I recently made a small roadtrip in the early winter to the Murray Mallee of South Australia to make some photos for the Mallee Routes project. The blurry plan was to follow up on what I had briefly scoped with a digital camera on a previous trip.
In the late afternoon on the first day I used the 5x4 Sinar f1 (with a Schneider-Kreuznach 75mm Super Angulon) to photograph an old, run down caravan standing amidst the ruins of a limestone cottage in Copeville. After the photosession I set up an overnight camp in a nearby limestone quarry, as my plan was to photograph a church at Claypans the following morning.
I then discovered that I'd forgotten to pack my sleeping bag to put inside my swag. How in the hell could I forget to pack my sleeping bag? It was winter and the temperatures drop in the Mallee at night-- down to 2 degrees centigrade. Despite the red wine it was a dam cold night sleeping in my clothes inside the swag. Never again. Suzanne, my better half, who is an experienced bushwalker, says that I need to make a list of what I need to pack, rather than throwing things together at the last minute, as is my custom.
As can be seen from this early am photo of the landscape at Copeville from the top of the limestone quarry, the next morning dawned with some extensive cloud cover, so things were looking promising for the Claypan photo session. late119th/ I wandered around the quarry photographing (6x6 film and digital), had breakfast in the sun, packed up the camp, then set off for Claypans in the Subaru Outback.
I wanted to photograph the church at Claypans in b+w in the open shadow and in flat light for the absent history section of the upcoming 2019 Mallee Routes exhibition in December at the Murray Bridge Regional Gallery. My plan was to use the 8x10 Cambo to make the image look like a late 19th/early 20th century views photos, and to use the Sinar f1 to situate the church firmly within the Mallee's agricultural landscape.
Unfortunately for me, the cloud cover disappeared around 10am as I was onroute to the Claypans site. It was bright and sunny when I arrived at the location with near a cloud in the sky. Just my luck. I had no choice but to keep moving.
So I spent the day exploring around the Galga and Copeville area of the Murray Mallee whilst I was waited to see if the cloud cover would return. Clouds started to form in the west around 1pm. I decided that the conditions could be suitable for me to use both the Cambo 8x10 (it's a really heavy 1950s SuperCambo) and Sinar f1 to photograph the church at Claypans in the late afternoon in black and white. It was overcast whilst I was setting the cameras up to photograph the church at 3.30am.
It was looking promising and I was feeling lucky. I had made the right choice. Then the cloud cover broke up before I could make a photo. I waited for 40 minutes for the cloud cover to come in from the west, then made the photos. Just after I made the photographs and I was packing up the gear, the late afternoon sun burst out from the below the cloud cover sandlot up the landscape.