The local coastal landscape:
Made on a recent poodlewalk with Kayla and Maleko.
The local coastal landscape:
Made on a recent poodlewalk with Kayla and Maleko.
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.
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.
The Mallee group of photographers meet for lunch today at the Ramsgate Hotel in Henley Beach, Adelaide to discuss the exhibition schedules of their lens-based photography work about the Mallee. The Mallee photography group is small --it consists of Eric Algra, Gilbert Roe and myself--- and it recently came together through our mutual interest in exploring the Mallee photographically.
None of us live in the Mallee, but each of us has developed a broad photographic interest in exploring the South Australian and the Victorian Mallee. For some of us, especially Eric, this interest goes back several years. What is interesting is that we approach the Mallee from diverse perspectives.
What we decided over a convivial pub lunch on a windy winter's day was to come together to put on a series of group exhibitions over a period of years as we gradually built up a body of work about this region of southern Australia. We decided to exhibit on a small scale in Adelaide in late 2016, then produce more work for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale in 2017, then doing extra work to exhibit in some regional towns in the Mallee--eg., in Mildura or Murray Bridge. This photography gallery in Mildura was mentioned, for instance, as was this one in Murray Bridge and this one in Horsham.
I spent 4 days camped at the Ouyen caravan park with Gilbert Roe so that I could photograph some of the grain silos in and around Ouyen on the Mallee Highway with my large format cameras. I managed to photography 5 silos--those from Ouyen to Linga--using a 5x7 monorail (for colour) and an 8x10 monorail (for black and white).
The next stage in the silo project is to camp at Murrayville so that I can photograph the silos in and around that hamlet. I prefer overcast conditions for this kind of photograph the silos, which makes life difficult, as such days are few and far between in the Mallee. It's normally bright, sunny and cloudless.
I also took the opportunity to start to explore with my digital camera the countryside of the Victorian Mallee, which is still economically based around dryland farming and large cereal farms. Even in late autumn the northern Mallee was dry, hot and dusty with dust storms. The agricultural landscapes look as if it has extended periods of dryness that cannot simply be put down to intermittent drought. That dryness causes hardship to the local communities, the unravelling of the social fabric, and the steady decline of the population in the towns and hamlets with their derelict houses and abandoned tennis courts.
I've just returned from spending 4 days on a photo shoot in and around Salt Creek near the Loop Road in the Coorong National Park. Some of the photos made on the trip were in the National Park itself, whilst many of the others were made outside it.
The colours of the samphire that borders the various clay pans are quite intense at the time of the day. The colours become bleached outside of the 'magic hour' in the morning and evening.
The last few days on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula coast have been, warm, humid and very still with dense sea fog moving across the coastal landscape in the early morning and evening.
These are unusual conditions, and I tried to explore them photographically, but without much success. The seascapes that I did were dull and flat, whilst the various photos of trees and vegetation in the fog were cliched rather than poetic.
We stayed a couple of days at Salt Creek in the Coorong on our way back from Adelaide from Melbourne so that I could pick up the second part of the edgelands project after a hiatus. I had been working on the Australian abstraction and Fleurieuscapes projects and I wanted to concentrate on the edge lands associated with the River Murray. I wanted to check out whether the Coorong offered any possibilities.
My starting point was a familiar spot that I knew from when I briefly photographed here several years ago, and I was quite happy to return there and begin to photograph in terms of South Australia landscapes. We arrived at Salt Creek in the late afternoon and I checked out the location for a 5x4 shoot whilst we were on a poodle walk in the late afternoon light.
I was thinking of constructing this low lying lying landscape into horizontal strips of land, sea and sky. The lush afternoon light made the image too picturesque, and it placed too much emphasis on natural beauty for the edge lands project. When I photographed the next day with the 5x4 Linhof it was in flat morning light so that this landscape would look more stark and weird.
On our way back to Adelaide from Melbourne we stayed a couple of days near Johanna Beach, which is close to the Great Otway National Park. This stay had been planned by Suzanne a couple of months ago.
I had tentatively planned to add onto this stay some photography of the effects of the bush fire at Separation Creek and Wye River along the Great Ocean Road. However, the length of time it took to travel the distance to these localities and coastal towns was too great to photograph in the early morning light or at twilight.
So I took the opportunity of the stay to go photographing in the rainforest of the Otway Ranges. This is a scoping image made with my digital camera--the Sony NEX-7 whilst taking a walk along the Old Ocean Road:
I was exploring the rainforest outside the national park--the Otway Forest along the Old Ocean Road from memory. I used my baby Linhof---the Linhof Technika 70---with its 2 6x9 Linhof film backs: one was loaded with colour film (Kodak Portra 160) the other was loaded with black and white film (Ilford PanF Plus). Alas, I had inadvertently loaded the colour film the wrong way. So I've only got the black and white film negatives.
This behind the camera picture was taken whilst I was on an early morning photoshoot along the Heysen Trail, with my Linhof Technika 5x4 during the Australia Day weekend. The Heysen Trail photoshoot was combined with a poodle walk.
I have avoided the beaches this weekend due to the families having summer fun on, and taking over, the beaches The summer fun also includes playing on the rocks around Petrel Cove or climbing Rosetta Head in thongs. As expected there were more casualties at Petrel Cove. It is obvious that people do not read the warning signs by the steps to the beach or on the rocks; or if they do read them, then they ignore them.
On the morning of the photoshoot the light was dull and flat. I would have preferred the soft, early morning light, which was there when I had previously scoped the site, but it was not to be. I waited for a while to see what was happening with the cloud cover, but I realised that there was little point in hanging around waiting for better light to eventuate. The cloud cover was far too heavy.