This feature is part of an infrequent series of posts of images made with large format cameras. The previous post in the series was Feature #3 of a wetland in the Hindmarsh River in Victor Harbor.
I made the picture below with an 8×10 Cambo monorail in the early morning. It is of the wetlands of the River Murray near the Overland Corner Reserve in the Riverland region of South Australia. I was exploring the area around the Overland Corner tracing the overland route used by the drovers (ie., overlanders) to take stock from New South Wales to Adelaide between 1830 and the early 1840s. This route followed a much older Aboriginal pathway. At the time I was trying to gain a sense of the history of the River Murray in the Riverland region.
I camped overnight in the reserve close to the River Murray and made a number of pictures the following morning. The pictures were for a collaborative project on the River Murray that eventually fell through when the organizer and the lead artist just walked away from the project without saying anything.
There was no water in the wetlands even though the River Murray was just to the right of the picture. The ground was very dry and many of the trees in the “wetland” were dead. The wetlands along the river were dying from lack of water due to there being no flooding in recent years. So much water was being taken out by upstream irrigators that there was nothing left for environmental flows. The decade old Murray-Darling Plan to increase the environmental flows by 450 gigalitres has failed, but the irrigators have increased their allocations. Surprise, surprise.
I have just spent a lot of money on buying film from B+H in New York. It arrived within a week of ordering, which rather surprised me. I thought that it would take at least twice as long with the international border restrictions due to the Covid -19 pandemic. However, film photography, and especially large format colour photography, is becoming increasingly expensive. The costs, such as the ever rising price of film, the various customs/transport/GST charges, and the post processing at a commercial lab such as Atkins in Adelaide, certainly add up over a year. The cost is probably around, or even over, $A2000 a year.
So I have to do something with the large format images, since many of those that are not part of an exhibition, just sit on my computer’s hard drive, and never see the light of the day. I did think of starting a large format blog to justify the expense, time and difficulty in using large format cameras. As I have far too many blogs–and there is the wonderful Australian based view camera blog run by David Tatnall — I have decided to post some of the large format images here on a regular basis.
I plan to post them every now and again and to do so as a feature of the blog. This initial post reaches back into the archives circa 2015. I am not sure if I ever posted these images before. I didn’t really know what to do with them. For some reason I haven’t posted them on my low profile tree or Rhizomes blog.
The picture above was made with a 5×4 Linhof Technika IV several years ago. I was staying at Creswick in Victoria to check out the Ballarat International Foto Biennale in 2015. Though I don’t remember much about the various exhibitions in the biennale, I do remember photographing in the Ballan eucalyptus forest. Or maybe it was the Bungal State Forest near Ballan.