abstraction, colour, film

into the studio

November 14, 2015

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.

log abstract

log abstract

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:

log abstract 2

log abstract 2

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.



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