When I was living in the Sturt St townhouse in Adelaide’s CBD some of our poodle walks in the Adelaide parklands involved me looking at the base of cut logs to photograph as well as the trunks of trees. The logs were from the cut down trees in the parklands, and they were scattered around the parklands to make the parklands more like the bush and less like a park.
I photographed the most interesting ones whilst on the walks but I’ve done nothing with these images. I wasn’t all that happy with what I’d done, but I felt that there was little that I could do with these found objects in the field. These logs were huge and they could not be bought to the makeshift studio at Encounter Bay.I continued with the open air studio after we moved to Victor Harbor as I realised that bringing back live cuttlefish and wet seaweed into the studio didn’t really work.
Then I saw the work of Ed Douglas in his recent Some Connections exhibitions –he was doing the same thing that I was but he was working in the studio, using a large format camera and black and white film. Consequently, he had much greater control over his found subject matter— which he selected from the firewood that he had delivered to his property in the Adelaide Hills. The work was far more sophisticated and of much higher quality.
I have set up a primitive studio –Encounter Studio–at Victor Harbor. It is based around using one small window light, a Cambo heavy duty studio stand with 2 geared heads for view cameras and an 8×10 Sinar P. I’ve also just purchased a beat up (entry level) 5×4 Sinar F2 from Alex Gard in Tasmania. Though I have a started looking for objects to bring back into the studio to photograph –ie., materials from nature, eg., from both the beach and the bush—but so far I have found very little that is useful photography wise.
After looking at the Ed Douglas’ work I wondered if one of the problems I was encountering was the use of colour film as well as having limited control over lighting the object in the field?
I converted the above image into black and white to see how it would look as a photograph:
It looks better. Black and white is the way to go then. That is a step forward. Now to find some objects to photograph. Where to begin to source the suitable objects though?
The old junk shops and scrap yards have long gone, as they have been replaced by collectables and recycling depots. That leaves the charity shops as a starting point. Or garage sales.