Fleurieu Four Seasons Prize

I've started  scoping for work for the  Fleurieu Four Seasons Prize for landscape photography. It's a competition and I don't  have much success in them. 

The Prize  is for a suite of four photos that are taken in the western part of the Fleurieu Peninsula over the four seasons.  I don't know this area very well  photographically so I've started exploring it on my away to and from Victor Harbour.  

On the way down this trip I  was looking for a late afternoon coastal location that would be suitable  for  5x4 film work, and which  had fairly easy access. This location looked a possibility. The picture was made at midday and so the light is terrible.  I will scope  it out in the late  afternoon  on my way back to Adelaide to see what  the light looks like then. 

8 x 10 work

I have decided to shoot some 8x10 colour  film that I bought from B+H about nine months ago. It has been sitting in the fridge at Encounter Studio until I acquired a couple of  new Toyo double darkslides . They arrived last week. 

I used a poodlewalk yesterday to go  scouting for likely locations for large format photography.  Here is one possibility: 

The  location has to be roadside or pretty close to it,  as the   Cambo SC monorail and  the Linhof tripod are too heavy  to  carry  very far from the car. This location looks to be a goer--it needs good cloud formation through. 

Kangaroo Island: salt lake

I've upgraded the operating system of the 27" iMac to Mountain Lion, now that it has a new hard disc courtesy of Apple. I can now connect with my computer in Adelaide.  I've also upgraded  some of the photographic software--Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro--that I regularly use in my digital darkroom.   

This picture  of, what I take to be  a salt lake,  was snapped near D' Estrees Bay on Kangaroo Island. It was next door to   the Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park.  I  had been looking for some salt lakes  with easy acces without much success.  We just stumbled upon this one  on our way back to American River.  

It was the last  afternoon of our holidays on the island. We left for Adelaide the next day. 

finally.....

I had an early morning photographic session this morning with the 8x10 Cambo along the back country roads just west of the city of  Victor Harbor.  I was able to  incorporate this shoot  into a session for the conceptual photography project on the pink gum and Xanthorrhoea combination.

The conditions were ideal--the wind had dropped, there was early morning cloud cover and  sunshine. I had been  been trying to photograph this scene for ages but the conditions had been against me. I had imagined it  with flat light but I decided to go with the early morning sun.

I used black and white film (Ilford HP5) on this shoot,  but I find myself wondering what it would look like in colour. Lush I thought. Probably too lush. I do have some 8x10  Kodak colour film sitting the fridge to try out,  but I am not sure how to scan the colour negative.

Victor Harbor: on location

The three days at Victor Harbor have been frustrating in terms of photography.  I've been painting the lounge room  of  the   weekender whilst waiting for the conditions to be okay for a couple  large format  black and white pictures of roadside vegetation. One  was an early morning shoot, whilst the other  was  a late afternoon one.

It has been frustrating because when the southerly wind wasn't blowing  it has been raining early in the morning and late afternoon and then quite sunny during the day. Finally things fell into place late this afternoon after I finished painting a seciton of the wall-----there was little wind and it was overcast and fine. Ideal for the afternoon shoot that I'd lined up. 

I'd forgotten just how meditative 8x10  photography is. It takes a while to set the gear up  for the shoot,  and that means you really are in the moment.

I could feel the light changing as I tried to figure out how to use the new Pronto Professional  3 shutter for the Schneider 24mm lens that had recently been serviced. The  Prontor has no T position to hold the lens wide open  so you cancompose a representation of the objects in front of the camera. 

I finally figured out that I had to use a locked cable  release to do the same function as the T positon of holding the lens open using the  B position. The light was fading fast whilst I sorted things out.

black and white

I've slowly returned to working in black and white and, in doing so, moving away from rock abstractions  to the scrub.  

It is easy to do when I'm using the  Rolleiflex SL66.  I can shoot in colour the scene in then switch to black and white  by  just changing the film back. It's slow black and white film--Ilford   PanF Plus 50 ---- that I use, as this camera is always used on a tripod.

The exposures are around generally 1-5 seconds as I take pictures in the early morning or just before  dusk  in the summer months. I was lucky this day as it stayed overcast for a couple of hours. So I raced back to the studio  and returned with the 8x10 Cambo monorail.  

I've always struggled with taking pictures of the Australian woodland, scrub or the bush. It is so messy and chaotic.  Then I saw Lee Friedlander's  pictures  of trees   from his flowers and trees series and saw how it could be done.

Here is an early attempt done just before  Xmas when I was down at Victor Harbor with Lariane  Foneseca,   a friend of Suzanne's who is a wonderful photographer. The melaleucas were on Rosetta Head, or The Bluff as the locals call it.

I   exposed a couple of  8x10 picture of these trees but I've yet to send the negatives to Blanco Negro  in Sydney to be processed. I'm inclined to return and do some pictures that are  closer up. 

roadside vegetation

I've started reading Jane Hylton's The Painted Coast: Views of the Fleurieu Peninsula in order to gain a sense of the visual history of this part of South Australia from the 1840s to the present.  The original native vegetation, which can be seen in the early water colours of G.F. Angas and H.P. Gill,  has long gone.

The region is now mostly farmland. The remnants  of the  native vegetation outside of the conservation parks can be found along the road side. This is now pretty thin.

I find the lack  of native vegetation and biodiversity rather depressing.