Place-making is usually associated with urban design in the sense of it being a community-driven process for designing public spaces (streets, sidewalks, plazas, squares, campuses, parks, and so on) that are mixed use, host a variety of activities for diverse audiences, and are well-connected to the larger city or town. The overall aim is to strengthen the local community
Place-making is what the Victor Harbor Council is doing with its upgrade and renovation to Ocean Street to counter the decline of the local shops along the town's main street as a result of shopping shifting to the Woolworths mall named Victor Central. This placemaking is making main street more attractive to tourists --building the city brand through revitalising the town and increasing its liveablity.
However, place making is also possible through stories, art works, or photos.
These representations are what express the importance of the place for the self or help to develop a sense of place. The arts place us in time, space, and community in ways that encourage us to be fully and imaginatively present in a variety of contexts: the natural world, our homes, our worshiping communities, and society.
In the light of the considerations in this previous post about the limitations of the Sony a7 R111 and the point and shoot Olympus XZ-1 I went ahead and ordered the Voigtlander VM/E Close Focus Adapter. As mentioned in the earlier post, this adaptor enables me to use my Leica M lenses on the old Sony NEX 7, thereby giving me with the capability to do macro photography whilst I am on the poodlewalks.
I used a Summicron 35m f.2 lens that was on my old Leica M4, and so I was able to put together a macro camera without outlaying too much money. I had purchased the M4 in Melbourne in the 1970s, but it is badly damaged and not functional.
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The advantage of using the Sony a7 R111 with a 35mm Leica M lens and a Novoflex adaptor on the poodlewalks is that I can photograph handheld in low light situations. The high ISO capability is something that I needed not all the tech features as I use the camera in manual mode, as if it were a film camera. It was still photography not video that I was interested in, since video requires expensive editing software and it is a whole other world.
The disadvantage of the Sony with a Lecia M lens is that I cannot do closeups of the objects that I see when walking along the beach or amongst the granite rocks. I find this frustrating as a lot of what I find interesting along the littoral zone these walks is in the detail. Photographing the detail requires using a macro lens, which I do not have. Up to now I use an old compact digital camera (the Olympus XZ-1), but I find the small sensor (10 megapixels) too limiting in terms of dynamic range, tonality and for post processing.
So I have decided to use my old Sony NEX 7 camera that is sitting in a cupboard with a Voigtlander VM/E Close Focus Adapter, which allows me to use my Leica M lenses on both full frame & APS-C Sony E Mount Cameras. I have just ordered the adaptor from Mainline Photographics in Sydney. It's a basic digital camera but this combination provides me with the capability to do some handheld macro photography in soft light using a Leica M lens.
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This is another in my low key and sporadic experiments in converting a digital colour file made with a digital camera into a black and white image:
The image of these granite rocks at Kings Head in Waitpinga is soft and gentle, but it still has some tonality. What surprises me is that it is not the usual muddy grey that normally happens when I have made these kind of conversions from the digital file produced by my older digital camera --a Sony NEX-7.
I have found that the recently acquired Sony a7R111 is much better in terms of producing a richer black and white tonality.
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I have an old 5x7 Cambo monorail view camera which I love using because of its format, its lightness and mobility. Unfortunately, I rarely use it these last couple of years. I did, however, use it to expose the last of the 5x7 Kodak Portra 160ASA sheet film that had sitting in the fridge. This happened was when I was in Swan Hill for the Mallee Routes exhibition at the Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery in 2018.
This is the location photo of the early morning photo session at Pental Island.
The reason for the infrequent use of the 5x7 monorail is due to scanning problems, not the camera, and they arise because I don't have any 5x7 film holders to scan the colour negatives with. This is due to the Epson V700 flatbed scanner coming with film holders only up to 5x4. There are no 5x7 or 10x8 film holders. Soup to now I have been placing the colour negatives directly on the scanner's glass bottom and then scanning the negatives using the Epson area guide.
The scanning problems I encountered are Newton rings and intense cyan images. The results are terrible, and they are difficult, if not impossible to fix in Lightroom, for many of the images. I have spent hours on the computer trying to produce a decent digital file.
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After walking down a number of back country roads and scoping them over the past week in Waitpinga in the southern Fleurieu Peninsula, I have found a couple of locations for a large format photo black and white session.
One is the junction of Tugwell and Wilson Hills Rd in Waitpinga with its little bridge across a little bit of a creek. This is the location that I have in mind:
This is a late afternoon photoshoot since the sun is directly behind us. I now have to wait for a calm day; or a late afternoon with minimal wind.
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My frustration from the rushed Talem Bend photo session has mounted, due to the very gusty northerly and south-westerly winds and continual rain over the last 4 days. The frustration comes from these weather condition making it impractical to make a return trip to Talem Bend at the base of the Mallee Highway. It's 90 minutes drive time each way.
Suzanne suggested that I make things a bit easier for myself in using the 8x10 Cambo by starting to photograph around my local area. I took her advice and I was lucky to squeeze a photo session of roadside vegetation in Waitpinga in one morning after a poodlewalk with Kayla. This just before it started to rain.
I realized afterwards that concentrating on pictures of roadside vegetation was far too limited, and that really I needed to broaden my local image making to include the roads I travelled along by making them more central to the photography. Here was a good model.
I decided to start this exploration off by beginning with the roads that I usually walk down whilst on the poodlewalks. I needed to start with what I was familiar with. The connection between walking and still photography is crucial, as it is on these walks that I see the possible subject matter.
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I drove up to Talem Bend -the base of the Mallee Highway -- yesterday with the poodles --to continue working on the low-key silo project with the Cambo 8x10 monorail. The negatives from the previous photoshoot had been damaged. Hence the re-photography. However, things didn't work out for me.
Since the light wasn't right at the silo around lunch time I decided to scoot up to Geranium to scope the silo there, as I recalled it presented difficulties in photographing because of the surrounding trees and bushes. It took me longer to return to Talem Bend than I'd allow for, so I was running out of time for the photo session.
The conditions were what I wanted: overcast, soft light, no wind. I had limited time before dusk started to fall, and it just doesn't pay to rush the process of setting up the camera when using an 8x10 monorail.
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One afternoon in mid-July I was late going on a poodlewalk with Maleko. As a result, I ended up making my way back to the car at the Petrel Cove carpark after dusk had fallen. It was another of those low light situations in photography, and so I decided to test the low light capabilities of my newly acquired Sony a7R111 as the seascape at dusk looked quite luminous.
This is a hand held photo made whilst I was walking along Depledge Beach towards Petrel Cove. It was after 5.30 pm in mid-winter, the sun had disappeared behind the hills, and the light was subdued.
No noise reduction has been used on this image when I was lightly post processing the digital file in Lightroom on the iMac. There is no need, as there was no noise.
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