same time every day, no image would ever be the same.
Sometimes a bit of magic happens in nature and we try our best to capture it.
Photographers I’ve loved are Peter Beard, Max Dupain, Steve McCurry, Murray Fredricks, Chris Burkard and Trent Parke.
2) Is there a message that you want people to come away with when they look at your images?
I don’t usually have an intentional message, but I would love to think maybe some of my images might spark an appreciation for the land we live in and the care it needs.
3) Having once lived in the Mid North of SA myself, I know the wheat fields make for some great almost minimalist rural images. Is minimalism something you are aware of when you head out to shoot, or is it just a byproduct of living in cereal country?
I come from a graphic design/art direction background, so minimalism is something I’m attracted to.
But not in an austere way, I love an image that has emotion and simplicity. The landscape in the Mid North is full of massive skies and fields of beautiful open space, clean forms and lines.
It’s hard to convey in an image the magnitude of scale out there, but ‘less is more’ certainly helps.
4) What is your favourite location/image and why?
If you’re asking specifically in the Mid North, well that’s hard to answer.
There are so many favourites for different weather and light conditions.
But there is a secret corner I like to go to where there are vines in one direction, cropping fields in another; stone ruins and a windmill on one corner and giant old gums on the other.
Even when the weather is terrible, its a magical spot for me.
5) Is there a story behind your Instagram handle @plane.space?
It’s a play on words. I’ve mentioned my love of open space. ‘Plane’ comes from the horizontal line so often featured in my shots and a reference to the wide-open plains.
I don’t think there is anything plain about the landscape in the Mid North. In fact, I think it’s spectacular.
6) What has been your biggest struggle with photography so far?
I would have to say time has been my greatest obstacle. I have three teenage kids and a husband who travels a lot.
Getting to locations at the right time can be a great challenge. And following through, maintaining momentum to improve can also be a trick.
But, as a result, I treasure the time even more when I do get out there.
I’ve also been working on improving clarity and with filters and long exposures.
7) Do other areas of interest such as poetry inspire you to capture those beautiful rurals of yours?
All forms of art inspire me. Sometimes I need to edit myself because I can be distracted and inspired by too much.
But I’ve always loved the colonial landscape painters and the emotion and story they brought to their painting – Fredrick McCubbin, Hans Heysen, John Glover, Arthur Streeton.
The bleak and stark landscapes of Russel Drysdale also appeals to me. Jeffrey Smart and his compositions are another favourite.
Poetry has the power to conjure an image with so few words, even better when it’s done with humour too.