Thoughtfactory’s image-text blog

an experimental image-text blog based in the southern Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia

Posts for Tag: Sony a7 R111


I have been using the few occasions when  I go up Rosetta Head on an early morning Sunday poodlewalk with Kayla to photograph seascapes. That is what you see: the southern ocean. 

I am discovering that my  emphasis is on the clouds rather than the sea: 

I have tried a different compositional approach  ---eg., one that is more evenly balanced between cloud and sea and neither dominate the other. 

However,  I find the latter  composition more bland and  boring. Boring, tired, done is my  immediate response. And they don't look like abstractions. But they promise possibilities. 

experiments #2

The fuzzy experiments continue. This time it is Petrel Cove on a stormy afternoon: 

I was sitting in the car in the Petrel Cove car park waiting for the squall  to pass  before I went for an afternoon  poodlewalk with Maleko.  I was wondering if I could achieve layers and textures in the photo with everything out of focus.  

at Kapunda with Lavender Trail friends

As mentioned in this blog  post  in the Eye on the Mallee website  I spent several days in mid-August at Kapunda with Suzanne's Lavender Trail friends. Whilst they walked the trail  around the Kapunda region  in the mid-north each day  I photographed. I actually spend more time photographing in,  and around,  Kapunda than  I did in the South Australian mallee. Well,  I split my time between the two different regions. 

This picture is of the Anglican church in Kapunda. It was designed by Edmund Wright,  and built around 1857-8: 

Kapunda was a copper mining town in the mid-nineteenth century until  1879 and the revenue from copper  saved South Australia from bankruptcy. The railway from Gawler, which  was established in 1860 to  service the copper mining, was the the first extension of the line from Adelaide to Gawler.  The extension continued through Eudunda then across the Murray Mallee plains adjacent to what is now the Thiele Highway to Morgan on the River Murray to  capture the  up-stream paddle steamer trade.  

fuzzy seascapes

I ventured up Rosetta Head one cloudy morning recently  --the 3rd of August. I decided  not to carry my film cameras  from the Petrel Cove carpark as I did not know what an out of focus pre-sunrise grey seascape would look like photographically.  

This is the first experiment. I was  looking east over Encounter Bay towards Goolwa and the Coorong whilst I was making  my way to the top of  Rosetta Head:   

Kayla had gone ahead to join Maleko and Suzanne, who was doing her exercises. 

experiments: fuzzy abstracts?

I have been tentatively experimenting with an abstract approach to photography in low light situations. as a break from working on the newsletter and the Walking/photography exhibition at Encounters Gallery.   

The low light scenario happens at   the end of the poodlewalks with Maleko when we are   returning   to the car along the coastal path at  dusk. When start to return when it  is too dark to photograph amongst the coastal rocks. However, there is  still light and colour  in the sky over the southern ocean so I can hand hold the digital camera (a  Sony A7 R111) to make a photo.  

A recent  example of the experiment:

It's an experiment because this kind of subject just doesn't work as an abstract when everything is in focus--I've  made several attempts and it looks ugly.   I've also tried  it with the lens wide open and the foreground of the subject  in focus--but it  is a nothing  kind of image.  Nor does it work when there are small pockets of clouds in the sky over the sea. 

low light photography

The 3  pictures in this post  were made whilst  I was on my way to make some supplementary photos for the upcoming Walking /Photography exhibition  at Encounters Gallery for the SALA Festival in South Australia. The Festival starts  in August, 2020.  

The pictures, which  were  made with the Sony A7 R111,   indicate that one  of the advantages of digital technology over the older film technology is digital's  low light capability.  The pictures were made 30 minutes before sunrise, which was at 7.23 am that morning.  The camera  was handheld with the 35mm Leica lens wide open.  This kind of low light photography would only be possible using film if the camera was on a tripod and the  exposure was long.  The latter is a studied style of photography,  not  the  spontaneous one in low light  made possible by digital technology.  I find this low light capability important  as I am often walking before sunrise. 

photo session at Kings Head

A behind the camera photo of a  small photo session at Kings Head on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, which  shows how my photography  incorporates poodlewalks.  The standard poodles are my companions. We walk together to a location and they stay with me when I take time out from the walk to photograph. Then we walk back to the car. On this occasion it was Maleko who was my companion. 

It's dead simple medium format photography using a   "workhorse" Rolleiflex SL66 film camera:--a simple and stripped back film camera from the 1970s.  There are no  technological features to set up  or any  AI.  It's just composition, light and exposure all done 'in camera'.  This allows me to reconnect to the process of slowly making a photo, as well as also requiring me to  decide upon the outcome before the shutter button is pressed.  

photography as placemaking

The picture below is of  a  large format photo session at Pitkin Rd in Waitpinga on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia engaging with the materiality of the  land: fields, trees, creeks, roads, bridges, signs, rural life of this particular place. It is of a patch of countryside  that emerges from a sense of an intimate relationship to a particular ‘patch of land’.  It is more than space---which is an empty  area or a homogenous,  geometrical space. 

 It is true that representations of  landscape has been  unfashionable  as the recent  photographic  emphasis is on the metropolitan urban where most people live. Landscape is conventionally seen as a  anachronistic genre, part of a old, privileged tradition ‘overthrown’ by Modernism and now of little or no relevance in our overwhelmingly urban, more or less progressive, global culture.  It is seen as the mundane representation of a “mere place”;  an inferior sort of environment that is of little or  no interest.    

The above  picture  is photography as placemaking. An example.   In my  case it is part of the  retreat  from globalisation, given that the second great wave of globalization that started in the 1980s is now over with the  emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

The assumptions of this photography as placemaking approach is that place is a social product and that photography fixes the gaze and pins it down.  The gaze works within the limits of both the moment that is photographed and the spatial limits of the frame. The photographic frame restricts the gaze. The photograph is limited by the perspective of the camera  and the subject is forced to subject their look to the gaze of the camera. 

a coastal landscape

This scoping image of a landscape  was for a future 5x4 photoshoot, and it  was made on a recent late afternoon poodlewalk during the Covid-19 lockdown in South Australia. The lens on the handheld digital camera  is pointing  towards Kings Head  on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula

Landscape here refers to the practice of visual representation of space. Photography doesn't just situate landscape in a physical context,  it also situates ourselves in it. The framing, focus and depth of field  of the camera identify our position as the  viewing subject. When we "see " a landscape we situate ourselves in it.  

The idea behind this coastal landscape  photo was to use this  particular  perspective  to  show the edge or relationship between wilderness of the southern ocean and what is traditionally  called a human altered landscape--in this landscape the agricultural land and its buildings. The privatised land comes down to the edge of the coast. The  public spaces are  the coastal rocks and a narrow path between the fence of the agricultural land and the  edge of the cliffs. 

During the Covid-19 lockdown: Encounter Bay

During these  days of the Covid-19 lockdown I often see solitary  figures  walking along the  Encounter Bay beach before sunrise. People are  out and about walking from about an hour before sunrise, which in late autumn is  around 7am Central Australian time.  

These early morning walkers  do keep to the social distancing measures when they meet others during what is known as the “recovery period”--the  easing of the lockdown measures. these are  now being  coded as a "snap back" to economic growth with a publicly subsidised gas-led recovery.    Business-as-usual. 

 This concern with ensuring social distancing  is in contrast  to  many in the local shopping centres during the day who act as if the pandemic  is all over,  and that life is now back to normal. They assume that  because the infections are going down, then the pandemic  is over. They do not act as if there is a possibility of  a second wave coming due to increasing community transmission of the virus from the easing of the lockdown restrictions to 'get the economy moving' and people back in work. It appears that people's resolve to keep to social distancing outside the home is weakening.