Saturday, 14 August 2010

INTERVIEW: Stan and Kaisa Breeden, Wildflower Country

The photographs in Wildflower Country are breathtaking in sharpness and tonal detail. Can you explain the techniques used to achieve such stunning results?
Ten years ago, I [Stan] had actually given up film photography (after more than forty years!) in exasperation, as it didn’t give me the results I wished for. Kaisa spent many years with me studying digital photography and how it differed from film. We use this difference to our advantage — digital is much closer to human vision than people realise. Our techniques capitalise on the capabilities of digital, its ability to record wonderful subtleties of light. We always use a tripod and cable release to eliminate any movement or shake on our end, and always photograph in natural light (unpredictable, but wonderful). Then, when developed sensitively you can extract all the colour, tone and detail that you see.

How long has Wildflower Country been in process?
Many years — this book is the culmination of six years of research and perfecting our pioneering techniques in digital photography. When we felt we were ready, we thought, ‘What would be the most fantastic subject for our kind of photography?’ and WA’s southwest was an obvious choice. We were in WA for four months, travelling what we call ’the wave’ of flowering that occurs from the north to the south during spring. Then it was back home to work on the writing and selecting and processing of the pictures for a year.