Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence, Bachelor of Arts (Photography) Sponsored by Sun Studios.


My body of work explores light and water’s relationship with the sublime. Looking at various bodies of water, I capture how different lighting can manipulate the appearance of water, presenting a sublime landscape to the viewer.

During this project, I wanted to question what personally makes an image sublime and as photographers, why are we drawn to romanticising nature. Images of nature express appreciation for our environment, yet our actions towards nature continue to be selfish. Each year, climate change becomes a more pressing matter, however, we still take more than what we give back to the environment. 

Considering my connection with nature and the sublime, I approached this work by walking through various locations, capturing what I was fascinated by. I found myself drawn to photographing landscapes involving water. Depending on the pigmentation, the intensity of light and the water’s movements, light and water’s connection forces us to feel multiple emotions such as chaos, vastness, obscurity and beauty, which are all characteristics of the sublime. Water personally feels subliminal, because it is a resource that we need to survive and what the planet relies on to grow, holding this greater, powerful presence over ourselves. 

Photograph of Maroondah Dam on an overcast day
Rani Bartholomeusz, Maroondah Dam, 2022.
Photograph of a Lake
Rani Bartholomeusz, Down by the Lake, 2022.
Photograph of beach on a stormy sunset
Rani Bartholomeusz, Last light before the storm 2022.
A photograph of a reflection of Trees in a puddle
Rani Bartholomeusz, Mirrored Trees, 2022.

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Rani Bartholomeusz