This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, Shoot It With Film may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Today, we’re featuring a moving series from film photographer Jeremy Billett. Jeremy captured the aftermath of the devastating Australian wildfires that occurred at the end of 2019. Here is more from Jeremy about photographing this series, and you can also check out his limited edition photo zine in which all of the profits went to the WWF Bushfire Emergency Fund…
My home town in Northern NSW, Australia was affected by the longest wildfire season we’ve experienced in our lifetime. Our region experienced our first fires in winter 2019, and several fire fronts continued to burn through our entire summer into early 2020. The forests around my home town were burning for almost five months.
During that time we lost members of our community, people lost their homes, livestock, crops, and more.
Amongst all of this chaos, I witnessed first hand the destruction of our local forests, heathland, and national parks.
With such an extensive fire period and the sheer volume of land affected, I was also able to photograph the recovery of the Australian bush in areas that were affected early.
Initially, these landscapes were lifeless. Blackened earth. Empty forests. Raining ash. There was nothing left; it felt surreal. I hoped they would show the scale and savagery of the wildfire aftermath.
As weeks and months went by, drought breaking rains breathed new life into these razed landscapes as the resilience and adaptability of the Australian bush began to bloom.
This series explores the destruction, aftermath, and resilience of these forests in one tiny pocket of the 18.6 million hectares that were burnt during this fire season.
I have hope that among disasters like this we can find a renewed importance in protecting and prioritizing environmental science, land, and water management.
We must seek change and adapt as our forests have done for thousands of years, or we too will be completely lost to the power and scale of mother nature as she undergoes the changes we’ve forced onto her.