Spring time: explorations

During the recent couple of days of warm, sub tropical Spring weather on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula coast I was able to go on longer, coastal poodlewalks with Kayla and Maleko as well as scoping in the various cthat I would usually walk past, and photographing in my makeshift open air studio.

One of these longer walks was a return to exploring around the mouth of the Inmam River near Kent Reserve with Kayla to re-connect with the Fleurieuscapes project that I am working on.

Inman River, Victor Harbor

I was interested in scoping a way to photograph the site of the Ramindejeri’s burial ground in the sand dunes near the Inman River’s mouth. The SA Museum states that the Ramindejeri were a local group of the Ngarrindjeri but the public information the Museum has is pretty minimal

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photographer

By Thursday the cold south westerly and easterly winds that had been blowing for the past week had dropped away. By the late afternoon on Thursday it was very still and warm. There was cloud cover and soft light, the tide was very low, and there were no small flies. These were lovely conditions for both a late afternoon walk with Maleko and for me to do a bit of scoping about this place.

seascape

I went back on Friday afternoon at the same time of the day to this particular spot with a film camera and tripod. The weather conditions were very similar but I was dismayed to discover that the tide was much higher, and that it was impossible to gain access to this gap in the rocks.
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portraiture

Kayla is still on restricted walks. Though the courses of anti-inflammatories has finished, she continues to be walked on her own both morning and afternoon to allow the ligaments around her knees to heal. I walk her in the morning and Maleko in the afternoon. Suzanne does the opposite. We are playing it safe. No rough chasing games.

This allows me time to continue to work on The Littoral Zone project. Some recent examples:– an abstraction; a rockpool granite rocks along the coast; and an open air studio images.

A portrait of Kayla at Petrel Cove:

Kayla

These solo walks will change tomorrow as I am off on a photo trip to the South Australia Mallee for 5 days, and so Suzanne will have to walk both dogs together. She will need to exercise her skills to prevent them from playing their mad chasing games, or chasing kangaroos.

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Kayla's restricted walks

Kayla recently injured her back legs when she racing down the side of Rosetta Head.Then she and Maleko spotted a kangaroo and off she went. Her knees are quite sore, and she is on a weeks course of anti-inflammatories and restricted walks along the local coast. She walks solo with me in the morning and then solo with Suzanne in the evening.

seaweed and granite

We move slowly along the coastal foreshore in the morning–usually along the Encounter Bay beach. It reminds me of walking with Ari along this beach in the last month of his life.

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a photowalk with Heather Petty

We–Kayla, Maleko and myself–went for a photowalk with Heather Petty on Saturday afternoon–the last day of September. The photowalk was our poodlewalk, as the emphasis was on taking photos rather than walking the poodles. The sun was out, there was some cloud cover, and though a cold south-westerly wind was blowing across the coast, it was pleasant conditions for photography. We did not see the white belly sea eagle, dolphins or seals.

seaweed+quartz

I carried some seaweed around with me whilst we were walking amongst the rocks towards Dep’s Beach from where we had parked the Subaru Forester at Kings Beach Rd. We moved slowly as I was placing the seaweed amongst different rocks. I was able to take a number of photos.

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at Newland Head cliffs

Suzanne caught the zombie flu whilst she was walking on Kangaroo Island, and so I took Kayla and Maleko on yesterday’s afternoon walk. We walked along the Heysen Trail to Kings Beach, along the edge of the beach, over the top of Kings Head, and dropped down to a rocky outcrop at the base at the eastern end of the Newland Head cliffs.

It was a spring day: sunny, with no cloud cover and little wind. I was wanting to avoid the hot, dry blustery north-westerly wind that was on its way.

quartz, Newland Head cliffs

I haven’t been to this spot for ages. The last time I was there to photograph was several years ago, and I wanted to familiarise myself with the location. The last time I’d been there was in the early morning during the winter when the rocky outcrop was buffeted with wild waves, south westerly winds and passing showers.

It was much calmer yesterday as we walked around the site , but the rocks were very slippery underfoot. Not that it worried the four legged standard poodles. I remembered how I’d lost my footing the last time I was here, and tumbled over onto the rocks whilst trying to stop my Rolleiflex SL66 from falling onto the granite.

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a spring morning

The stormy weather has gone.

In its place are cool southerly winds, blue skies, calmer seas and lots of bright sunshine. The winter grasses are drying out, grass seeds are attaching themselves to the coats of the poodles as we walk along the cliff top path, and I have itchy eyes and a running nose from my allergies to grass seeds.

Mornings like this are now a memory:

waves, Depp’s Beach

Early morning scenes like this are momentary. They are there one minute gone the next. The light is constantly changing, as are the waves.They are impossible to photograph with a medium or large format camera on a tripod.

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Lichen

With Suzanne is away enjoying her walks and the wild flowers in the south west of Kangaroo Island I am taking the opportunity of walking Kayla and Maleko in both the morning and evening to start to return to some of old haunts along the coast that I haven’t visited for a couple of years. Have things changed along the coast? Do I see the rocks and sea differently now?

Yesterday we walked along the coastal cliff top path to Kings Beach. Instead of going along the beach and around to Kings Head, or over to the base of the Newland Cliffs, we made our way back along the coastal rocks in the direction of Rosetta Head.

lichen near Kings Beach

It is not possible to walk all the way along the coastal rocks from Kings Beach to Rosetta Head, even when the weather is fine and the tide is low.

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playtime

Suzanne has gone off to walk the Wilderness Trail on Kangaroo Island. She will be away for most of this week with her bush walking group.

While she is away Kayla, Maleko and I will have some fun, playing with light and shadows:

shadows, Rosetta Head

And I’ll try and do some local photography, start planning another Mallee Routes photo trip, read more about photobook making, continue to edit the essays for the Bowden Archives book and start getting the Adelaide Photography 1970-2000 book (with Moon Arrow Press) off the ground.
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still life

Suzanne returned home to Encounter Bay late today after finishing walking the Heysen Trail. It was a 3 year commitment. A major achievement. She is home for 3 days then she is off on Saturday to walk the new Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail for several days.

Whilst she was away I have been working on this photobook project: selecting images from the archives of the digital photos that I have made on the various coastal poodle walks over the last 4 years. I noted that the photos improved in the latter years.

I guess I was becoming more confident in the type of photos that I wanted to make–details of the coastal landscape. During that time I had lots of nagging doubts about the nature of the Fleurieuscapes project, and where I wanted it to go.

seaweed+quartz still life

My initial selection produced around 150 photos.So there is going to have to be a big cull. Or a volume 2. The next step after the cull is to have Atkins Photo Lab make 6×4 prints of the images and then sort them into a sequence. Once that is done I can then put them into a notebook with blank pages and ring binding to give me a dummy book which I can show people.