Text by John Lampard
There are two schools of thought when it comes to calendars. For some people they are purely functional. A way of remembering birthdays, dentist appointments, and all sorts of other “to do list” items.
For others, aesthetics are more important. People want to add a focal point to their office or home. And for them a calendar consisting of striking and bold imagery is just the way to achieve this.
Heidi Romano of Melbourne design studio, threestones, definitely falls into the latter category. Yet while searching for a new calendar every year, Heidi could never find one she quite liked. Until she started designing and producing her own one that is, something she has now been doing for three years.
“The first calendar came together by coincidence. My partner and I just moved to Melbourne and I was having fun taking photos of the new surroundings. I couldn’t seem to get enough, and after a while I didn’t know what to do with my images. So it kind of happened from there,” says Heidi.
Although Heidi has been a keen photographer for ten years, she prefers to avoid commercial work, and reserve her skills for the calendars and other projects, such as exhibitions.
“I have held a couple of small exhibitions, and am hoping to stage something bigger next year. The calendar is a way for me to show my work, and is also an initiative to get funds for my next exhibition,” she says.
Heidi selects images for each calendar from different sources. For last year’s she used images assembled over the preceding 12 months, while the 2006 calendar is made up of photos taken during a series of visits to the Herbarium at the University of Melbourne.
“I became interested in the visual relationships between natural forms and in what happens when I focus on details to the point of forgetting what the object is,” she says.
“With each image in this calendar I tried to create a photographic landscape capturing the perfections and imperfections of form in a painterly style, whilst trying to escape from the obsession with appearances that define most still-life studies.”
Despite having experimented with digital cameras, and being aware of their advantages, Heidi remains an affirmed user of analogue photography.
“I love the good plain old fashioned cameras and film. I guess I can see some benefits in digital, but it just doesn’t work for me,” she says.
“I once hired the best digital camera I could find, and had a weekend of just taking photos, but I didn’t get very many good results. I had to spend hours in Photoshop, adjusting and touching up the shots, where as I prefer to spend that time taking photos.”