two studies

I have been struggling with a bursitis shoulder over the Xmas break  and, as a result,  the photography  has been minimal. It has been limited to what I could do on the morning and evening poodlewalks along the coast. I avoided walking in the bush due to the brown snakes. As I could only carry and use light weight  cameras, the  photography has consisted mostly  of macro with  some  scoping for large format photosessions in the future.  

This macro of quartz on the side of a granite outcrop, which  was made  with my  old  Sony NEX-7, an old Lecia Summicron 35mm lens and  a  Voigtlander VM/E Close Focus Adaptor, raises a question:  could I make a 5 x4 version using a telephoto lens?

I am asking this because over the Xmas break I have been looking at some of  the seaweed photos made by Peter Dombrovskis, which are in the  Dombrovskis: Journeys into the Wild, exhibition at  the National Library of Australia (NLA). The kelp photos are stunning. Likewise the granite  the  sandstone and the quartz studies. These are wide angle views,  close ups and low-contrast light.  This collection is  wilderness imagery with a sense of sublime terror with its roots in  the nineteenth century. This body of work is definitely not nostalgic kitsch, an idealising  falsehood, or an eco-porn generating desire for touristic or vicarious consumption.   Nor is it premised on an equivalency between visible and unseen worlds.

place-making

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.  

However, place making is also possible through stories, art works,  or photos.    These representations  are what express the importance of the place for the self or help to develop a sense of place. The arts  place us in time, space, and community in ways that encourage us to be fully and imaginatively present in a variety of contexts: the natural world, our homes, our worshiping communities, and society.

low light situations

I have settled in using the Sony A7r111 after working with it extensively on the recent New Zealand  trip.  

I use the camera  manually, as  if it were an old fashioned Leica  rangefinder from the film era. This is crazy,  I know, but I have set camera up so that nothing is automatic.  I am however,  getting to the point of adjusting the basic menu  that was  set up  for me by the camera store when I bought the camera. I  do need  a bit more flexibility in adjusting exposures up or down in specific situations.   

What is really working for me, and what has impressed me,  is  the Sony's low light capability. This allows me, as in the above image,  to photograph hand held in low light,  whilst on the morning or afternoon poodlewalks along the southern Fleurieu Peninsula coastline.  I was scoping for a possible film shoot, given that there is low tide early in the morning at the moment.  

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. 

an open air studio

Whilst on  my poodlewalks I sometimes  set up an open air studio amongst the coastal granite,  and I then play around with bits of seaweed and flotsam  to construct a simple still life. 

This is a recent  example of such  staging:

On this occasion I was attracted by the colours and the texture of the seaweed. The image  worked better with the seaweed wet rather than dry.    

If  the image works then I reshoot with my film cameras. This rarely happens. One occasion when it did.  

coastal granite

Thanks to Madeline taking Ari for a walk this afternoon  I was able to walk along the foreshore rocks with Kayla and Maleko this Sunday.

There were  heaps of people  walking along the cliff top path, which is part of the Heysen Trail,  in the afternoon sunshine--with children, in groups, with their dogs.  They were still walking at 5pm. 

I suddenly realised that it was a long weekend--Queens birthday weekend.  People had come down the southern Fleurieu Peninsula coast for the weekend.   

salt ponds

One coastal subject matter that I had started to explore was the dried salt ponds among the rocks along the coast west of Petrel Cove. I had started to scope them with a digital camera. Then I saw the photograph of salt ponds  by Christopher Houghton made with a 5x4 camera and decided to photography the ones I'd seen  in black and white. 

I quickly found them to be very ephemeral--there in the morning, gone in the afternoon. So I spent several days on the various poodle walks looking for permanent saltponds  in different locations along the coast. I found a couple and I was ready to go back with a medium format camera. 

Then the rains cam after Xmas.   It rained  for several days and the permanent salt ponds that I had discovered were washed away.  A week has passed,  and though I have been back every day,  the salt ponds have  yet to return. 

rockpool photoshoot

A digital version (using the Sony NEX-7)  from  the  photoshoot with  the Rolleiflex SL66 (both colour and black and white) this morning. I had come across the rockpool  yesterday when I was  on a poodlewalk with Ari and Kayla. I needed cloud cover and a low tide to be able to do  it.

I had to wait for the low tide so that I could access the site. I  needed the cloud cover to soften the early morning sun whilst I waited for the tide to go out. Even then,  I was photographing with the sea swirling  around my shoes and tripod  legs.