back on line

Exhaustive checks ended up with the conclusion that the electrical storm  of a week ago had caused   the studio's Fritzbox modem to frizz.   Surge protectors are useless for this kind of electrical interference apparently.   I had to get a new modem from Internode. The studio finally has  internet connectivity and I can now post online.

This is the second time a modem has been fried by an electical storm  this year. This digital storage and equipment  is nerve wracking. 

I've also managed to get my  old Lacie external discs properly formatted for the iMac. 3 years  of digital  files from  the digital cameras have  been backed up. The digital files of my film cameras have also been backed up.

Backup is making a duplicate copy to prevent a problem in the event of something like a computer failure. Archive is safe storage and at least one archive copy of your photos should be stored off-site (away from home).

I  now have two sets of backup at the studio--they have   already been backed up on a Netgear mirroring hard disc. So I  have three separate sets of my digital photos. This  double backup insurance  means that I'm feeling a little  bit more secure about  digital file storage  and hard disc collapse. I also have  the photos  on a Mac Pro  in Adelaide, which is also backed up. 

It's a  long way from the file cabinets, briefcases, safety deposit boxes and  the  fireproof safes of the analogue world.

The above  picture is  one of the ones that I took the day after  the electrical storm when I was walking  along the coast trying to make  more pictures  for  the  sea abstracts book. This project is not going well and  I'm frustrated by the failures.

cloud studies

An electrical storm swept through Victor Harbor on Monday night and the studio lost all internet and mobile connection. I suspect the electrical storm took out the modern. 

I was lost without the connection---after several days it still hadn't been restored. So I spent my time scanning  negatives from the archive.  

I managed to take some cloud photos  before the rain, thunderstorm  happened. The lightening was happening along the cliffs in the distance.  

There were  lots of people standing on the cliffs looking at the atmospherics,  taking photos of the approaching storm, and watching the pod of  dophins hunt for fish along the coastline. 

white rock abstract

It is  just a quick visit to Victor Harbor for the weekend.

I went  for  a quick walk along the  rocky seashore this afternoon  looking for rock and tidal pools that would be suitable for photographic abstractions. I had little luck. The ones that I took were very disappointing and  I deleted them from the digital camera.

I struggled, gave up,  and then  retreated to my comfort zone--rocks. The light was just  right was my excuse. However,  rocks forms are easier to handle than the movement of the sea. There is very little control with the latter. It's just hit and miss and its only  by chance that a Rothko style abstract would emerge.

I'm beginning to think that  my sea abstract project is going to be a difficult one to pull off.

solway rose

The roses were  in full bloom last weekend when we were down at Solway in Victor Harbor.  I couldn't resist taking a few snaps of the ones in the garden with the Olympus XZ-1 point and shoot:

Early morning light was best, just as the sunlight touched them.

Last year  I used to bring the roses  into the studio to  photograph them. The results weren't  all that great, as I was too slapdash with the composition and the lighting. 

on back country roads

When I was down at Victor Harbor on the weekend with Suzanne and Barbara Heath I drove around some of the back roads looking for material for my conceptual photography book. I spent several hours in the car driving on dusty roads and, to  my dismay,  there was little roadside vegetation that was suitable. 

The main problem I encounted was that most of the roadside vegetation has been so cleared by the dairy farmers, that  there is so little in the way of pink gums and Xanthorrhoea on the raodside  for me to work with.

I'm begining  to think that there may not be enough material for me to be able  finish the Blurb book. 

sea abstract #2

The weather has been stormy along the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula these last few days. So I have sat on the rocks on the edge of the boat ramp at Encounter Bay, Victor Harbor with a digital camera making abstract photos of the water.

I've done this before and I wanted to experiment with no sunlight and the early morning sunlight. Looking at the uploaded  images on the computer screen afterwards I can see that sunlight works  best.  The lack of sunlight makes the image very drab and flat.

I've started   a little series  of sea abstractions in the form of a DIY book.

finally.....

I had an early morning photographic session this morning with the 8x10 Cambo along the back country roads just west of the city of  Victor Harbor.  I was able to  incorporate this shoot  into a session for the conceptual photography project on the pink gum and Xanthorrhoea combination.

The conditions were ideal--the wind had dropped, there was early morning cloud cover and  sunshine. I had been  been trying to photograph this scene for ages but the conditions had been against me. I had imagined it  with flat light but I decided to go with the early morning sun.

I used black and white film (Ilford HP5) on this shoot,  but I find myself wondering what it would look like in colour. Lush I thought. Probably too lush. I do have some 8x10  Kodak colour film sitting the fridge to try out,  but I am not sure how to scan the colour negative.

digital suite

I have just had the  backup technology for Encounter Studio's digital suite updated.   I've been forced into it, as  I  needed to replace  an old,  dysfunctional data storage device---a  Lacie Quadra (500 gigabit)--- with a NetGear  Nas Raid (2TB) storage device with its  mirroring disc.  It will take around 12 hours to back up my photos.

It's  a prosumer --home-based or small business--data storage device  rather than an industrial or professional photography one. Though it is a network solution to data storage,   it does not have the capacity to keep  adding or replacing the  hard discs,  or to automatically backup to a remote location. That will be the next upgrade I guess.

I'm very paranoid about backing up my photographs and data  storage these days,  as  I have experienced  hard disc failures in my computers and  my  Apple and Lacie data storage devices die in the last year.

The next step  is to  back up the data storage devices  with  a portable hard disc  using the hard discs that we have been aale to  salvage from the  now useless Lacie Quadra. These portable hard discs can then be stored on the library shelf at Victor Harbor,  or in another place for safekeeping.

In the meantime I've been  figuring out how to continue with my  table top  photography  using  the  Sinar 8x10, a standard lens  (Schneider Symmar 360mm f5.6), natural light and black and white sheet film. I wanted to avoid the expense of buying an extension rail or a telephoto lens. 

 

sea abstract #1

The stormy weather finally has gone from Victor Harbor.   Today started  with a glorious spring morning--crisp, clear and still.  As there  was no early morning  cloud cover,  so the 8x10 black and white shoot that I had in mind was  a nonstarter.  I needed soft or diffused early morning light for the shoot.

So I took a walk along the boat ramp  near Whalers Inn  Resort at sunrise in order to  photograph the  sea at the edge of breakwater in Encounter Bay.  I had some abstractions in mind,  which I wanted to explore in the early morning light:

The sea is gentle in this part of Encounter Bay,  and so I was able to sit on the rocks at the water's edge without worrying that I'd be swamped  by every  seventh  wave.  I didn't have that much time  before the sunlight became too bright and the highlights on the white caps of the waves blew out. 

after the storms

The wild southerly storms eased on the weekend and I ventured out with cameras in the morning to photograph the  roadside vegetation  and to  photograph the rock forms  along the coast in the afternoon.

Though it was low tide in the late afternoon,  the sea was still very turbulent.   It was too  dangerous to go right  to the edge where the sea pounded  the rocks. The odd wave--roughly every  seventh one- -- was very high,  and the rocks were  slippery underfoot.

So I played it safe.