If Tasmania is not the most beautiful place in Australia, it certainly is the most striking and dramatic. It is host to ancient forests and pristine waterways, set in contrast against dramatic geological formations resulting from the breakup of Gondwana. But even this place on Earth, with all its varied beauty, tends to be the victim of postcard tourist books, filled with the same stock photos.
Pause: A Collection of Tasmanian Moments is a collection of stunning imagery by Tasmanian photographer and writer Paul Fleming who shows how to capture the imagination and bring an island state to life on paper.
Fleming holds a promising future in the photographic field, with this book a direct result of a successful crowd fundraising campaign. Perhaps Tasmania’s most influential environmentalist and former Green’s leader Bob Brown contributed with a Foreword praising Fleming as a “fine new Tasmanian talent”.
And equally it seems, a fine new Australian talent. The single word book title sums up the entire book. Pause is a reflective journey of discovery across the varied texture of nature through the combination of vivid photography and poetry. Water plays an integral focal point in most of the images, expressed in each page in a different form: from majestic mists, calm waters, and stoic ice, to waves crashing upon unforgiving rocks.
Although each photograph would serve well as a postcard, this is not your cliché photo tourist book. The scenes show the majestic and dramatic turns of nature across Tasmania but does not focus upon the typical tourist destinations. In fact, for many of the scenes, the actual place becomes secondary, with the emotion of a singular moment taking prominence rather than the grand splendour of the scene.
Equally while each poem on its own may not hold much sway, the fragmented nature of each entry aids in creating the illusion of the world halting for a moment, to reflect and analyse what would have passed ordinarily in an instant. Fleming has successfully created a journal of thoughts that captures raw emotion represented through the Tasmanian landscape, and serves well as a lesson to how to re-invigorate landscape photography.
Pause: A Collection of Tasmanian Moments is available at selected retail outlets or online at: www.pauldfleming.com
Image: Pause: A Collection of Tasmanian Moments – by Paul Fleming
Words: Jimmy Twin