Thoughtfactory: pictures experiments journeys

brief working notes on various photographic projects

walking along back country roads

This year during  the early winter  (ie ., June)  I  shifted from photographing in  the littoral zone   to photographing along  the back country roads in the local Waitpinga region. This scoping image of two trees on Pitkin Rd, which was  made whilst I was on an afternoon  poodlewalk, is an example of what I have been tentatively exploring: 

During June I scoped,  then sifted, the images  around Waitpinga into several    photographic possibilities.  Some actually  looked okay and worth  re-photographing with my film cameras.  I   slowly started to re-photograph with my medium format film cameras (a Rolleiflex SL66 and a Linhof Technika 70 with 6x7 and 6x9 film backs) --in both colour and black and white. One step at a time. 

It's an exploratory exercise because  I am still not sure of the mood  that I want to evoke with these kind of  pictures in agricultural landscapes.  Well, I do know that I want to avoid  picturesque  pictures of the trees,  roads and bush,  and to create  something more in the line of darker or brooding   pictures of the landscape. Maybe it will  only be the   black and white  pictures  that will give me this---ie., spooky greys and shadows to do the heavy lifting?   Otherwise I may need to start  photographing  at night. 

I really don't know at the moment as  I am still finding my feet.   Hence this kind of  experimental exploration:  

So why dark or brooding pictures? 

One reason is that I am often walking with the standard  poodles  along these backcountry roads in the low light as we--usually Kayla and myself--  start walking around  30-50  minutes before sunrise. The landscape is quite  gloomy then, as we  set out on  our  poodlewalk. It  changes dramatically after sunrise. 

Another reason is that the  native vegetation in this agricultural landscape is not in a good condition and it is not being looked after. The roadside vegetation is often quite thin, and there is a lot of canopy  dieback in this Waitpinga  section of the Mt Lofty Ranges. 

Once this exploration/experimentation  produces results close to what  I am looking for, then I will start using  these kind of  large format cameras. There is no point in using them until I know what I am doing--it's too cumbersome a work flow for me without a wet darkroom. 

 I guess the question is: how do you photograph the Australian rural landscape in the second decade of the 21st century?