Fleurieuscapes: the exhibition

The  Fleurieuscapes exhibition at Magpie Springs in South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula has been hung,  and everything is ready for the 2pm opening on Sunday afternoon, the 17th of January.  The theme is people, space and place and this is the first part of the project. Rage second part is more historical in  orientation and the palette is darker.  

The exhibition  has been expanded from the Red Room, the main gallery  room,  to two rooms;  and it now consists of 22 images instead of the initial 16. The  images were made with medium and  large format  cameras,  and there is  a mixture of colour images and black and white ones, with the colours one predominant.  

Petrel Cove: am

This seascape is Petrel Cove in the early morning. It is part of the Fleurieuscapes  project that I have been working on  since we shifted to living at Victor Harbor. 

The picture  was made when I  had returned to  the car after a  poodle walk  along Deps Beach with Ari and Kayla. I was taken by the softness and the quality of the light. 

The sea is a big part of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula ---playing on the beach, fishing, surfing etc-- and I struggle to find  a way to photograph  it. How do you do it? It's a slow working it out and hoping that an opening will eventuate. The opening would be  a photograph that's a doorway that is photographically interesting.

The classic seaside/beach photography project is  Joel Meyerowitz's  1979 book Cape Light: a book of  colour photographs of the seaside resort of Provincetown, Cape Cod and its soft natural light  made in the summer of 1976 with an 8x10. It is  considered a classic work of colour photography and the  8 x 10  camera meant  that his  stance  towards  summer cottages and ice cream shops  was both one of patience and meditative.  The images are  in and around his house in Cape Cod and  the mood is one of languid, forever-long summer days. These are not really colorised or pumped up. 

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.  

Mosquito Hill fire

There was a fire yesterday  on the Fleurieu Peninsula at Mosquito Hill  near the Scott Conservation Park, which is north east of the river town of Goolwa on the River Murray.  The fire burnt around 130 hectares of scrub and farmland around Mosquito Hill during  a day of high temperatures and strong winds. Sheds and a greenhouse were destroyed, but no houses and, thankfully,  no people died. The roadside ignition point was  a site on the Goolwa Rd. 

I went and scoped the  fire area this morning. It took me an hour or so of driving around after going to  Mt Compass to find the burnt area, which is mostly farmland.  I didn't really know the bush fire area that well--it was bounded by Goolwa Road, Kokoda Road, Deep Creek Road, Trig Point Road, Olsen Road and Cleland Gully Road--- 

I wanted to see whether the area  was accessible  and what the various objects  (trees and farmland) looked like. Would it be suitable for dark landscapes?  

reflections on photography in Wellington

I've been continuing to search the web looking for more Wellington-based art photographers,  other than  those I mentioned in an earlier post on this blog and on a post here. I was interested in those art  photographers who had an online presence,  and  in my search I came across Mark Marriott, Hans Weston, Tracey Kearns. These are photographers with a body of work and who exhibit regularly. 

By all accounts Wellington has a number of  good active art photographers, non-profit galleries,  some small artist-run spaces and a photographic dealer gallery.  The  art photographic scene appears  to be lively, the work interesting, with much of it is  project based.  There are more reflections on the Wellington photographic scene  here.

An example  of a project based  body of work  is the  recent book by the poet /photographer Mary Macpherson.  Old New World, consists  of  her photographs made over seven years  about the changes in New Zealand society as seen in the small regional/rural towns throughout the country.   The narrative is one of a shift from a traditional New Zealand, to places of prosperity and development that look very different to the 1960s and 70s. Peter Ireland interpreted the work "as a melancholy lament for the steady disappearance of the New Zealand of her childhood and youth, especially since the economic “reforms” of the 1980s." 

Maybe not.  There  is a section that deals with places that have been changed or transformed through development. Ireland says that:

The road trip is a bit of a guy thing, and, formally, her imagery then tended to echo the style pioneered here by Robin Morrison and furthered by other male photographers such as John McDermott and Derek Henderson [ie., The Terrible Boredom of Paradise]

However, the  photographic  works that Macpherson says that she thought about before making her Old New World photographs  were Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places (for his photographing of everyday streets and buildings with tremendous formal sophistication)  Joel Sternfeld’s American Prospects (his restrained, yet socially charged images) and Walker Evan’s photographs of buildings.

photographing in Wellington

Suzanne and I spent a week in the lower part of the North Island of New Zealand. This included Wellington,  Tongariro National Park,  parts of the the Waikato district and New Plymouth. It was a holiday built around us walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.  

 I was able to do some photography in and around Wellington as well as the standard tourist snaps of  the Tongariro National Park.  The picture below was made from our  room at  the Travel Lodge,  which was where we were staying whilst in Wellington:

Due to the short time we had in New Zealand,  I  mainly photographed through  the windows of the hotel  and when I was walking the streets in the early morning and in the early evening. Walking the city  was limited by being on holiday but I was able to build on my previous visit. 

Wellington is a very visual city and I enjoy walking  it and exploring it's nooks and crannies.These  allow me to see beyond the obvious and to find things that are hidden away amongst the ever changing shade and light.  

silos + coffee with photo friends

I started  on the  large format silo project yesterday evening with a  black and white   shoot of the silos at Talem Bend using the 8x10 Cambo in late afternoon.  However,  the conditions were not ideal  for this kind of photoshoot.  

The sun is now quite intense even before it disappears below the horizon, and the clouds that I wanted  for cloud cover did not eventuate.   There were  clouds  in the sky when we were in Adelaide,  and it looked promising as we drove along the south-eastern freeway to Talem Bend.   But the clouds  hugged the coastline of the Fleurieu Peninsula coast,  rather than moving inland across the Murraylands.   So, to my dismay,  it was clear blue sky at the silo location.  

The next stage of the silo project was  organized today whilst  I was in Adelaide having  a coffee with Peter Barnes and Gilbert Roe at Cafe Troppo in Whitmore Square.   This stage  consists of   a photo trip with Gilbert  in mid-October 2015  along the Malle Highway ---probably the section between Pinaroo in South Australia and Toolebuc in Victoria. We have agreed to  camp at Ouyen and  to make trips  out from that base.  Gilbert will be using his pinhole camera.  

bark study, Waitpinga

I haven't been doing much large format photography lately. The weather hasn't really  been suitable  for the large format photography  photoshoots that I had planned. 

However, I did scope  this trunk study on the Heysen Trail  though:

The tree  was where I'd parked the car to walk along  the Heysen Trail of the evening poodle walk.  I noticed it in the subdued light as I was driving away at the end of  the poodle walk and took a couple of snaps.  

a bamboo shoot

On my last visit to Adelaide after the Ballarat trip I decided  to walked to my opticians appointment in the CBD  from Atkins Photo Lab in Kent Town. I had lost my glasses on that trip, and as I had  an hour or so to fill in  before the appointment, I wandered through  the Botanic Gardens. 

I was hoping to start by viewing a SALA exhibition of Kangaroo Island artists  at the Wine Centre but it had finished. So I meandered through the Australian native plants  section of the  Botanic Gardens.

I ended up among the strands of bamboo along a bit of a waterway near North Terrace.   I had briefly photographed these for an Atkins Film Challenge a year or so earlier. I was intrigued by them but felt that I didn't do them justice then. So I decided to take another look.  

in Ballarat

I was in Ballarat for a few days to see the Ballarat International Foto  Biennale 2015. I had some photos in the Time exhibition  by the Atkins  Photo Artists,  which was  in the basement of the Lost Ones Gallery. The exhibition was part of BIFB15's  Fringe Festival.    

Whilst I was  in Ballarat I took the opportunity to  wander the streets taking  some photos of the architecture 

These snaps were mostly made whilst I was walking around the town looking  at the various exhibitions in the core and fringe programmes.  It was continuing on with what I  had done a couple of years ago when I was there for BIFN 13.