On Saturday it was overcast with passing rain squalls so we went for a drive to Zeehan in the afternoon. I wanted to to photograph the ruins of the old smelter using the 5×4 Linhof. I’d scoped this on my last visit to Queenstown a year ago.
I stuck closely to what I’d scoped last year as time was short—the squalls returned just as I was finishing the planned pictures of ‘ruins as history’. After looking at the digital images I took whilst on location this time, I can see that I need to return to the site to take more. There was more here than I’d realized.
I went photographing yesterday afternoon with Stuart Murdoch. The rain and heavy cloud cover cleared whilst I was travelling on the Frankston train into the CBD, and the bright sunshine put paid to the 5×4 car park rooftops scenario I had planned.
So we decided to explore around North Melbourne and Sunshine. We initially explored the areas along Railway Canal or the Moonee Ponds Creek in North Melbourne that I’d started to explore on an earlier trip.
Luckily for me Stuart knew the area quite well as he had photographed in and around there about a decade ago. There is a bike path under the City Link overpass that provides walking access to the area under the Bolt Bridge over pass. The area has everything—nature, concrete architecture, industry, rubbish–and it is fertile ground for an Australian topographics style of photography.
I spent a great part of yesterday afternoon scanning some old negatives from the archive from photos taken from a trip to the Eyre Peninsula via Port Augusta. This one of the Payford Power Station was taken on the Linhof Technika 70
I cannot recall much of the time at Port Augusta other than remembering that my photographic focus was the power station. I do recall driving around looking for the best spot to take photos but it didn’t occur to me to go on the tour to get some photos inside the plant.
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.
I’m so annoyed with the pro-lab processing of my 5×4 film negatives that I had taken in Tasmania–some of them have very matted skies that I cannot correct using Adobe Lightroom. All that bloody expense in getting the gear to Tasmania and then the film and processing. It hurts, big time.
Those with no sky–ie., detail—were okay, and they delivered the detail I wanted.
So I have switched to digital for the moment, while I lick my wounds. Though I’ve gone back to exploring large format possibilities in the Port Adelaide project, I am very hesitant to shoot urbanscapes with skies in large format after being burned by the results of the Tasmanian work.
I’ve kinda lost my confidence with large format, as it is proving much more difficult to pull off than I’d imagined. It’s less a simple step up from medium format than a big leap, and I’ve lost my footing in making the leap.
I’ve become tired of just taking photos, building a decent archive of images and then posting them on Flickr and my photoblog to share with others. It’s become something of a cul-de -sac. I’ve run out of enthusiasm and becoming jaded.
I have to do something more substantive with the photos—to construct them into a project and publish them in some way. The next step is to begin to work on a project for publication–a DIY book—from the Port Adelaide archive. So I’ve returned to the Port Adelaide arcchive, and starting looking over the work I was doing last year.
So I am picking up where I’ve left off last spring:–returning to the digital studies I made of the Port River Expressway that were done for a reshoot with a large format camera. The above image is one that I had planned to do. This is another.