Although I have a rudimentary studio set up at Encounter Studio (with a 8×10 Sinar P, a table and window light) most of the still life images that I do of the subject matter around the coastal neighbourhood at Victor Harbor are in open air settings. The method of working is simple. The locations and subject matter are selected whilst I am on the morning or evening poodle walks, I take some scoping photos with the digital camera (an old Sony NEX-7) and, if they work, I come back and reshoot them with a film camera.
This kind of studio work is a break from my topographic approach to photography that I do for the Mallee Routes project. This is an early example, probably one of the first images made in an open air, coastal studio:
bottle + shells, Petrel Cove
The bottle had been washed on Dep’s Beach, which is west of Petrel Cove, and I carried it back to Petrel Cove on the return leg of the poodlewalk. I set it up amongst some rocks, and made some digital pictures. I then hid the bottle amongst some rocks so that people wouldn’t find it and the high tide wouldn’t carry it back to sea.
I have an exhibition of abstractions coming up at the Light Gallery during the 2015 SALA Festival in August. It is a modest solo exhibition that consists of both abstractions from nature and from various walls and containers. The work has been constructed from the archives, and it can be seen as part of the shift inn photography to abstraction as a response to the digital realm.
An example of the abstractions from nature:
trunk abstract #1
This picture was made with my old 8×10 Cambo monorail, and it is the trunk of a redgum that Suzanne’s mother bought back from Arkaroola as a seedling and planted in the reserve across from the studio. Then–the 1980s–the reserve was barren with just a bunch of pine trees. It was old farmland. The storm water from the large housing development up the side of the hill currently flows through the reserve, and it is now populated with large native trees and lots of birdlife. So we live near the sea surrounded by trees.
I spent a couple of days in Wellington, New Zealand. I hadn’t been there since I worked in the CBD as an economist and lived in Hataitai on a ridge above the shoreline of Evans Bay in the early 1970s. I was expecting a lot of changes and I was prepared to be rather disorientated.
It was a quick photography trip built around renewing my NZ driving licence and I spent the two days that I had available walking around the CBD and the inner suburbs such as Thorndon; then seeing photography exhibitions and checking out the art hubs/centres when the wind turned into a gale and/or it started raining heavily.
Wellington is a very walkable city, it is easy to get around, and it offers good photographic opportunities due to the CBD being on a narrow coastal plain located between Wellington Harbor and the Wadestown hill face.
I came across a fallen log whilst walking along the Heysen Trail near Jagger Rd in Victor Harbor yesterday. This is part of the Cape Jervis to Kuitpo Forest section of the trail, and it is a section that is located close to Encounter Studio.
I was looking for some subject matter to finish off some old film that had been sitting in the 6×7 and 6×9 film backs of my Linhof Technika 70
. This is the digital scoping picture that I made in the late afternoon whilst on a poodle walk
with Ari and Kayla.
Though I used to use this camera a lot, it has has been sitting in a wooden box in a cupboard unused for several years. I have been using the Rolleiflex 6×6 instead. These are much quicker and easier to use as the baby Linhof functions like a view camera. You line the image up through the ground glass, take off the viewing plate, put the roll film back on, expose the film, take the roll film back off, then put the viewing plate back on to line up the next image. It is a slow work process— very similar to large format photography.
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.