We were down at Victor Harbor over the weekend and so the poodlewalks were along, and around, the coastline. This is the image that I wanted to take with the 5×7 Cambo view camera, but the weather was against me. There were strong winds blowing from the south west across the top of the cliffs and this made it impossible for me to use a view camera.
So I had to give it up even though I’d finally found the location I was looking for. I have been exploring this coastline for several years, as it is our backyard so to speak. I now find I’m reworking it with a digital camera looking for a photographic image.
Wirranender Park in the Adelaide parklands is a favourite spot for transients to construct makeshift campsites. This is especially so for those aboriginal people who come down to Adelaide from their homeland in outback northern South Australia, and are unable to find temporary accommodation.
As I mentioned in an earlier post Aboriginal people camped—ie., sleeping rough–- in the Parklands is a controversial issue in Adelaide.
We returned to exploring Wirranender Park in the Adelaide Parklands on Sunday even though it was raining. I wanted to see some of the sculpture in this public spaces; a space that looks as if it is being designed as an urban forest with an environmental trail.
Scattered along the trail are a large number of rock sculptures by Silvio Apponyi and other sculptors, including this piece by Sally Weekes:
An interpretation taken with my 5×4 Linhof Technika IV. This Wirranendi area of the Adelaide Parklands was once covered by Eucalyptus porosa or Mallee Box Woodland. This consisted of widely spaced gums, many acacias, native apricots, quandongs, saltbushes, native herbs, peas and lilies and many types of grasses, providing habitat for many native animals and birds.
Yesterday we started to explore the west parklands in which the West Terrace Cemetery is situated. The part of the parklands that is next to West Terrace itself consists of soccer fields. Further west, adjacent to the northern side of the cemetery and running down to the railway line is a cultivated wilderness area with a wetlands known as Wirranendi Park.
Wirranendi is from the Kaurna aboriginal language and it means to become transformed into a green-forested area. The park is cultivated in the sense that it is being replanted with natives, and is a site for public sculptures that are far more intriguing than any art in public places in the CBD.
Adelaide, whose self-image is that it is an arts and festival city, has had an ironic shortage of contemporary public art, and what it does have is banal-eg., the brass pigs in Rundle Mall. Adelaide needs to reinvent itself.
The work above is a public space installation titled “Lie of the Land”, located in the Adelaide parklands on the “Western Gateway” to Adelaide City and was created by Victorian-based artists Aleks Danko and Jude Walton. The work consists of 25 stone domes stretched along either side of Sir Donald Bradman Drive east of the Hilton bridge. Each dome is made from local bluestone using the dry-walling technique.
“Lie of the Land”, with its closed forms and no opening, refers back to the way the early settlers sheltered in dome shaped structures they had copied from the Aborigines. The beehive shaped shelters were built by the early European settlers (immigrants) and that they used traditional aboriginal materials to construct them.
I had intended to take my cameras on a heritage walk at the old Torrens Island Quarantine Station at the mouth of Adelaide’s Port River, this afternoon, but the city was gridlocked due the Clipsal 500 car race. It took me ages to get out of the CBD and by then it was too late to make the run down to the Port before 6pm.
So the poodles and I went to the West Adelaide Cemetery instead, and I picked up my photography from where I had left off in the early summer:
We forgot about clock time during our wanderings and I didn’t realize that all the gates had been closed. We were locked in and the old hole in the fence that we’d often used had been repaired. We were locked in, so we had to search for a place in the fence for the poodles to scramble under the wire fence and for me to climb over it.
I was out at dawn this morning lugging the Cambo 5×7 monorail, Linhof tripod and computer bag of double dark slides down to Kings Beach to have the camera set up before the early morning sunlight became too intense.
There was just enough cloud cover to keep the sun covered long enough to give me the extra time that I needed to set the camera up:
I had around a 20 minute time frame in which to work to take the photos before the early morning light became too bright.
Dusk on Saturday was the ideal time to take photos with the 5×7 Cambo monorail of the coastline of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula. It was very still, very warm, and there were amazing colours. It was magic time. For some reason I was exploring the rocks around Kings Beach with the poodles with my point and shoot Sony. I returned home around 7pm–just when I should have been using the large format camera.
The weather on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula changed the next morning:–the strong south westerly winds made impossible to photograph along the coast with a large format camera.
As I mentioned in my earlier post on Kangaroo Island my shift back to large format was a result of the poor quality of the pictures I achieved with digital on the Kaangaroo Island shoot.
Over the next couple of years I shot only in raw, shifted to Apple computers, acquired Lightroom, started using medium format cameras more extensively–I bought a Rolleiflex 6006 system. I then picked up my old large format cameras rather than spend $15,000 to $30,000 on a medium format digital camera.
We are at Victor Harbor for the long weekend along with heaps of other people who are having fun. It is definitely early autumn on the Fleurieu Peninsula, for though the days are hot, the early morning air is crisp and the nights are cool.
I have been going through my digital archive, looking at the pictures that were initially taken with the digital point and shoot around 2007 on a trip we did to Kangaroo Island in autumn 2007:
I’ve never really looked at the pictures closely. They had the date digitally stamped all over them and they were not shot as jpeg’s and not in raw. I didn’t really know what I was doing then. A friend set the camera up for me–the menu looked looked far too complicated after a using a Lecia rangefinder — and I could not understand the ‘how to’ booklet. Everything on the camera was set on automatic.
One of the more noticeable aspects of urban life in the inner city of Adelaide is the number people staggering around the streets after having too much to drink. I notice them more than usual because the poodles are very aware of them –the behaviour of drinks is unpredictable because they stagger.
The drunks are often the homeless older men, aborigines who spend the day in the parklands, and young men staggering around the streets after boozing all night in the nightclub strip. The latter are the most violent and are often aggressive. They are to be avoided because the poodles will attack them if they get too close.
One of the areas for poodle walks is Port Adelaide. The Port has fallen on hard times and has become a site of rustbelt. Despite the signs of urban renewal it has an industrial scruffy look, that is a long way from the sunbelt cities (eg., Brisbane) with their gleaming condo towers, bistros and boutiques that are so trendy because they signify vibrant urban environments full of young people.