The poodlewalk was down at Port Adelaide this afternoon. I had a go at the two marine cranes that have been saved; but you can find two far superior interpretations here and here. Local knowledge derived from living in the locality always wins doesn’t it.
I realize that I don’t really know Port Adelaide, even though I ‘m doing a project on it. I’m basically a fly in. I drive down every couple of weeks or so for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon and take some photos. But I’m not really intimate with it’s character.
This picture of the former Customs Clearing Office, known locally as the Radio Shack, on the corner of Todd and Divett streets, in Port Adelaide shows the state of heritage at the Port. This area has been earmarked for residential redevelopment, and this historic building, which housed the Port Adelaide Radio Club for more than 15 years, has been left to decay.
It is currently owned by the South Australian state government Land Management Corporation, whose “primary aim is to provide social, economic and environmental benefits to all South Australians”. It looks as if it will be quarantined from the waterfront development of the “upmarket” lifestyle residences that has stalled since the global financial crisis.
I’ve been hunting around the Adelaide CBD looking for some high up locations to take large format urbanscapes. These are few and far between, as the roofs of most buildings in the CBD are inaccessible to the public. The best options so far are the car parks, but these have now been grilled to prevent people from jumping off them.
This is one possibility. It’s easily accessible, is an older style car park with the top roof uncovered and open, and the perspective it offers on Franklin Street is suitable for the Cambo 5×7 view camera. It is the best location that I have found so far.
Engaging with the ordinary in everyday life is both elusive and difficult to represent. It is also difficult to express or communicate what has been represented in an everyday visual language. Is ordinary visual language something other than, or different to, the visual language of our commodity culture? Do we need to unlearn the normal visual language in order to represent and express the ordinary?
I don’t know the answer to these questions.
I do understand that in a society of the spectacle, such as Australian society, much of ordinary life is constructed by consumer culture. In this sense, the shopping mall is the most ordinary environment and shopping the most ordinary activity. Yet, this kind of ordinary in a consumer culture may be quite opposite to the everydayness a photographer might want to evoke.
The Blue Tiers is in the north east of Tasmania and we passed through it on our way to St.Helens.
The early settlers mined tin in much of the George River catchment area between about 1880 and 1930. The clearfelling of native forests by Forestry Tasmania continues supported by the forestry union, the CFMEU and the Tasmanian government, which provides every incentive to destroy the old growth forest.
Within it is a remnant of an ancient Myrtle Beech (Nothofagus cunninghamii) temperate rain forest:
This was in an area of regenerated rain forest full of ferns and mosses.
I wandered around the man made track with my digital camera looking for an image or two that I could take with my film cameras. The rain forest is so messy and the light is so contrasty that I just concentrate on the little details in the open shade in order to be able to handle what consistently defeats me.
I’ve spent the last couple of days doing a scoping study of the work that I want to do with the Linhof 5×4 over the next few days, as well as photographing bits and pieces with the Rolleiflex SL66. I’m annoyed.
The backup body of the latter has now gone and I’m down to the Rolleiflex TLR. The 5×4 Linhof becomes my main camera and the Rolleiflex TLR becomes the ancillary camera. I’m out of my comfort zone.
I have found three sites to work at with the Linhof. One is an area around the old Iron Blow Mine. The second is the burnt landscape around the Queenstown airport; burnt because it has had fire through it recently. The third is the ruins of the Tasmanian Smelters site at Zeehan.
I know very little about the history of the Zeehan site. I know that in late 1882, silver-lead ore was discovered near the present day site of Zeehan and that this led to the largest mining boom on Tasmania’s west coast with Zeehan being dubbed the ‘Silver City of the West’.
Now and again on the poodlewalks I take photos of the neighbourhood architecture in an exploratory sort of way. Some of the architectural forms in the built environment is visually interesting–both the heritage buildings and the postmodern ones. Modernism is exhausted.
However, I haven’t really gone that step further and started taken architectural photos with a view camera, even though I’ve uncovered some possibilities.
I have intended to do so–its the traditional way is it not?—but I haven’t explored the different perspectives in architectural photography, or rather the different ways of photographing architecture.
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.