archives, Encounter Studio, studio


July 28, 2020

Unfortunately the storeroom space, which is out of the way, has minimal natural light, and so it is necessary to use studio lighting, if I want to continue to do any studio photography. Alas, as I do not have any studio lighting, so there has been little indoor studio photography since the pictures from this photo session.

So the studio equipment–eg., Cambo studio stand, monorail large format camera, silver umbrella reflector, Manfrotto autopoles + medium format camera—currently sit in the storeroom unused. I become depressed looking at it Will being on the road of despair start the self-questioning about what’s now need to live well?

Rolleiflex 6006, 2010
Crane flower (Bird of Paradise) detail

Though the still lives that I have been doing since this photo session in the past have been done in an open air studio along the coastal littoral zone, I still become sad looking at the studio equipment just sitting in the storeroom unused. I need to do something I keep saying to myself.

This lack of studio photography is a pity because I did enjoy the process of fiddling around, setting up the still lives, playing around, and seeing what worked using Fuji Provia 100F. The colour shifts were often surprising:

Rolleiflex 6006, 2011
avocado, Encounter Studio

Coming back to looking over these photos on the computer screen makes me want to pick up from where I left off and take it further. It makes for a relaxing change from lugging the photography gear around the coast, or going away on long roadtrips.

This rose is from the garden at Encounter Bay, Victor Harbor. The roses were planted by Suzanne’s mother when they retired to Victor Harbor from Melbourne in the late 1970s. The rose garden has been kept going though the rest of the garden is native.

Rolleiflex 6006, 2011
yellow rose, Encounter Studio

The trouble is that I don’t know how to go about getting studio light or even what type of lighting.The natural light was  soft, diffused and directional. A lot of studio lighting looks canned and unnatural—too many specialist lights. I need to keep it simple–one soft, diffuse light source–to mimic window light as much as possible. As it is a small space in the storeroom/studio so the light needs to be small, and I need to keep it cheap–ie., acquire second hand studio light.

So I buy the required studio light. What then? How does studio photography help me to live well during a pandemic that is spreading through the nation via community transmission, and facing the possibility of there being no successful vaccine? I have no idea. Just start. This is a crisis without an endpoint in sight. Tis time for patience and gratitude that we are living in Australia, not the US.

Rolleiflex SL66
magnolia, Encounter Studio

I find myself, in response to what happening in the US under the Trump presidency returning to, and mulling over, the ‘Absolute Freedom and Terror’ section in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Some people’s attachment to, and obsession with, absolute individual liberty in the US strikes me as living in a state of nature and in self-sufficiency. According to Hegel in practice, this kind of absolute freedom of the will, which ultimately divides into a simple, inflexible cold universality and a simple self-willed atomism seeks to exist just for itself. In obliterating the world of particulars it produces violence (a fury of destruction) and ultimately terror.

Hegel puts it thus: “The sole work and deed of universal freedom is therefore death … a deed, moreover, with no more significance than cleaving the head of a cabbage or swallowing a mouthful of water.”

We see this fury of violence currently happening on the streets of the US and in the White House. Trump benefitting from chaos is the only objective. Everyone else can fend for themselves. Thankfully we are not the US. Still, economic activity will not return to normal until the virus is defeated, which will in turn depend on the public’s adherence to preventive measures. Around 25% of the population are refusing to adhere to the lockdown’s restrictions on movement.

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