mix and match

This image of quartz and seaweed is in the littoral zone  of  the southern coast of  the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. This is where I now live,  and the coast is a part of my dally walks in all kinds of weather.  I always take a camera  with me on these walks.

 The image  is a  handheld macro photo made whilst I was on an early morning poodlewalk with Kayla. The picture  was made just before I went on the Wentworth photocamp for the Mallee Routes project, and it was  before the autumn rains came and the weather turned cold.  

Most of the subject matter along this  coast is  in the detail rather  the broad or panoramic landscape or seascape  views. From what I can see the latter is  what most of the  photographers  visiting the coast tend to concentrate on.  I had been  frustrated in the past because  I  didn't have equipment  to  do this kind of close-up work whilst on the daily walks. I had  a tripod and a medium format film camera and  it  was cumbersome  to carry,  and difficult to use.  So  much of the detail is situated in difficult spots that make the use of a tripod impractical. So I used the iPhone. 

still life: seaweed

This is an image that came about from playing around in the early morning light on Dep's Beach. This  beach is between Petrel Cove and Kings Beach.  I was on a poodlewalk with Kayla at the time:

It's another macro image building on this beginning.  

Unfortunately for me the photo session ended abruptly as Kayla grabbed the seaweed  when I wasn't looking,  ran off with it and  then tore  it to pieces. 


 

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.

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.  

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.