February heatwave

Adelaide is in the middle of a week long heatwave. Its been clear blue skies, an intense heat from the sun and, a hot northwesterly wind, which means that it doesn’t cool down at night. The temperatures are in the low 40 degrees centigrade. A code red alert has been issued by the SA state government, which unlocks extra support for vulnerable people, such as the homeless, during a heatwave.

I have given up this kind of photography that I was doing along the Heysen Trail. I’ve been walking along the Encounter Bay beach with Kayla before dawn so that I can take a few closeup photos of the ephemeral seaweed in the first few minutes of sunrise.

5-10 minutes latter the light is too contrasty for this kind of photography.

This is the second heatwave this year–the first one was in mid -January — with January being on the hottest January on record. The cause of this February heatwave is a “blocking high” on the Tasman Sea. With winds going anticlockwise around the highs this is helping funnel desert heat down to the southern states. Thankfully there have been no bushfires in South Australia this time, but this is not the case for Victoria.

returning to the Heysen Trail

In the last week or so I have returned to walking along the Waitpinga section of the Heysen Trail in the morning with Kayla and in the afternoon with Maleko. This section of the Heysen Trail is a narrow strip of scrub or bush that runs between two roads, and it is bounded by two grazing paddocks (cattle and sheep). The narrow strip is a corridor that is quite dense in parts.

The mornings and afternoons have been overcast with minimal wind, and this has allowed me to do some black and white film photography of tree subjects that I had photographed in colour a couple of years ago. I started the scoping here.

Whilst walking to and from the photo sites on both the morning and the afternoon poodlewalks I made some exploratory/scoping studies of different subject matter in the scrub/bush for some future film photography. This is an example:

branch, Heysen Trail

I would have walked past this branch on the edge of the path of the Heysen Trail many times without ever having seen it. I only saw it this time because Kayla went exploring in the undergrowth behind the branch. I quickly made a snap and moved on.

summer-time + impermanence

The Xmas break  is over for this summer-time.  The holiday crowds have left vacationing  along the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula  during the extended school holidays,  and  returned to work in Adelaide.  The schools are back and  the photographers have gone.

The hot days came and went  during January,   with  the minimium/maximium  temperatures rising.  The warming trend   means that Australian summers are becoming hotter and the heatwaves more intense.  Sadly, the sand has been disappearing  from  Dep’s Beach and Petrel Cove ever since the big storm in December,    and these  two beaches are now looking  desolate.

Over the Xmas break I  continued to  photograph in the early morning  whilst walking with Kayla.  I focused on  low key macro photography before the light became too bright and contrasty. The photography  is hand held and quick. The conditions are not suitable for slow  large format photography.

quartz + salt, Petrel Cove

Currently, the mornings start cool,   the days heat up and reach their zenith around 5 pm but, unlike drought damaged inland regions,  the temperature usually  drops at night. With the crowds gone,  the beaches along the coast are  quiet during the week,  and we often have them to ourselves in the early morning around dawn and sunrise. We now have the space to be in the moment and see the  transient and ephemeral nature of life on the coast.   Continue reading “summer-time + impermanence”

the Xmas break 2018

The weather along the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula over the Xmas break was surprisingly cool; surprisingly so,  given the record breaking heatwave across central and south-eastern  Australia.

Despite having several  friends  stay with us in and around the  Xmas break, it was  a quiet holiday  for me.  I’d  sprained my right shoulder one morning just before  Xmas day  whilst helping Suzanne  to make the bed.

bark abstract, Encounter Bay

The shoulder  became  inflamed and,  as it involved shoulder bursitis pain,    I was obliged to rest the right arm in a sling  for a couple of days over Xmas  before  seeing a physiotherapist late in the Xmas/New Year Day week.  I was given a set of exercises to do  for a week to strengthen the strained shoulder muscle.

Then the injury  would be reassessed. The prognosis was that it could take 2-8 weeks to heal, depending on  how I responded to the various exercises. I’ve  had good days and bad days so far.   Continue reading “the Xmas break 2018”

close-ups

After the wildness of the stormy days, which  stripped the local beaches of their sand we experienced several days of humid weather and gentle misty rain. Then the cold front rolled in from the south west and the temperature dropped dramatically.

I spent my time on the morning and evening poodlewalks  exploring the nooks and crannies amongst the rocks,  looking to do   some handheld macro  photography of seaweed.  I  quickly  discovered that  the piles of seaweed that had been thrown onto the rocks by the storm  were mostly seagrass and not suitable.

seaweed +Rocks, Kings Beach

The poodles in the afternoon would spend their time look for golf balls among the granite rocks,  whilst I looked for subject matter for macro photography. We moved slowly across the rocks  on our way beyond  Kings Head finding what  shelter we could  when there was a bit of rain.   Continue reading “close-ups”

stormy days

South Australia was  been battered by a violent  storm from the south west during the last three days– from Thursday to Saturday. We  experienced gale force winds, solid rain, high tides  and  surging seas along  the coast of  the southern Fleurieu Peninsula.

storm,  Dep’s Beach

Our usual morning and evening poodlewalks  were curtailed due to  the water cutting off access to parts of the littoral zone. So I could not photograph the water flows.  It was also  too dangerous to venture around the rocks to Petrel Cove  to do some macro due to  the huge waves.   Continue reading “stormy days”

at Kings-Head and beyond

The pictures in this blog post are from an afternoon poodlewalk in 2017 initially to Kings-Head in Waitpinga,  and  then on to a rocky outcrop just west of Kings Head. The rocky outcrop  is on the Coastal Cliffs walking trail to Newland Head and, as a result,  we often meet walkers coming from Waitpinga Beach.

rockface + sunlight, Kings Head

The rocky outcrop is near the foot of the Waitpinga Cliffs,  and it is  not possible to continue walking much further around the bottom of the cliffs. The Coastal Cliff walking trail  from Waitpinga Beach  to Kings Beach is along the top of the Waitpinga cliffs. Continue reading “at Kings-Head and beyond”

2 still life images

One  early morning poodlewalk  along the coastal rocks west of Petrel Cove last week  with Kayla was very enjoyable and relaxing.  The light was soft, there was little wind, and the light cloud cover meant that there was  soft early morning light  for an hour or so after sunrise. We were fortunate as  the early mornings of late have been sunny, bright  with blue sky.

These conditions  allowed me to spend a   a bit of time doing some  photography amongst the seaweed, quartz and granite:

Cuttlefish still life

We have been having this part of the coast to ourselves in the last week or so.  The only person I saw was Allan, who we see regularly. He does a  daily walk from his home in Encounter Bay along the Heritage Trail to Kings Beach Rd, then walks back. Our paths often cross.  Continue reading “2 still life images”

sand patterns

As mentioned on the Encounter Studio blog   when  I am on the recent  morning or afternoon poodlewalks I have started  looking for suitable subjects that would work as an image when  the  colour file made  with a digital camera is converted  to black and white.

The subjects have usually been  granite rocks  but of latel, I am turning to  sand  patterns.   This is a recent  example:

sand, Deps Beach

The above  image   looked very ordinary in colour when I viewed it on the computer screen,  in the sense that it was  not deserving of a second  more considered look. It  look more interesting when I converted it to black and white as an experiment.   Continue reading “sand patterns”

water flows

When I have been doing   the evening poodlewalks with Maleko  I’ve sometimes  included sitting  quietly on a rock to  watch the sea water  flowing amongst the coastal granite. Maleko either sits with me,  or  he looks for any golf balls buried amongst the rocks in the littoral zone.

Occasionally,  I    try and make a still photograph of a particular moment of the rapid movement of the  waves surging amongst  the rocks:

flowing sea, Dep’s Beach

The reason that  I don’t  bother to photograph the water, is that it  is usually difficult to make the composition,  and to get the lighting right.  The sea water moves so very quickly through and over the granite rocks–too quickly  for me  to  compose the picture whilst ensuring  that my feet don’t  become wet from a rogue wave. Continue reading “water flows”