After the tremendous success of the first chapter of Forest Stories in 2020 we are excited to present Forest Stories 2.
How can we capture the qualities of places remote from our everyday lives? What visual stories might we create to tell of our engagements with these beautiful and challenging environments?
PhotoAccess is proud to offer a very special workshop exploring these questions. Led by local observational filmmaker and photographer Natasha Fijn, this workshop offers a rare opportunity to experience and photograph Plumwood Mountain, a unique bush retreat in the dense temperate rainforest to the south-east of Braidwood.
Plumwood Mountain is a conservation property abutting the Budawang and Monga National Parks. For over thirty years, the internationally recognised environmental philosopher Val Plumwood lived in a stone cottage in a clearing in the forest, producing works that challenge us to re-imagine our relationships with the more-than-human world. Today, an independent conservation organisation manages Plumwood Mountain to protect its diverse ecology and to carry on Val Plumwood’s call for us to learn and share the importance of such places. As one of the property’s stewards, workshop tutor Natasha Fijn has an intimate knowledge of its history and ecology, as well as extensive experience capturing its qualities through still and moving imagery.
In this workshop, you’ll explore how to create a visual narrative expressing your experience of Plumwood Mountain. You’ll learn how to integrate the use of your camera with observation and investigation of the more-than-human world, while developing skills in conceptualising and realising a series of images incorporating a sense of place. You’ll work towards producing an engaging visual story – either a photo-essay or short film – that captures your encounter with this incredible forest environment.
This workshop will run over four sessions, centred on two field trip on Plumwood Mountain. For this excursion, we’ll meet in Braidwood and then travel around 25 kilometres to the property. The first day of the field trip will begin with a walk up a bush track to Val’s stone cottage, with stops along the way for taking images. After afternoon tea , we’ll explore the clearing around the cottage and then walk to a lookout with a view towards the South Coast. A highlight will be our journey down to a dense grove of Plumwood trees, investigating the special interrelationship between the forest canopy and the tree ferns upon which the tall trees rely.
We will endeavour to find affordable accomodation in Braidwood for Saturday night.
On the second day we’ll make our way to Plumwood mountain really early to arrive there at 6:30 am. At this early time of the day we’ll be able to capture this amazing location in all its (hopefully) foggy morning glory. Around 9:30am we’ll get together for morning tea and after that we’ll have more opportunities to explore multiple facets of Plumwood mountain before heading back to Canberra at noon.
‘The country of my heart lies along the high forested escarpment that edges the coastal mountains of southern New South Wales. It is a rugged country still mostly unwounded by humans, keeping that extraordinary blending of landforms with life communities that marks long evolutionary adaptation’ . Val Plumwood, 2004.
Photographers and filmmakers comfortable with using their cameras will enjoy this workshop. You will need to be at least 16 years old. For the Plumwood field trip, some degree of fitness is required as you’ll need to be able to walk around in the bush for around 6km with some inclines.
Session One | PhotoAccess
Wednesday, 28 April, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Session Two | Field Trip (Meet at Braidwood)
Saturday, 1 May, 2.00 pm – 5.30 pm (approximately)
Session Three | Field Trip – Day 2 (Meet at Plumwood)
Sunday, 2 May, 6.30 am – 12.00 pm (approximately)
Session Four | PhotoAccess
Wednesday, 12 May, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Enrolments for this workshop close at 12pm, Tuesday 20 April, 2021.
For this workshop, you’ll need:
You may like to also bring along a tripod, filters and/or lenses with focal lengths varying from wide angle to telephoto.
Please remember that it will not be possible to charge batteries, etc, at Plumwood Mountain and you will need to be able to comfortably carry your equipment.
Further information on the Plumwood Mountain field trip will be provided at the first workshop session. For the field trip, you will need to wear stout boots or shoes, long pants and a shirt with sleeves, and bring a hat, sunscreen and water bottle. It will be cool under the forest canopy so please also bring something warm to wear.
We’ll provide you with a notebook and pencil, and morning and afternoon teas.
Dr Natasha Fijn is a filmmaker, photographer and ethnographic researcher, whose visual practice draws on anthropological techniques of participant observation. She has worked in a range of remote places, including the Khangai Mountains of Mongolia, the mountains of New Zealand and in Arnhem Land in northern Australia, researching, filming and editing projects that explore the inter-relationships between people and animals. Natasha is currently the president of the conservation organisation caring for Plumwood Mountain.
Natasha has produced several independent documentaries, showing them in numerous national and international film festivals and conferences, as well as contributing to projects for the BBC Natural History Unit, Green Umbrella Productions and Natural History New Zealand. From 2010-15, Natasha taught the Visual Culture Research Masters Program at the Australian National University.
You can see some of Natasha’s work at: http://fijnfilms.squarespace.com
Image: Natasha Fijn in a Plumwood forest in Tasmania, 2016. Julian Laffan.