Place-making is usually associated with urban design in the sense of it being a community-driven process for designing public spaces (streets, sidewalks, plazas, squares, campuses, parks, and so on) that are mixed use, host a variety of activities for diverse audiences, and are well-connected to the larger city or town. The overall aim is to strengthen the local community
Place-making is what the Victor Harbor Council is doing with its upgrade and renovation to Ocean Street to counter the decline of the local shops along the town's main street as a result of shopping shifting to the Woolworths mall named Victor Central. This placemaking is making main street more attractive to tourists --building the city brand through revitalising the town and increasing its liveablity.
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.
Early this morning on a poodle walk at Petrel Cove:
I hadn't wandered around Petrel Cove for a quite a while and I decided to explore the rocks photographically, given the soft, early morning light.
This image is an outtake from the 15 images that have been selected for my forthcoming Fleuriescapes exhibition at the Magpie Springs Gallery in 2016. Apart from me nobody thought much of this particular image:
The digital files (ie., scanned 5x4 and medium format negatives) for the exhibition are with Atkins Pro Lab and I will check the small test prints when I return from my New Zealand in the second week of December. The exhibition, which will be in January/February 2016, is from a body of work that has been made over the several years that we have been coming to Victor Harbor as weekenders, and then more recently, from when we started to live on the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula early in 2015.
I made a number of 5x4 negatives for the 2015 Magpie Springs Photography competition. This is one image that failed to make the cut, and as it didn't work in colour, I converted this underexposed negative to a black and white image using Silver Efex Pro 2 software.
Though it looks better in black and white, and I've overcoming the over sharpening problem caused by the Epson software, I still have the other problem of blown highlights caused by scanning the negative. However, looking at this image of straight photograhy makes me uneasy and this unease is over and above these technical flaws.
I cant help but feel that straight photography, exemplified by this image, appears as a rather archaic discipline—even in its digital form, let alone the chemical one. There is still the attitude in the art institution that contemporary visual artist's love for the photographic medium is because it is so “simple,” so “non-artsy,” so “direct.” Photography, in this sense, has always been an important counterpart to modern art, The corollary of this is that straight photography has gradually acquired a strange status of something not completely artistic and yet highly artistic.
We are slowly adjusting to the shift to Victor Harbor and sorting through---chipping away at --- the mess of reducing two households into one. Most of the boxes have been emptied and the records, books, furniture and clothes given way.
Setting up Encounter Studio is on hold until the inducted air-conditioning is put in, hopefully next week. Until then, I am working on the Edgelands book amongst a heap of photographic stuff and books piled up around me.
The large format photography hasn't happened yet, which frustrates me, because I have been walking a young poodle pup. But I've started scoping some coastal landscape work around Victor Harbor now that we are in autumn:
This picture in the early morning light was scoped for a 5x4 colour picture last week when I was on a poodlewalk with Ari and Kayla. The next small step is to load up the sheet film holders so that I am ready for action.
The recent shift to Victor Harbor Life is making it difficult to do large format photography. It has gound to a halt as we sort out all the stuff from the Sturt St townhouse in Adelaide.
I did come across a suitable subject for a 5x4 colour shoot on a recent poodle walk before Kayla arrived, but I cannot get to it for the early morning light at the moment as I am walking Kayla along the Encounter Bay beach at dawn.Nor can I take her yet on a photoshoot as she is only 6 weeks old.
So photography is on hold.
I've been exploring the Hindmarsh River estuary at Victor Harbor, South Australia. I'd initially scoped the malaleucas with a digital camera--the Sony NEX-7, handheld:
It's a low light camera on a tripod situation.
I returned for a more considered photo with a medium format camera--Rolleiflex SL66--- using black and white film and a wide angle lens.
Now I'm trying to make a 8x10 photo using the Cambo monorail and black and white film. I've been waiting for the mouth of the river to open in winter, then for the winter rains to ease so that the swamp-land dries out. It's been been very wet this winter. I was wanting an overcast day with little wind.
That was today. I started the photoshoot with the Cambo around lunchtime, but the rains returned before I'd really got started. So I have to wait for the rains to ease, the ground to dry out, and an overcast day.
I finally managed to use the old Cambo SC monorail to make some 8x10 colour pictures of the bark of the redgum in the reserve.
I mucked up one exposure---the first one--- as I'd forgotten to take off the yellow filter on the Schneider Symmar 210 mm lens that I'd been using for my black and white exposures.
The next step is take the sheet film to Atkins Technicolour to have them to process the negatives. That service will not be cheap-- probably around $16.50 for one sheet of film. The next step is to scan the negatives myself with the Epson V700 scanner.
I did two abstractions of the peeling bark in the open shade:
I'm not sure that 8x10 colour is an economic proposition or that it is worth the expense. I had the sheet film in the fridge and I needed to use it before it expired.
I've started back working on my sea abstracts and pink gum and Xanthorrhoea projects which have been constructed in terms of DIY books in progress. It has been several months since I worked on them. I've been waiting for Posthaven to get their publishing platform up and running after migrating the work from Posterous.
I've also been scoping for subjects for an 8x10 colour shoot. The new Toyo double sided film holders are loaded with film--Kodak Ecktar 100ASA. I've returned to a number of locations that I had in mind, but winter has changed things dramatically. The winter grasses have returned and its a green world now as opposed to the dry landscape of a few months ago.
It's been frustrating as possible location after location has been rejected. I'm going to have to start with a couple of abstracts of the redgum trunks in the reserve across the road from the studio.