the ‘Lie of the Land’

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.

Lie of the Land

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.

early morning

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:

5x7 Cambo

I had around a 20 minute time frame in which to work to take the photos before the early morning light became too bright.

at Kings Beach

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.

rocks, Kings Beach

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.

Kangaroo Island–2007

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:

dead tree

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.

Port River

Another of our favourite areas for poodle walks is the Port Adelaide area. I am working on a project there, and it is a good place for the poodles to explore on their evening walks.

Port River

This picture was a study for a large format photography and a number of compositional variations were explored. Whilst working on the project I’ve changed from using a medium format camera to large format ones and exploring black and white (8×10) as well as colour (5×4).

near Kings Beach

One of the afternoon walks we often do when we are at Victor Harbor is a cliff top walk to King Beach. I often then cut back along the rocky foreshore to explore the rocky cliffs with my point and shoot digital camera.

The walk along the cliff-top is part of the Heysen Trail; a 1,200km long distance walking trail in South Australia that extends from Cape Jervis, on the rugged south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula, to Parachilna Gorge, in the Flinders Ranges.

rock face, Kings Beach

On these kind of walks I am looking for objects, landscape details and scenes that would be suitable for taking a photo with a large format camera. I did return to photograph this rock detail with a 5×7 Cambo monorail, but I have yet to have the sheet film processed at a pro-lab.