tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:/posts Encounter Studio's blog 2018-06-09T08:10:24Z Gary Sauer-Thompson tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1292197 2018-06-09T01:28:44Z 2018-06-09T08:10:24Z a training walk for the camel trek

Upon returning from the industrial photo session in Melbourne I went on a training walk  for the upcoming camel trek in the North Flinders  Ranges from Arkaroola to Mount Hopeless starting on June 19th. This is part of the extension of the Heysen Trail  and it is primarily walked by  wilderness walkers. 

My first  training walk was from Waitpinga Beach to Rosetta Head along the coastal and clifftop walking trail then the short distance to  home in Encounter Bay.  It took me about 5 hours, but this  included an hour of  photography on a rocky outcrop west of Kings Head. 

 I was trialing carrying a digital camera around my neck and   Suzanne's large Osprey pack that she used on her Walls of Jerusalem walk in Tasmania. I was also seeing how my feet stood up on the different terrain  of the coastal path. Neither the pack nor the digital camera around my neck worked, and my feet took a bit of a battering. So another training walk with  a new day pack with  the camera attached to the sternum strap on the front of the pack  is planned. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1285087 2018-05-19T00:49:51Z 2018-05-20T01:24:07Z returning to the Edgelands project

When I was  on a photo camp at Lake Boga, near Swan Hill in Victoria,  I was able to do  a bit of 5x7 large format photography. I haven't used this Cambo monorail  for some time, primarily because of  the difficulties I'd experienced scanning the negatives on my  Epson  V700 flatbed scanner. I found it easier to use the 5x4.  

This  was an early morning photo session on  Pental Island along  the banks of  the Little Murray River.  I'd scoped the location  on a previous visit.   

It was a return to the Edgelands project, which has been on the back burner for a couple of years.  I haven't known what to do with the body of work in this  project after the initial exhibition at Manning Clark House in Canberra in 2014, apart from  continuing to make the odd large format photo. I kept thinking about to continue with this project. 

One possibility that came to mind was to expand the project into a photobook I thought whilst I was on location at Pental Island     One possibility would be to produce a  second edition of the initial exhibition catalogue,  which was a picturebook with a mixture of word and image, by making it more open ended.  

The idea behind the second edition would be to make a photobook in which there is a tension between word and image,  the pictures rather than the text are the dominant  element,  and to emphasise  the meanings being achieved through the reader continuously moving back and forth between the text and image. What I would  try to avoid is having a single narrative or story so as to make it a more open  to a variety of interpretations. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1272041 2018-04-13T01:11:23Z 2018-04-13T04:46:07Z 5x4 photo session

The weather conditions were good this morning  for a 5x4 large format photo session along the coast early this morning.  There was some solid cloud cover, low tide and  little wind.  The weather forecast was for strong westerly winds and rain along the coast  today,  so I took a chance. 

I had  about  an hour on site with approximately 30 minutes carrying the gear to and from the site. I was able to make  2 photos  of different subjects out of the 3 with the Linhof Technika that I had planned, before  the conditions became  unsuitable around 8am.  This is a behind the camera photo of the second session:  

This is the only 5x4 photoshoot that I have done along the coast  since this  one  early in January:-- 3 months ago,  before I  had acquired the Sony A7r111. Basically I have struggled to find suitable subject matter for the large format photography, and  when I have find something, the weather conditions have not been suitable.   

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1269384 2018-04-06T00:02:54Z 2018-04-08T00:56:24Z low light situations

I have settled in using the Sony A7r111 after working with it extensively on the recent New Zealand  trip.  

I use the camera  manually, as  if it were an old fashioned Leica  rangefinder from the film era. This is crazy,  I know, but I have set camera up so that nothing is automatic.  I am however,  getting to the point of adjusting the basic menu  that was  set up  for me by the camera store when I bought the camera. I  do need  a bit more flexibility in adjusting exposures up or down in specific situations.   

What is really working for me, and what has impressed me,  is  the Sony's low light capability. This allows me, as in the above image,  to photograph hand held in low light,  whilst on the morning or afternoon poodlewalks along the southern Fleurieu Peninsula coastline.  I was scoping for a possible film shoot, given that there is low tide early in the morning at the moment.  

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1243420 2018-02-05T22:56:26Z 2018-04-10T01:32:14Z upgrading the digital camera

I have finally upgraded my digital  camera,  which I use to walk around with on the  poodlewalks and  for scoping  for my large format photography.   It is a  full frame, interchangeable lens  Sony A7r111 mirrorless camera, and it was  dam  expensive.  It cost  just over $A5000 as there were no trade in bonuses or cash backs.  This  is a lot of money for me  (pretty much the limit of what I can afford) and   it will take me the rest of the year to pay it off.  If I lose the Sony A7r111,  the overall  replacement cost with the Leica 35mm lens would be  around $11,000, which is way beyond what I can afford. This kind of expense  puts it out of reach of not just "amateurs" but enthusiasts as well.

We  do pay a premium for  the  incremental improvements in  new technology--eg., a fully loaded  5K iMac.    The new technology--cameras and computers--- is overpriced and there is a relentless upward price of computer and camera gear.   Fortunately,  I was able  to attach  the 35mm f2.0 Leica manual focus lens and the  Novoflex adaptor  that I used to use on the Sony NEX-7. The Sony/Leica combination  worked well for me in the past,  and so far it is even better with the  A7r11.

The Sony NEX-7  will  now  become a back up walk around camera with macro capability,  once I acquire the necessary  Voigtlander close focus adaptor,  and find another Leica M lens to use.   

The NEX-7 which I had used  for over  7 years   does feel like a toy compared to the A7r111.  Sony have come a long way since 2011.  The A7r111 feels like a professional camera: it is much more solid, better built, has a  bigger battery and a lot more tech.  Yet  it  still sits comfortably in the hand, is compact  like a SLR film camera, and it is not all that noticeable when photographing in the street.  

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1230122 2018-01-11T04:50:07Z 2018-01-29T06:12:48Z a granite photo session

The field  type of large format  camera photographed below --an old Linhof 5x4 Technika IV film camera --- is very much the opposite of the automation of the  modern,  medium format digital camera,  with their possibilities of auto image stacking, stitching, automatic perspective correction, and sharp lenses that go in the direction that folks call 'clinical'.   With the Linhof everything is manual.  Nothing is automatic. It is rudimentary equipment albeit (albeit over-engineered) and it's slow  photography.  

The Linhof  does  offer a different kind of photographic experience --a more contemplative one--as well as  a different aesthetic in that  it enables  the extended toe and shoulder of sheet film.

With the advances in  digital technology the world of medium format digital cameras has changed and, with  the   33x44mm cropped medium format 50 megapixels digital cameras --(eg.,  Pentax 645Z,  Fujifilm's GFX and Hasselblad 1XD),  are now within people's financial grasp.  These cameras, especially the Fujifilm GFX and the Hasselblad X1D, are attractive options as they avoid the need for the expensive digital back the Linhof Techno needs, have lightweight bodies, smallish lenses,  rich and full quality files, and are able to be carried  around in the field. They also avoid the pitfalls of second hand digital backs.  

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1227372 2018-01-06T05:40:06Z 2018-01-06T07:32:14Z photography + abstraction: a note

One of the strands  in  my style  of photography in and around poodlewalks  is to shift away from the literal and transparent.  My name for this shift is abstraction--ie.,  finding ways to underscore  the photograph as surface,  as flat; even though there is an optical space within the photograph. This is often filed by photographic educators under  'ways of seeing'  that depend on, and are shaped by  habit and convention.   

An example of the photograph as surface: 


On the traditional understanding of photography--representation based on linear perspective that is clear and literal-- the grasses or foliage appear as obstructions to a clear view of the scene. From the perspective of abstraction  the shift is away from  a concern with illusionistic representational space the image  has an equal intensity of pictorial incident across its  whole surface. The emphasis is on the two dimensionality of the photograph.   ]]> Gary Sauer-Thompson tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1215967 2017-12-13T10:49:24Z 2018-01-05T23:22:22Z on Adobe's Lightroom 6 again

Another post on my experiences with the newly installed standalone Adobe's Lightroom 6 on my  Retina 5K 27inch late 2015  iMac.    

As we all know,  Adobe has been marketing  Lightroom as the all-in-one post-processing tool for hobbyists, enthusiasts and professionals, and up to now I have certainly found it to be an "all-in-one” workflow solution for post processing and cataloguing my  photographic images.  I have been happy with this, given that the current choices for post-processing and file management software are limited. 

In the previous post I outlined  my unease  with Adobe’s latest move to discontinue the standalone version of Lightroom, and to  move everyone to the cloud; thereby effectively locking  us in for the future for Adobe to grow their profits.  I was frustrated because dumping the  perpetual license  is something Adobe in the past said that it would not do.  Adobe Lightroom is now purely subscription based and, unfortunately for me,  it is only a matter of time until an OS upgrade from Apple breaks the standalone Lightroom 6 (LR6) completely. 

However, my frustration with the standalone Lightroom 6 on the iMac has to do with other issues. It is not only its  lack of development compared to the subscription version.  It also arises from finding that LR6 has basic stability and performance issues that should not exist in the first place, given that this is professional software.  

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1212946 2017-12-08T00:17:36Z 2017-12-08T01:26:57Z granite formation

The changeable weather conditions of late  has provided a space  for me to explore the coast in the early morning light and  to  I scoping  for suitable subjects for some large format photography. In this instance it basically  5x4 colour using the old Linhof Technika IV or the Cambo 5x7 monorail.       

I haven't really found much to work with, but this  granite formation looking towards King Head and the wilderness lodge is one of the more promising possibilities that I have across.   

I haven't been doing much large format photography along the coast for a while --only hand held medium format lately. Hence the specific scoping.  Most of what I see in the morning ---eg., seaweed  amongst  granite rocks--is ephemeral, as it is usually  gone by the next morning.  It is either washed away by the sea  or blow away by the wind. 

Nor can I take the 5x4  or 5x7 out and hope that I come suitable seaweed to construct  a still-life.  It's only now and again that I find seaweed pods washed up on the shore. 

It is best to use subjects like granite formation and just wait for an overcast  early morning with little wind and soft  morning light. The large format then highlights  the tonality and colour in the granite. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1210605 2017-12-03T04:06:09Z 2017-12-04T11:12:44Z two versions of foam + granite

More digital black and white photography from stumbling up some foam amongst the coastal granite, just after the wet weather had eased.

This picture is a  straight conversion  from the digital file, as I am currently  unable to  access Silver Efex Pro 2  software on my  iMac, which is  running  the High Sierra Operating system. Unfortunately I have never found any software package that can produce black and white conversions that are as good as those created by Silver Efex Pro 2.

At least I am able to use the standalone Adobe Lightroom 6 that I recently purchased from B+H with my  recent film order on the  iMac.   I reckon it is a case of waiting  for a black and white conversion as there is good news around the corner: DxO has acquired the NiK collection and it's upgraded version will be released in mid-2018. I doubt that the software  will be free. 

DxO is a French company that performs extensive scientific testing on camera image sensors and lenses. The information and knowledge that DxO glean from their tests is used to produce a raw processing software packages called  – DxO Optics Pro.

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1208924 2017-11-28T01:49:20Z 2017-12-01T02:26:33Z aerial photography

Yesterday was my first attempt at aerial photography. Chris Dearden  flew me along the  southern Fleurieu Peninsula coast from the Murray Mouth to Newland Heads then back to Goolwa in  his recreational Sonex aircraft --- a Xenos motor glider. It's a great little fixed wing  aircraft. 

I had to make the photos of the coast through the perspex  canopy at a 45 angle in order to avoid the aircraft's wing. I   used my old  Sony NEX-7 digital camera  with a 35mm Leica M lens. I didn't even bother to use the Rolleiflex TLR medium format film camera that I had with me. it sat behind the seat untouched  for the whole trip.  

A photo of the mouth of the River  Murray, which is where we headed first after leaving Goolwa airport. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1205790 2017-11-16T23:45:22Z 2017-11-17T01:21:59Z Petrel Cove: am

This was made  on an early morning poodlewalk as Kayla and I  set out for an open air  photoshoot,  then a walk along the rocks along the coast.  It was made in the warm  weather  just before before the cold, windy  wet conditions set in.

People were out and about in the sub tropical weather: surfing, fishing, sun baking, playing. I had some photos of saltt ponds amongst the granite rocks lined up, then the weather changed and everyone disappeared. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1204555 2017-11-11T00:14:58Z 2017-11-17T00:23:47Z Petrel Cove: open air studio

Another behind the camera photo of an early morning still life photoshoot near Petrel Cove: 

This open studio set up had been previously scoped with my digital camera. I scoped a number of different locations  to see which worked the best. I plan to do a 5x4  photoshoot with the baby Sinar F2 late this afternoon if the conditions remain overcast.  

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1203536 2017-11-06T03:17:22Z 2017-11-12T05:32:15Z at Moorook

The November Mallee photocamp was  based at Morgan, which is located  in the corner where the Murray River  turns to flow south. The mallee scrub is being cleared and replaced with  irrigated agriculture. 

 Whilst there I  spent an afternoon photographing along the southern  bank of the River Murray at  Moorook. This hamlet  is between Kingston-on-the Murray  and Loxton on the Sturt Highway, and  so it is a part of the Riverland region in South Australia. 

I had briefly photographed along this stretch in the 1980s  (in  black and white)  and then  around 2004 (in colour). I remembered photographing along this stretch of the  river as I drove past it on my to Loxton to do some research in the Loxton public library. I did some scoping on my return to Morgan from Loxton. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1201255 2017-10-27T01:28:14Z 2017-10-29T01:20:15Z on location: Petrel Cove

It took me three  attempts  over three days to photograph this rock pool at Petrel Cove:

My  historical baby Linhof camera--an old   Linhof Technika 70 --- had a mechanical problem  on the first morning as the locking mechanism wouldn't lock  the downturned folding camera bed so I could not focus;  the second morning it was raining; the third morning things finally came together. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1199618 2017-10-20T05:53:46Z 2017-10-24T00:52:53Z Adobe's Lightroom: changes

 Adobe serves an enormous part of the image-editing market, whether photographers like it or not. They are  an industry leader in graphic design, photo editing and photo management software---the standard in the industry for many people. 

Lightroom,  the photo processing software, has professional-grade editing and organizing tools,  but still maintains its usability. The Creative Cloud of Lightroom version is part of Adobe’s annual subscription-based Photography Plan, which includes  Photoshop CC, so you’re getting two photo-editing applications designed to work alongside each other. 

Adobe's recent upgrade to Lightroom  has seen the emergence of two Lightrooms--Lightroom Classic CC (an updated version of the desktop Lightroom that we know--its Lightroom 7)  and Lightroom CC (an entirely redesigned app designed to work alongside Adobe’s equally new cloud-based storage system)--a cut down version (Lightroom Mobile?),  that is a shift to a more mobile-first workflow which  allows you to manage your photos wherever you are and whatever the device. 

The current subscription model  for Lightroom CC  means that we rent Adobe’s apps rather than buying a licence--permanently renting the tools we  use to create. The shift is from software to rental ware.  I have been using the stand alone Lightroom 5  (desktop) up to now,  but I recently purchased Lightroom 6 (desktop) as part of my film order from B+H.  I realize that I am  essentially getting a two-year-old version, feature wise, as compared to the subscription version.  I appreciate that the differences between the subscription version Lightroom Classic  and and the standalone version of  Lightroom 6 are becoming significant, but I don't really need all the updates or the extraneous options. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1198208 2017-10-14T07:04:12Z 2017-10-18T06:42:42Z digital b+w photography

It is rare for me to convert my digital photos into black and white. I nearly always use medium format film  for my black and white  photography of the details along both the coast and the landscape of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. I avoid the grandiose or the panorama.

However, as  I have no b+w film  at the moment,  and the spare film back for the Rolleiflex SL66 that I used  to use for  my b+w  broke when I was in Queenstown earlier this year and cannot be repaired, I  have done  a quick conversion of  a  digital colour image  into black and white using  Adobe's Lightroom.

I dislike the way that Lightroom converts colour digital files into black and white files.  The  tonal richness disappears and the image becomes rather drab and flat. There is no punch to them.  

So, like many others, I've been  using the Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 plugin software to process my digital black and white images in Lightroom.  I was happy with what I was using,  and I didn't bother  looking for alternative software  because I rarely  converted my digital photos into black and white. Digital black and white photography  didn't really appeal. 

This is  just a small step into the world of digital black and white photography. Though  I  will eventually buy more black and white film  to  use with the  Linhof Technika 70,   the new iMac (currently running the  High Sierra O/S)  is forcing me  to  think in terms of upgrading my  Sony NEX-7 digital camera to a full frame mirrorless one,  and updating my Adobe post processing software.  

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1197979 2017-10-13T05:48:16Z 2017-10-15T06:46:03Z a quiet moment

This picture was made as Kayla, Maleko and myself  were returning  from a long  poodlewalk along the coastal rocks to the car parked at Kings Beach Rd in Waitpinga. 

It was a quiet,  peaceful moment: no wind, soft light, gentle seas after the sun had gone behind the hills. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1197441 2017-10-10T23:08:23Z 2017-10-10T23:17:18Z on location

The times that I have photographed along the coast with my  film cameras have been few and far between.  It's been nearly all digital photography this winter and spring--building up an archive of images  for The Littoral Zone propject. 

This was one  of the few occasions with a medium format camera:

I am running my stock of film stock down before I order any more film from New York.  All my 5x4 colour film has been used. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1195311 2017-10-02T06:41:49Z 2017-10-02T06:41:49Z still life in open air studio

I am back to playing around with  making still life photos in an open air studio situated amongst the coast rocks during our poodlewalks

I have several locations along a particular walk,  but this series depends on finding some good, fresh  seaweed  whilst on the walk. It doesn't happen often. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1192981 2017-09-22T07:09:23Z 2017-09-22T07:23:06Z Quartz, Newland Heads

From a  return visit to an old favourite coastal location to check it out--a rocky outcrop at the base of the Newland Head cliffs in Waitpinga. 

I remembered the strangeness of the site and I wanted to check it for The Littoral Zone project. Mind you that was in the winter the last time I was there.  What of the early spring? Would the strangeness still be there? 

The soft light after the sun has gone behind the cliffs is the best time. The colours in the detail are what caught my eye this time. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1191741 2017-09-17T04:17:48Z 2017-09-17T04:20:46Z seascapes

I have been playing around with  photographing seascapes with a digital camera whilst I am on the poodle walks  without much success. Most of the images I have scoped have been bland and boring. 

I have been scoping them in order to photograph the seascapes with a large format camera on a tripod from the top of the cliffs. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1189102 2017-09-06T00:13:53Z 2017-09-06T01:57:47Z before the storm

This was made whilst we were starting out  an afternoon poodle walk. You can see our Subaru Forester parked on Kings Beach Road.

The storm  from the south west came in that night and it has  battered the coast  for the following 4 days.  

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1187939 2017-09-01T01:22:56Z 2017-09-01T01:45:15Z an open air studio

Whilst on  my poodlewalks I sometimes  set up an open air studio amongst the coastal granite,  and I then play around with bits of seaweed and flotsam  to construct a simple still life. 

This is a recent  example of such  staging:

On this occasion I was attracted by the colours and the texture of the seaweed. The image  worked better with the seaweed wet rather than dry.    

If  the image works then I reshoot with my film cameras. This rarely happens. One occasion when it did.  

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1186768 2017-08-26T23:34:19Z 2017-08-26T23:54:35Z Tugwell Rd, Waitpinga

Now that Ari no longer with us we are  now able to  go on longer walks that allowed us to explore our locality.  

Yesterday afternoon  we all went exploring along Tugwell Rd in Waitpinga. The country was farmland and we just walked along Tugwell Road. 

I was scoping  for possible photographs with the film cameras. This is one  possibility. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1179210 2017-08-01T05:55:17Z 2017-08-01T06:07:22Z Mallee Routes Murtoa photoshoot

I was so pleased with myself for this section of the  recent  Hopetoun phototrip  for the Mallee Routes project. I  had timed the photoshoot at Murtoa, in the Wimmera Mallee  perfectly.  

The light was right. So were the clouds. The Cambo 5x7 monorail was set up properly.  I took a behind the camera snap with the Sony NEX-7 to record the moment, then loaded the double dark film holders.

The spring in the camera back  broke as I was loading the double dark film holders. I took some photos but there was no pressure holding the film holder tight against the camera body. So there would be light leaks everywhere.

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1174598 2017-07-18T04:43:03Z 2017-07-18T04:43:04Z Rosetta Head

The local coastal landscape:

Made on a recent poodlewalk with Kayla and Maleko. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1163357 2017-06-13T00:52:24Z 2017-06-13T00:55:12Z Southern Alps

This picture was made whilst flying across the southern alps in the South Island.   I was on an  early morning flight heading  towards the west coast of New Zealand : 

This picture is  a few minutes latter than the ones in this post.  

I was enroute from Christchurch  to Adelaide.  

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1162711 2017-06-11T11:39:10Z 2017-06-11T12:03:47Z coastal granite

Thanks to Madeline taking Ari for a walk this afternoon  I was able to walk along the foreshore rocks with Kayla and Maleko this Sunday.

There were  heaps of people  walking along the cliff top path, which is part of the Heysen Trail,  in the afternoon sunshine--with children, in groups, with their dogs.  They were still walking at 5pm. 

I suddenly realised that it was a long weekend--Queens birthday weekend.  People had come down the southern Fleurieu Peninsula coast for the weekend.   

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:solway.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1160167 2017-06-03T02:03:10Z 2017-06-03T10:06:11Z behind the camera

Whilst Suzanne is in Cuba and Mexico  for 4 weeks I have been minding the standard  poodles at Encounter Bay and trying to make a few photos whilst I am on the daily poodle walks.

The photos are for the Fleurieuscapes book  that I am slowly working on.  Slowly because I am not  sure where I am going with this body of work about the Fleurieu Peninsula, or what I am trying to do with it. It is about the specifics of the place whilst avoiding the sublime, the picturesque and the beautiful as much as possible. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson