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.   

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.  

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. 

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.

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. 

Southern Cross

I'm on the road to Melbourne this week. I  am staying  here for a couple of days  to work on editing the images  of the Bowden Archives book with Stuart Murdoch.  He has kindly volunteered  to help me. I am  just too close to the work.

I was able to do a bit of photography  yesterday around the Southern Cross Station

 I was waiting to meet some friends in Richmond  and I had a hour or so to take some photos around Docklands.