a quiet moment

This picture was made as Kayla, Maleko and myself  were returning  from a long  poodlewalk along the coastal rocks to the car parked at Kings Beach Rd in Waitpinga. 

It was a quiet,  peaceful moment: no wind, soft light, gentle seas after the sun had gone behind the hills. 

The Nik Collection

The Nik Collection suite of software,  which has been  owned by Google since 2012, was downloaded  to Encounter Studio this afternoon. I know very little about the different software  products in the collection----Color Efex Pro 4, Nik Sharpener Pro,  Viveza 2, Dfine 2,  HDR Efex Pro 2 and Analog Efex Pro 2 apart from Silver Efex Pro--and I'm  not interested in some of them--eg., HDR Efex Pro  or Nik Sharpener Pro as I detest that  digital aesthetic. Nor do I know if they add much to what you can do using Adobe's Lightroom or Photoshop. 
   
The reason  for downloading the collection  is Silver Efex Pro 2.  I find that Lightroom is not that good  for post-processing my scanned black and white  files --- they come out  a bit flat and they lack a rich tonality. I've been without Silver Efex Pro 2  since I upgraded the Mac's  operating system to Yosemite,  and  I've missed using it  for post-processing my black and white medium format negatives. Silver Efex Pro  works well, but it is now part of a package,  rather than a standalone software. Hence the download. 
I have started exploring Analog Efex Pro---a film emulation program---to see what it offers.  When people nowadays think of the film look, and when they go ga-ga over the film look, they aren't really going ga-ga over the look of film. They're fetishising a simulation of an idea. An implanted memory of something that didn't really exist. That's Analog Efex Pro.

 I'm not interested in its  gimmicks (eg., adding dirt and scratches to the image),  but  I am willing to explore  how the  various types of retro or aged looks would work with black and white medium format. Will  the software  add anything? Or should I just stick to  using Silver Efex Pro? 

reconnecting

I've started back working on my sea abstracts and pink gum and Xanthorrhoea  projects  which  have been constructed in terms of DIY books in progress.  It has been several months since I worked on them. I've  been waiting  for Posthaven to get their publishing platform up and running after migrating the work from Posterous.  

I've  also been scoping for subjects for an 8x10 colour shoot. The  new Toyo double  sided film holders are loaded with film--Kodak Ecktar 100ASA.  I've returned to a number of locations that I had in mind, but winter has changed things dramatically.  The winter grasses have returned and its a green world now as opposed to the dry landscape of a few months ago. 

 It's been frustrating as possible location after location has been rejected. I'm going to have to start with a couple of abstracts of the redgum trunks in the reserve across the road from the studio.  

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. 

Leica snaps

The iMac at Encounter Studio is  now up and running, though it is still disconnected from the network. That connection requires tech support.

I scanned some recent black and negatives (6x6 and 35m)  last night  with the  flatbed Epson V700 scanner. The pictures  were made just before, and on the holiday at America River on Kangaroo Island.

The photo above was made with my  Leica M-4P, a Summicron 50mm lens, Ilford 50 ASA  black and white film. It only has minimal post processing Lightroom 4.

I had bought the 35m film by mistake --I was after 120 for the Rolleiflex---so I was trying it out to use up.  It is 20 years since I've made pictures with 35m black and white film. I'm pretty pleased with the  result--there is a nice tonal range.

hard to find

I went searching for this "rock face" this afternoon and I couldn't find it. I found the area but I could not the rock. It was very different this time because it was heavily overcast, with rain threatening so  and there was no sunlight  on the rocks.

It's a minute section of some rock form on the foreshore. I was probably lying on on the sand to make it. That would make it rather difficult to reshoot with a large format camera, which is what I was considering.

This happens to me a lot. I take some snaps on a poodlewalk and I forget their location. Most are just a detail. I then spend ages trying to relocate the detail.

after the storms

The wild southerly storms eased on the weekend and I ventured out with cameras in the morning to photograph the  roadside vegetation  and to  photograph the rock forms  along the coast in the afternoon.

Though it was low tide in the late afternoon,  the sea was still very turbulent.   It was too  dangerous to go right  to the edge where the sea pounded  the rocks. The odd wave--roughly every  seventh one- -- was very high,  and the rocks were  slippery underfoot.

So I played it safe.

an encounter with photographers

I've come down to Victor Harbor after a three week absence, which  included a small  trip to Melbourne.  There has been a lot of rain on the Fleurieu Peninsula recently, and it was difficult to access Kings Head this afternoon  due to  the landslides along  the Heysen Trail. It was very muddy.

On the way Ari and I met a couple of photographers walking the Heysen Trail on their  way to Kings Beach. They werre  taking lots of photographs.   One  photographer had   a big, fancy  Nikon DSLR with a zoom lens--he also had two standard poodles which I'd  previously seen --- whilst  the other had a Mamyia DM22 medium format camera , which he had bought second hand  from a guy in Japan for around $3000.   It was cheap because it had a 3 year  old 16 megapixel digital back.

These kind of cameras are  not readily  available in Adelaide second hand.

As  we walked along the trail towards  Kings Beach I mentioned the medium format guy that I once started out with an old  Mamiya RB67, but that I found it heavy and had swiched to Rolleiflexes.   He added that he also  had a Mamiya RZ33 in his studio but  that it was too heavy to take into the field. 

When I remarked about the cheapness of the digital back  he said  that it wasn't  necessary to go beyond a 33 megapixel digital back,  unless you were doing billboard posters. That was useful information for me.

What I gleaned from the brief encounter was that a  new digital medium format camera is now under $15,000,  and  it can be acquired for around $10,000 new. Suddenly a digital medium format camera  becomes feasible.

Ari and I  pushed on to our favourite  location at the foot of the Newland Cliffs to check out the tide and  the wind conditions for an early morning shoot. The two guys weren't interested in coming down to the rocky outcrop--it was in deep  shadow and the rocks  were very wet and slippery.