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:
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.
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.
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.