photography and social media

Though  I currently use Facebook and Twitter to spread the word of what I’m doing with my photography I have realised that I have been cutting back on being engaged in social media. My growing dissatisfaction with social media is  one part of the deep background  changes that are currently happening in the  culture of  photography. 

I post regularly on  Facebook (here and here)  and Twitter  (here). It's  basically drop and run.  I only comment now and again  on posts by friends,  or in a couple of groups where there  is still a minimal sense of online community.  I then leave social media alone.  My reason  is that I don't really like Facebook and  its algorithms, and I detest, if not loathe,  its business model approach to the way it collects, stores, or analyzes its users’ data. Facebook is an advertising business that tracks people first and foremost; it is a Big Tech company that aims to become the operating system of our lives.

This  kind of negative reaction to social media is  probably quite common.  Joel Colberg, for instance,  has an interesting post on  what is happening in photography and social media. His argument  is  that  social media has  had a  destructive impact on the public sphere of online photography.  I agree with him  and so  I suspect would many other artists.  

fragments of light abstractions

Even though my leg is still infected  and I need to continue with the course of  antibiotics,  I am able to move around a little more freely now that the stitches have been taken out and the skin healed. 

After returning home from the  5 day sojourn in the Flinders Medical Centre I have  limited myself to walking  down Solway Crescent to the Encounter Bay  boat ramp. At  sunrise the boat ramp is  a hive of activity now that the channel has been dredged. Some  boats are already returning at 6am--presumably they have dashed out to check their cray (rock lobster) pots, whilst others are going out for a days recreational fishing with their friends.  

I have limited myself to photographing the head and tail lights of the parked 4 wheel drives,  then I sit at a table for a while watching the boats come and go in the morning sun before returning home for breakfast before I begin to edit  this post.  In the late afternoon I repeat the  walk. Since this  walk is not long enough  to exercise  the poodles Suzanne has been walking them  in the morning and the afternoon.  

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.   

Abstract Photography book launched

At the opening of the Abstraction x 5 exhibition, which includes abstractions by   Graeme Hastwell, Beverley Southcott, Stuart Murdoch,  Adam Dutkiewicz and myself,  we launched the Abstract Photography  book. The exhibition and launch was yesterday  at the Light Gallery in Adelaide to a full house.  

The  book was written  by Dutkiewicz and myself, and it recovers the lost modernist abstractions made in the 1960s by Adelaide photographers, has a couple of essays by Adam and myself and a number of  abstract photographic  images by Adam  and myself. 

The full title of the book is Abstract Photography: Re-Evaluating Visual Poetics in Australian Modernism and Contemporary Practice, and it was published by  Moon Arrow Press. It was the  lo-fi version--the artist proof of concept--- was launched. The general reaction was that the history, text and contemporary  images in the book hung together well to form a cohesive whole. We'd got there. 

bark abstract

This is an abstract of the trunk of a river gum in the reserve across the road from the studio  in Encounter Bay,  Victor Harbor

The tree  that had been bought down from Arkaroola by Suzanne's mother as a seedling back  in 1982 . It was planted in the reserve and it is now a solid tree.  

I am fascinated by the river gum's bark.  It is quite different from the local river gums in terms of  both texture and colour. 

I've taken a number of photos over  the Xmas break with a digital camera--a  Sony NEX-7--- mostly as a study  for a large format shoot. I am thinking about  using the 5x4 Linhof  in an early morning shoot.