Today Adelaide had a one day respite from the heatwave. It was actually cool enough for Ari and I to be able to drift around the western part of the CBD in comfort. I was even able to do some photography in the form of making digital snaps.
Exercising, working, or even walking at a fast pace becomes difficult to sustain at temperatures above 35ᵒC. During the heat we just sought out the shade around Veale Gardens and we moved very slowly in the shade to avoid overheating and heat stress. Fortunately, the city had cooled down over night and it was no longer a heat island. So we were able to walk the city in the late afternoon for an hour and a half.
I was looking for photographic ideas to explore. In drifting around the Hindley Street part of the CBD and then city west I was wandering around in the seedy or scruffy side of Adelaide.
An important aspect of poodlewalks in the city is that Ari, who loves walking the city, takes me to nooks and crannies of the city that I would normally miss. I wouldn’t even notice them as I walking too fast or I have pre-conceived ideas of what I want to photograph.
Ari’s mooching around these nooks and crannies slows me down, and it means that I am able to look more closely at what is around me, rather than just walking through the environment.
Suzanne is currently in Brisbane for a conference whilst Ari and I are down at Victor Habor. We return to Adelaide today.
The days are still coolish, overcast, and with south easterly winds. The tide has been very low at this time and so we can venture further out on the reef.The evening walks now happen between 6pm and 8pm because, with daylight saving, that is when the afternoon light along the coast softens.
The afternoon walks have been spent looking for material for the gallery and, in particular, this rock form which I’d snapped on a walk the last time we were at Victor Harbor. It looked suitable for the Victor Harbor book, and I wanted to see whether it was possible to reshoot it with a large format camera.
It was a small shape and I couldn’t remember where it was on the rock foreshore between Petrel Cove and Kings Beach. It took two evening walks and 4 hours to find it. I finally found it last night, around 7.30 pm, just as the sun was disappearing behind the hill.
I’ve recovered enough from my illness to start photographing again using more than a small hand held digital camera. I feel that I’ve lost most of this year and I’ve a deep sense of being wasted. There was so much that could have been done (especially with large format) and wasn’t. The momentum has been lost. It’s like starting all over again.
This was a picture of roadside vegetation I took just before things disintegrated around me:
It’s the road to the old Victor Harbor rubbish dump and one that the poodles and I would walk along if it was too windy along the coast. I kinda liked the view towards the southern ocean through the fields as we walked down the road through farmland towards Rosetta Head.
It’s back to hanging around the rooftop of car parks. With early summer almost here it is now possible to photograph on the roof after the commuters have picked up their cars and returned to the suburbs. Adelaide has really been dumped on in the last couple of decades as backward, provincial and boring. Nothing happens in the city of churches. Sydney and Melbourne are where it is at. So we don’t see the city for what it is. What we see is what it lacks.
The city is changing due to a post the global financial crisis mini building boom, even the fabled BP Billiton Olympic Dam mine, which the boosters said would have produced rivers of gold in the streets of Adelaide, has been put on hold indefinitely.
I made this picture whilst we were wandering our way to see the Jeffrey Smart exhibition at the Samstag Gallery. We were to meet up with Suzanne and then look over the exhibition.
It took Ari and myself a couple of hours to get there, as we more or less strolled up and down all the little streets and alleyways between Sturt St and the gallery on North Terrace. There was so much to check out.
I was trying to think through a different approach to photographing the city to the bird’s eye view from the top floor of carparks. I was experimenting as we slowly weaved our way in and out of this part of the city, but I didn’t come up with much.
Ari and I wandered around Bowden late this afternoon.
I’d gone there to check out Fontanelle, as I understood that there was a darkroom there and workshops on alternative technologies, processing and printing called The Analogue Lab. I was looking for a darkroom in Adelaide to develop my 8×10 black and white sheet film. I presumed that this photographic facility is run in association with the Fontanelle Gallery and Studio in Bowden. Everything was closed.
So Ari and I went walking around the streets. I took a few snaps. This picture of industrial forms (Conroys Smallgoods) was in Sixth Street, just down the road from Fontanelle before the Drayton Street corner. I used to work at Conroys when studying at Flinders University and the money I earned there enabled me to set myself up with different types of large format cameras.
Bowden was located close to the city, park lands and the train line and it is where I used to live and work in the 1980s. I had a photographic studio and darkroom in Gibson St near Seventh St, and I used to walk around the area and photograph it with medium and large format cameras. I also spent a lot of time walking in the western parklands with Fichte, my standard poodle.
Though I’d develop the film myself, I was never much good at printing (ie., producing a fine print), so I never exhibited the work about Bowden as a place. I just built up an archive of negatives in a filing cabinet. I’ve started to revisit and to digitalize.
It has been a while since I’ve wandered the streets of Adelaide on a daily walk with Ari and a digital camera. Today was the first day that I returned to walking the streets taking photos:
I was wanting to take more street level photography for the Adelaide book. The draft is top heavy with ‘birds-eye’ views of the city. I wondered if the digital camera become a tool of the flâneur who walks the city in order to experience the present conditions of daily urban life. This urbanscape in which we live which is often ignored or taken for granted.
The idea of the flâneur returns us to the Situationists concept of psychogeography, which is the practice of exploring places in unpredictable ways within the society of the spectacle. This is connected to a favorite practice of the dadaists, who organized a variety of expeditions, and the surrealists, for whom the geographical form of automatism was an instructive pleasure.
It was a frosty morning and the light on the salt fields around 8.30am was bright and clear. Perfect conditions. I’d gone back to take some pictures with the 5×4 Linhof that I’d scoped on the earlier trip:
I wasn’t happy with the pictures of the salt crystallisation ponds I took with the Linhof. I need to be there earlier in the morning. So I’ll go back tomorrow and have another go around the time the sun lightens up the salt mounds.
I’ve been meaning to return to the Cheetham salt field ever since taking this aerial picture. I’d been back a couple of times with the poodles on an afternoon walk on the north and west sides looking for a spot to photograph the piles of salt without much luck.
Earlier this week, when the weather cleared for a day, I found a location that I could access to photograph with a 5×4. This picture was taken on the east side of the Dry Creek salt pans looking west.
There are plans to develop the salt field site into a mixed-use urban waterfront precinct. The State Government’s 30 year plan for Greater Adelaide identified the Dry Creek salt field area and the adjacent Globe Derby Park as a “key urban expansion” site.