at Salt Creek

I've just returned from  spending  4 days on a photo shoot  in and around Salt Creek near  the Loop Road  in the Coorong  National Park. Some of the photos  made  on the trip were in the National Park itself,  whilst many of the others were made outside it. 

This was a snap made in the early morning light when I was returning to the Subaru after a photoshoot for the second  part of the edgelands  project:  

The colours of the samphire that borders the various clay pans are quite intense at the time of the day. The colours become  bleached  outside of the 'magic hour' in the morning and evening. 

agricultural landscapes

This was made on a recent  early morning poodle walk   with Ari and Kayla  just before Easter.  We were walking  on a  back country road in Waitpinga. It's all agricultural landscapes around this part of Waitpinga,  with some  roadside vegetation and a  rows  of eucalypts--mostly pink gums--between the various fenced paddocks. Though this is land seen in terms of  property and its usefulness, you only occasionally  see human beings working the land.  

The sun burst through the cloud cover for a minute or so whilst we walking along a roadway.   I didn't make it to the spot  that I was aiming for (the two trees over the page).   I had no time to set up the Linhof Technika 70 on a tripod,   which was what I'd been hoping to do. It was either this  handheld photo  at this spot  with the  Sony-NEX-7 digital camera,  or nothing. 

using Colour Efex-Pro-4

When I started  going through the archives looking for material for the Adelaide street portfolio on the website I came across some old images of Andamooka that were made just  before the turn of the century.   I had scanned them after buying the Epson V-700 scanner, but I'left some of them  sitting in the archive because  I lacked  both the skills and the software to post-process them at the time.  

A good  example is the  photograph of an old shack that I made using  the Linhof Technika 70 and Kodak Portra 160NC film.  

I decided to see what I could do  with this image a couple of days ago.  I converted the colour digital file to black and white and then  worked on a black and white  version using Silver Efex-Pro 2 . It looked okay--much better than I expected actually -- so I started to  work on the original  colour image using Colour Efex-Pro-4: 

I'd forgotten I had this software on the studio's computers.  It had came as part of the Nik Collection  package that was a free upgrade when Google acquired the product--- I was eligible as I had previously bought Silver Efex-Pro-2.   I'd forgotten  about  Colour Efex Prox-4 as I was only interested in Nik's  black and white plug-in software at the time. I  used the latter as I found that Adobe Lightroom was  rather unsatisfactory  for  post-processing  the digital files of my black and white negatives.   

sea fog

The last few days on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula coast have been, warm,  humid and very still with dense sea fog moving across the  coastal landscape in the early morning and evening. 

These are unusual conditions,  and I tried to explore them photographically, but without much success. The seascapes that I did were dull and flat,  whilst the various photos of trees and vegetation in the fog were cliched rather than poetic. 

on location in Waitpinga

Now that summer has passed  into autumn I've started using my  old 8x10  Cambo monorail. This morning was the first time I 'd used the camera since late spring. I was a bit rusty and  things didn't go very smoothly.  I made a number of mistakes on the shoot.

It was a local  photoshoot that I'd previously scoped,  and I'd  been  waiting for  the right conditions for the photoshoot:

Over the summer I'd  changed the lens  on the Cambo from a Schneider-Kreuznach  Symmar 210mm to a  Schneider-Kreuznach  Symmar  300mm in preparation for  photographing the silos along the Mallee Highway in the next month or so.  The  former lens  didn't cover  the camera's rise and fall  movements very well, especially with the front standard, which  needed  to be raised quite high to get  the  top of silos in the frame.  

Richmond, Melbourne

When I was in Melbourne recently, I continued my  photographic exploration of  the Southern Cross Railway Station and the inner suburb of Richmond.  I hung around  in the former and I continued with my walking the latter. 

I had  briefly visited Victoria Street, Richmond,   with Stuart Murdoch after  our  Kodak shoot for a quick meal at the no frills Thy Thy restaurant. Whilst walking to the restaurant  I noticed that the Victoria Street  part of Richmond had radically changed from the one that I knew when when I lived in Melbourne in the late 1970s. I was working as a conductor on the trams and studying at Photographic Studies College. 

There were no Vietnamese restaurants anywhere in Victoria Street, Richmond.  The notable ethnicities  were Turks and Greeks.  Then Richmond was  identified as Struggletown. It was a working class suburb with cottages, pubs and factories. Richmond, by all accounts,   had started to become a little Saigon in the 1980s.

 Richmond  today is in the process of gentrification,  as a result of the exodus of manufacturing to the outer suburbs thereby making the inner city a much more pleasant place to live. Victoria  St is still  a gritty street,  and it has a vibrancy that Adelaide lacks,  and  what inner city Adelaideans long for and Sydneysiders now miss.   The Gouger Street precinct near the Adelaide Central Market doesn't really cut it. 

I  only had time for a couple of quick, hand held  snaps at dusk with the digital camera before the evening meal.  When walking back to the car after the meal I decided to return to Richmond  the next day  and  walk  Victoria St. I wanted to see if it was a food strip or more akin to an urban village. 

photographing in the Coorong

We stayed a couple of days at Salt Creek in the Coorong on our way back from Adelaide from Melbourne so that I could pick up the second part of the edgelands project after a hiatus. I had been working on the Australian abstraction and Fleurieuscapes projects and I wanted to concentrate on  the edge lands associated with  the River Murray. I wanted to check out whether the  Coorong offered  any possibilities. 

My starting point was  a  familiar spot that I knew from when I briefly photographed  here several years ago,  and I was quite happy to return there and  begin to photograph in terms of South Australia landscapes. We arrived  at Salt Creek in the late afternoon and  I checked  out the location  for a 5x4 shoot  whilst we were on a poodle walk in the late afternoon light.

I was thinking  of constructing this low lying lying landscape into  horizontal strips of land, sea and sky. The lush afternoon light made  the image  too picturesque, and  it placed too much emphasis on  natural beauty for the edge lands project. When  I photographed the next day with the 5x4 Linhof it was in  flat morning light so that  this landscape  would look more stark and weird.  

photographing in the Otways

On our way back  to Adelaide from Melbourne we stayed a couple of days  near Johanna Beach, which is  close to the Great Otway National Park.  This stay had been planned  by Suzanne a couple of months ago. 

I had tentatively  planned to add onto this  stay some photography of  the effects of the bush fire at Separation Creek   and Wye River along the Great Ocean Road.  However, the  length of time it took to travel the distance to these localities and coastal towns was too great to photograph in the early morning light or at twilight.   

So I took the opportunity of the stay to go photographing in the rainforest  of the Otway Ranges. This is a scoping image made with my  digital camera--the Sony NEX-7 whilst  taking a walk along the Old Ocean Road:

I was exploring the rainforest outside the national park--the Otway Forest along the Old Ocean Road from memory. I used my baby Linhof---the  Linhof Technika 70---with  its 2 6x9  Linhof film backs: one was loaded with  colour film (Kodak Portra 160)  the other was loaded with black and white film (Ilford PanF Plus).  Alas,  I  had inadvertently loaded the colour film the wrong way.  So I've only  got the black and white  film negatives.  

on the road to Melbourne

I've just returned from the  Melbourne trip via the Great Ocean Road and several days in the Otway's and in  the Coorong. 

On the way over to Melbourne we stayed overnight at a dog friendly place called Old Dadswell Town on the Western Highway. It  is between Horsham and Stawell.  I was carrying the 5x7 Cambo monorail  to begin to photograph  the silos along the Wimmera section of the Western Highway,  as I was hoping for some overcast skies. It was not to be.  The weather  was bright, sunny and hot.  I made no photos of  the silos.

I did manage to take some snapshots at Old Dadswell Town in the late afternoon as a form of consolation:

Old Dadswell Town  is a quirky place  full of collected junk,  and it refers back to the Australia of the 1950s, the Mad Max movies and the tourist pioneer theme towns. We had the place to ourselves on this occasion. 

trip to Melbourne

We  leave Adelaide for Melbourne tomorrow morning.  We are staying  at Safety Beach  on the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne with my sister Karen.  Jyl, my other sister,  will  be driving down  from Canberra. It's a family reunion of sorts---my birthday.   Ari, our 14 year standard poodle, will travel with us. We will be away from Adelaide for around 11 days. 

It's a holiday and a photo trip. Whilst Suzanne stays with friends in Geelong  for  several days  I will be photographing in the city  of Melbourne, picking up from where I left off when I was exploring Richmond in 2015: 
With a bit of luck  I'll may even  be able to do  some  large format photography in a topographical style  with Stuart Murdoch,  after he finishes teaching for the day at the Northern College of the Arts and Technology.   Weather permitting,  of course. 

We return to Adelaide via the Great Ocean Road and then the Coorong National Park. We have  planned to spend a  couple of days in the Ottway's so that I can explore the bush around Wye River  and Separation Creek, where the recent Victorian bush fires occurred. Then we have a couple of days  in the Coorong on the way back to Adelaide so that I can attempt to photograph the landscape.