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.   

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. 

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. 

kinda busy

The Weltraum  exhibition at Magpie Springs officially opened on Sunday,   11 September.  Although the Shimmer Photographic Biennale closes at the end of September,  the Weltraum exhibition remains open until early November--Sunday,  November 6th.   

I now start  preparing for work for  both the Abstraction  x 5  exhibition  at the Light Gallery, which opens on October 1st with its book launch;  and then the Mallee Routes exhibition with Eric Algra and Gilbert Roe, which opens  at the Atkins  Photo Lab gallery on Friday, October  7th. It's a case of one exhibition  down, two exhibitions to go, with the photography budget collapsing under the weight of the costs.   

Curating these exhibitions  has meant that there hasn't  been much time available for my photography;   apart from the odd moment here and there when I am away from the computer screen.  This image was from once such moment:

We- the standard poodles and myself--- just happened to be walking past this dead tree as the sun was setting,  whilst on a poodle walk. The roadside vegetation  along this stretch of road is thinning, and a lot of it is dying. No one cares for  the roadside vegetation--only the roads are looked after. 

re-photographing

The wet,  cold  stormy weather has passed. It is still cold in the morning (I wore gloves on the 7am poodle walk  this morning),   but the wind has dropped, the sun has returned and the sky is blue.  I've picked up my cameras again,  and I've started thinking about photography.  -

I picked up the Sinar F2 5x4 yesterday, got  my pack out, and loaded the battery into the light meter  only to put it down again as I didn't have anything in mind to photograph.    However, I used the digital on yesterday's  evening  poodle walk.  The picture below  is a scoping  study that I made on this morning's poodle walk  along  Baum Rd in Waitpinga using my Sony  (APS-C)  digital camera:

I have photographed this tree before--probably a couple of  years  ago.  It was 5x4 film and I  choose an overcast day with light rain to obtain the dull, gloomy look. I  wasn't all that  happy with what I did in colour.

picking up the threads

I've done little film photography since the start of winter, though  I have  been scoping with the digital camera.   

It's been  too cold, wet and windy along  the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula to use the film cameras. Today was the first time, in fact, that I used a film camera on a tripod since  the  photoshoot along the Mallee Highway.  

I  re-photographed this image  late this afternoon whilst on a poodle walk ( with Ari and Maleko) using my  medium format cameras--( the Rolleiflex SL66 and  the Linhof Technika 70).  This is the digital image from my earlier scoping with  the late afternoon light: 

That re-photographing  felt  like I was picking up the threads again re film photography after going through a fallow period---it's been  about a month since  the Mallee Highway  photoshoot.

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.