Lars Heldmann

What motivates me? Why do I create these images, tell these stories?

While working as a tour guide across this vast country I developed a love for the land and the people, and observed the wealth of flora and fauna.
I was captivated by the diversity and uniqueness I saw around me.

Then, laboring in the remote mining industry, I got to know some of the most isolated places on Mother Earth the deserts of Australia.
In that inhospitable environment I developed the need to do something to nourish my mind, something soulful, and I began to engage with photography more intensely.

My goal was to train my eyes and to learn to see in different ways. I took image after image, again and again, and worked on creating compositions.
I discovered how important it is to value ‘the moment’ that split second where there’s the opportunity to capture the image or miss it altogether.

Some images are ‘painted’ with the camera a herd of sheep move into the field and they create the composition for me I watch and wait until the story is there and then I press the button once.

By going ‘walkabout’ I’ve met and engaged with the land and people the outback ‘pioneers’, opal mining characters, fly-in fly-out  mining personnel and locals.
I’ve witnessed the despair and elation of people surviving in these harsh and beautiful landscapes: the subtle beauty of a dust storm, the thunder and lightning above the flooding desert, the horrors of bushfire and drought.
From the cool rain-forest to the coast and the islands beyond I’ve experienced the silence, found mystery and felt belonging, returning again to the familiar ‘unknown’.

Finally, I have learned from the original Ngarrindjeri People of the Coorong, after waiting for years to be invited to hear the answers to my questions.

My images are milestones telling the story of this ongoing, living journey.