One of the interesting aspects of Melbourne is its many laneways. You just don’t know what you will find when you walk down one. One I stumbled upon whilst exploring Chinatown and Little Burke Street was Heffernan Lane.This runs between Lonsdale and Little Bourke Sts between Swanston and Russell Sts, which is to say, between Greek street and Chinese street.
I walked past the “Commit No Nuisance” signs, on past the Kum Den Bar and Restaurant and Wing Cheong Food Service, then glimpsed what appeared to be a council No Parking sign:
Heffernan Lane was the site of artist Evangelos Sakaris’s untitled installation for the City of Melbourne’s Laneway Commissions 2001-2002. Sakaris’s work involved the instalment along the lane of contemporary street signs bearing excerpts of ancient Greek and Chinese texts, to highlight the connections between these cultures.
This is an example of the poetic option that I was tempted to explore in contrast to the waste series. I mentioned the options in the earlier in a vacuum post. The poetic option is about the image and it has little to do with the literary text’s verbal equivalent of photographic techniques and processes or the use of photography in literature.
Urban poetics is a different kind of photography and one that I have little confidence in. So I don’t do much of it and I have little confidence and no sense of a project. The poetics of urban photography is quite different to the genre of street photography and is often associated with Polaroid photography.
I’m back in Adelaide. I wandered through the parklands with the poodles late yesterday afternoon wondering where my photography would go next. I played around with some low light light with the (film) Leica –poetic moments and all that—having a look without taking anything but I wasn’t really enthused.
I was at a loss. Where do I go from here? I felt hesitant. All the large format gear had been left down at Victor Harbor. How was I going to use the 8×10 in the city? You cannot wander the streets looking for the moment with that kind of gear.
I thought that I would start by picking up on the waste project that had been pushed into the background.
There are not that many retail shops in the urban neighbourhood in which our town house is located. It is part of the south-western corner of Adelaide’s CBD. It was mostly light industrial plus working class housing area in the 20th century. In the 21st century it is undergoing regional regeneration as residents, lawyers and small business move in.
The most fascinating part of this regeneration are the international students and the emergence of educational and other supoorting services (food, hairdressers, supermarkets, fashion etc) in and around the Central Market precinct.
This has bought some energy and life to Adelaide’s deadened CBD —-this precinct is now overflowing with people going about their everyday lives; relaxing in the coffeeshops and restaurants; and just hanging about enjoying themselves.
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.