I was unable to participate in the Unless You Will conference or symposium at RMIT in Melbourne that took place during 17-19th February 2017. This was unfortunate for me, since the symposium was designed as a physical meeting place for art photographers, but it was one without an online conversational dimension. So I am currently in the dark about what took place or what the key ideas that were presented and debated.
Though I know that Unless You Will was founded by Heidi Romano, who also directed the inaugural Photobook Melbourne festival, I am out of the loop. For example, I failed to submit my Abstract Photography: re-evaluating visual poetics in Australian modernism and contemporary practice book for the 2017 Australian Photobook of the Year Award. I just didn’t know about the award. I felt that I should have, given my shift away from exhibitions towards producing photobooks.
Lyonville abstract, 2016
The blurb for the Unless You Will conference says that this symposium seeks to cultivate interaction and connection within photography:
As a kind of visual meeting place or think-tank it provides is an opportunity for the photographic community to share different practices, gain insights into other artists’ work and inspire critical discussion around emerging trends and ideas in photography and visual culture….The aim of the symposium is to search for avenues beyond the traditional in presenting photography.
The central aim of the Unless You Will project is to connect Australian photo creatives with their overseas counterparts around visual storytelling. That suggests that the photographers involved with, or connected to Unless You Will, are working within the tradition of long-form documentary storytelling. Continue Reading…
This picture of Melbourne from a Qantas plane was made whilst we were returning to Australia from our brief trip to Wellington and the Tongariro National Park in New Zealand. It was early morning when we flew in. We only made our connecting flight to Adelaide with minutes to spare.
It was only a couple of years ago that I used to do these kind of diary snaps with a 35m film Leica (M series). I admired the Leica ethos –that reality should be fixed on film with lenses that faithfully capture what is in front of the camera. The final print is the work of the photographer, and if the result was not as hoped for, then the photographer takes the blame, not the camera.
However, for 35mm photography I’ve made the switch to digital photography. These days I use a Sony digital camera (an old NEX-7) with Leica M lenses. The reason for the switch is that digital imagery delivers superior results when used handheld in most practical situations. The transition from film to digital technology is still a transit stage probably to digital imagery on and off the internet.
The drive of the photographic industry to produce successor models for every camera (including smart phones) with ever-shorter product cycles, there is an eager acceptance of consumers/photographers to upgrade to the newest model, and the photographer is becoming more and more of a computer technician. The search is for the perfect camera, and often it is the technology (cameras are effectively computer devices for image capture) that drives the photography. Newer models supposedly means better model. However, you cannot tell from the pictures that the newest digital camera is the best ever, since the pictures are more or less indistinguishable from those from the previous model. Continue Reading…
Though Encounter Studio is located in Victor Harbor in South Australia, it has various connections to Melbourne in Victoria.
I am a member of the Melbourne Silver Mine group and exhibit with them in their annual Uncensored exhibitions at the Collingwood Gallery and subsequent books. I also frequently visit Melbourne to make photos and for phototrips, and I work with Stuart Murdoch exploring topographical photography when I am there. In that sense, Stuart, who has started to publish photography books, can be seen as a part of Encounter Studio: ie.–the Melbourne connection.
Footscray, Melbourne, Victoria
One of the topographical projects Stuart and I are working on is Merri Creek. Stuart had photographed around the Northcote area of Merri Creek approximately 11 years ago when he lived nearby, and he was interested in re-exploring it to see what had changed. I was attracted by the nature/urban relationship. So we decided to start scoping it when I was last in Melbourne.