Peter Elfes and Earths Fractals

Peter Elfes and Earths Fractals

Lake Eyre, has long held a fascination with Australian artist like John Olsen, Sydney Nolan & Tim Storrier. Following in this tradition, photographer Peter Elfes has spent the past three years documenting Lake Eyre in his series The Arrival.
___________________________________________
I’m a big admirer of artists like Olsen, Nolan & Storrier who have all spent time out at Lake Eyre, but my biggest inspiration is the work of Fred William. It is his sense of perspective that I find very exciting and familiar. There are many examples in my own work in the Australian desert that remind me of Fred William's abstract paintings. I find it really interesting that he often omits horizon, and when he does include a horizon he places it in the out limits of his paintings.

In the desert this kind of perspective can only be observed from the air, which is where I exclusively photograph from. In 2009 when I started documenting this recent flooding of Lake Eyre, I noticed that there were many repetitive natural formations everywhere. They appeared in the desert, in the lake and where the two joined, always slightly different depending on the terrain, but all of them seemed to share some similarities. At first I didn’t really spend much time thinking about them, although in this vast and presumed featureless terrain, I found myself drawn to these unusual pattens of nature.

One night during one of those all night editing session, (that modern photographers inevitably have, these days), I had an epiphany! With blurry eyes trying to focus on the computer screen, I thought to myself all I keep seeing is repeating patterns of nature, and then it hit me. Of course! I was looking at Fractals, I thought 'GOD' how did I miss it, there it was all the time staring me in the face. That explains my attraction to these formations when I'm in the air looking down at them. During the mid seventies when Benoit Mandelbrot first showed the world his computer generated examples of Fractal Geometry, I like everyone else was mesmerised by the beauty and complexity of the Mandelbrot Set.

It is therefore no surprise that every leading mathematician and scientist around the world that has spoken about Fractal geometry acknowledges that they appear in nature everywhere. The only thing was up until now I have only ever observed them in either extreme macro-photography or in astronomy, (images of galaxies etc) but this to me wa