We spent the long weekend just passed (Queens birthday?) down at Victor Harbor. I used the time on the afternoon poodlewalks to refine the focusing on the Sony NEX-7 and to explore its image quality. What I wanted to know was whether could I get most of the pictures I was taking in focus and, secondly, whether the larger sensor could handle landscape detail as good as 35mm film.
I mostly succeeded with the focusing issue–all were in focus. And I was pretty happy with the image quality of this picture. The 24.3 Megapixel sensor produces images that are an improvement on those produced by the 10 Megapixel sensor of the old Sony DSC R1 that I used to use.
We are down at Victor Harbor for a couple of days–the last few days of Suzanne’s holidays. We return to Adelaide on Sunday.The days down here are being spent painting the living room of the weekender and gardening.
The autumn weather is still, overcast and temperate–it’s good coastal landscape photography weather. So yesterday afternoon and early this morning I walked along the Heysen Trail past Kings Head on to the rocky outcrop foot of the Newland cliffs. This is where I’d been photographing before the Queenstown trip.
Though my Sony NEX-7 has finally arrived, I cannot get it to work with a Leica 35mm lens. I’m finding the user interface to be very complicated indeed. So I took the 5×4 Linhof this morning plus Suzanne’s Olympus XZ-1 digital camera for further scoping.
Whilst Suzanne is in Barcelona revelling in the delights of a delightful international city Ari and I are at Victor Harbor this weekend.
I’ve come down to scan some of the medium format negatives from the Queenstown Tasmania shoot. There has been lots of rain at Victor since we were here last, and though the weather today was cool and overcast, it was very still. So went for a poodlewalk beyond Kings Head around to the inlet at the edge of the cliffs that form Newlands Head. There were lots of people around— cray fishermen and Heysen Trail walkers. There were no seals cruising the shoreline this time.
We returned to the area when we were down at Victor Harbor last My memories are of shots that I had taken back in late summer on one of those rare muggy overcast days in Victor Harbor. I’d shot in both colour and black and white then, and in looking at the scanned images now, I noted that the highlights were blown out and the shadows had no detail.
Today was the same approach–I exposed both colour and black and white whilst Ari stood guard. The cray fishermen had friends in camera clubs and talked about thenm doing a study of textures. Was I doing the same?
Unfortunately, this time, in returning to my base, I slipped on the seaweed and, though I managed to save the Rolleiflex SL66, light meter and film back from crashing into the rocks, I landed on my knees, scrapped my skin on the rocks, and twisted my left knee.
Yesterday was overcast and windy, and as the weather was going to be consistent rain squalls for the next few days, I decided go to the old Mt Lyell open cut copper mine in Queenstown. The only way to do it was to take the morning trip with John Halton’s Enviro mine tour. It was the right decision as it rained all of today.
Late this afternoon the poodles and I went to explore a location we had discovered around Xmas time. It is around from Kings Head and it is as far as you can go along the seashore before the cliffs plunge into the southern ocean.
It’s a bit of a hike to get there, especially with large format equipment in the summer heat. I’d taken some pictures with the Rolleiflex SL66 around New Year and I was looking at it today to see whether it would be worthwhile to lug the 5×4 gear around.
The mood or atmosphere of the location is that of the romantic (German) sublime—it is all twisted, contorted rocks and wild crashing seas. Awesome wild nature. I need dark clouds not bright blue sky plus a low tide and a couple of hours with soft light. It was overcast tonight with a bit of rain so we will see what tomorrow morning brings.
The Xmas holiday at Victor Harbor is now over. We return to Adelaide and the routines of work this afternoon. The two weeks have given me the space and the time to find my photographic stride, to explore some new ideas and to wait for the suitable weather conditions for photography.
We’ve never spent two weeks at a time in Victor Harbor—its always been either 2 days on the weekend or the 4 days over the Easterbreak. Those two weeks gave me time to find new photographic locations, namely roadside vegetation and the rocks and foreshore around from Kings Head.
The poodles and I meandered along the foreshore near Petrel Cove on our evening walk yesterday. I had the old Kodak Easyshare camera in my pocket and I used it to play around with a variety of closeups of the flora on the coast.
These are the kind of pictures that I cannot get with my film cameras as working from the tripod does not allow me to access the various knooks and crannies amongst the rocks. Yet some of the more interesting pictures can be found in the detail of the seashore.
My time since Xmas Day has been spent cleaning up, and reorganizing, in Encounter Studio and doing some photography around Victor Harbor early in the morning.The cleanup has also involved me starting to go through the archive of the black and negatives from the days when I used to have a darkroom and I processed my own film. I’m beginning to scan them.
I stumbled across this negative of Bowden in a box of old black and white 5×7 contact sheets. I would have tray developed the film. It was a pleasant surprise to see that the negative was in good condition and was properly exposed. I would have had other 8×10 negatives but I cannot locate them.
The picture below of the boatsheds at Second Valley, near Yankalilla in the Fleurieu Peninsula is in keeping with history, memories and archive as these no longer exist. They were pulled down around 2009.
They were a favourite subject of local photographers and much photographed:—I even think that there was some kind of photographic wake or meet just before they were pulled down.There is an in memoriam Flickr group.
We spent this weekend down at Victor Harbor, and the fine, early summer weather meant some long walks with the poodles along the beach that were coupled to me exploring the possibilities at the foot of the granite cliffs for rock abstractions.
I was exploring these possibilities in order to use the 5×4 Linhof. I’m becoming increasingly comfortable with this style of photography and I want to devote more of my time and energy to it.