“Every viewer is going to get a different thing. That's the thing about painting, photography, cinema.”

– David Lynch


We were heading out to the glow worm tunnel. I was with my first Photography Masterclass, well after they had finished thier intensive year studying. Dot, Shirley, Anne and Paul. The mist was thick as we drove along the Newnes Plateau. I drove around a corner and suddenly the forest I had known my whole life was gone.




I was devistating, heart broken and overwhelmed with sadness. 


A few photographs came.  Not many.  Just enough to capture that intense feeling.  The other one with the black cockatoo in it is still one of my favourites.  


We drove away...  The sadness followed me that day as I processed my feelings and thoughts.   


Why do I get so upset with the logging of a planted pine forest in a managed state forest.  Years later I now get it. Managed is the wrong word.  The trees were planted, they grew and then they were removed.  The forest stripped bare with no aftercare or management.  Left is a wasteland to fend on its own. 


What happened to the native species that that were displaced. The soil too acidic to support the regrowth of the original natives. Where did the rest of the eco system go? 


Where is the replanting, the reforestation? 




They say a sand mine might come.  At least Sydney’s second airport didn’t go there.   


How has it come to this?  A world where we discard our forests and wilderness and continue to use expansion and growth as a mantra to economic success and survival.   Yet we all know we are dependent on these places for our fresh air.   


We cant continue to expand. We can’t continue at the current population growth. We can’t continue to prop up our economy with growth. 


Well, that is what this photograph is to me.  It says something different to everyone. That is the thing about art isn’t it. 


The other photograph, for those of you that haven’t seen it yet. 


Newnes Plateau.  Newnes State Forest.  Photograph and text copyright © Len Metcalf 2018

Artist | Writer | Photographer | Educator | Adventurer