Agricultural landscapes

I did go back to the Pitkin Rd site with some film cameras, initially the square format (Rolleiflex SL 66) and a wide angle lens, but that format just didn’t work. The framing was too tight and the open spaces on the right side of the picture, which are integral to the picture, were cut out.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the Sinar 5×4 f1 set up with its wide angle lens at the time. By the time the Sinar parts I needed arrived from the UK, the autumn rains had come, and the bleakness of the parched landscape had disappeared. It all looked quite lush when I returned with the Sinar. I wanted the dry, bleak look of late summer or early autumn.

This scoping picture of a shearing shed along the Waitpinga Rd, which is from the same period as the one above, is another example of a dry agricultural landscape that worked visually for me. I also considered it worth while returning to re-photograph:

shearing shed, Waitpinga Rd

I couldn’t use the Linhof 5×4 with its wide angle lens as I’d had run out of 5×4 colour sheet film (Kodak Portra 160 ASA), and it was out of stock in the US for more than 6 weeks. I decided to return with a Cambo 5×7 after having its wide angle lens serviced. Unfortunately it was Easter and the owners were having a big party/barbecue with their friends and neighbours. A group of kids were playing around the shed. We hung around waiting but to no avail. I wanted bare, dryness not the fun and games of party time.

Then the autumn rains came. The ground was quickly covered with green, winter grass, and the bareness had gone. I’ve been back several times thinking in terms of photographing the landscape in black and white, but the winter light is much lower than the light in autumn, and the shadows are quite different.

It’s the dryness of the late summer landscape, before the autumn rains, come that I want to photograph. Another example:

Pitkin Rd, Waitpinga

So I will have to wait until the early autumn of 2020 to make these kind of landscape photos. I am limited to the back roads through the agricultural landscapes, and it has taken me a while to develop a perspective on these landscapes, to figure out how to re-photograph them, then to tool up to be able to make the picture. Meanwhile I keep driving around the back country roads between Victor Harbor and Yankallia.

Digital technology is so much more convenient in comparison. The three above images were handheld casual snapshots made whilst I was walking around.

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