winter arrives

It has been a wild start to winter in South Australia. We have been experiencing a week of wet, stormy weather on the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula. The coast has been battered by cold and blustery south westerly and southerly winds, rain and surging seas. The sand on the small, local beaches (Petrel Cove and Deps Beach) is starting to disappear.

The balmy days of late autumn with the early morning macro photography in the gentle early morning light are a memory. The two photos in this post were the last macro photos I made before the cold winter weather set in.

pebbles, Deps Beach

I have avoided walking along the littoral zone and have started walking along the back country roads seeking protection from the wind. That means photographing trees and back country roads. The weather is easing, but we still have sporadic showers and strong, cold winds.

February heatwave

Adelaide is in the middle of a week long heatwave. Its been clear blue skies, an intense heat from the sun and, a hot northwesterly wind, which means that it doesn’t cool down at night. The temperatures are in the low 40 degrees centigrade. A code red alert has been issued by the SA state government, which unlocks extra support for vulnerable people, such as the homeless, during a heatwave.

I have given up this kind of photography that I was doing along the Heysen Trail. I’ve been walking along the Encounter Bay beach with Kayla before dawn so that I can take a few closeup photos of the ephemeral seaweed in the first few minutes of sunrise.

5-10 minutes latter the light is too contrasty for this kind of photography.

This is the second heatwave this year–the first one was in mid -January — with January being on the hottest January on record. The cause of this February heatwave is a “blocking high” on the Tasman Sea. With winds going anticlockwise around the highs this is helping funnel desert heat down to the southern states. Thankfully there have been no bushfires in South Australia this time, but this is not the case for Victoria.

summer-time + impermanence

The Xmas break  is over for this summer-time.  The holiday crowds have left vacationing  along the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula  during the extended school holidays,  and  returned to work in Adelaide.  The schools are back and  the photographers have gone.

The hot days came and went  during January,   with  the minimium/maximium  temperatures rising.  The warming trend   means that Australian summers are becoming hotter and the heatwaves more intense.  Sadly, the sand has been disappearing  from  Dep’s Beach and Petrel Cove ever since the big storm in December,    and these  two beaches are now looking  desolate.

Over the Xmas break I  continued to  photograph in the early morning  whilst walking with Kayla.  I focused on  low key macro photography before the light became too bright and contrasty. The photography  is hand held and quick. The conditions are not suitable for slow  large format photography.

quartz + salt, Petrel Cove

Currently, the mornings start cool,   the days heat up and reach their zenith around 5 pm but, unlike drought damaged inland regions,  the temperature usually  drops at night. With the crowds gone,  the beaches along the coast are  quiet during the week,  and we often have them to ourselves in the early morning around dawn and sunrise. We now have the space to be in the moment and see the  transient and ephemeral nature of life on the coast.   Continue reading “summer-time + impermanence”

close-ups

After the wildness of the stormy days, which  stripped the local beaches of their sand we experienced several days of humid weather and gentle misty rain. Then the cold front rolled in from the south west and the temperature dropped dramatically.

I spent my time on the morning and evening poodlewalks  exploring the nooks and crannies amongst the rocks,  looking to do   some handheld macro  photography of seaweed.  I  quickly  discovered that  the piles of seaweed that had been thrown onto the rocks by the storm  were mostly seagrass and not suitable.

seaweed +Rocks, Kings Beach

The poodles in the afternoon would spend their time look for golf balls among the granite rocks,  whilst I looked for subject matter for macro photography. We moved slowly across the rocks  on our way beyond  Kings Head finding what  shelter we could  when there was a bit of rain.   Continue reading “close-ups”

seaweed, quartz + granite

Prior to my solo  Balranald photo trip  for the Mallee Routes project the morning  poodlewalks with Kayla  had started to shift from exclusively walking amongst the seaweed and granite  rocks the foreshore  below  the Heritage Trail  to walking along the back country roads.

One   reason for the change in emphasis  is that sun is  too bright  early in the morning  for photography,  so the coastal walks with now  take  place with Maleko in the later afternoon. This is when the coastal rocks are in open shadow and the contrast is softer:

quartz + seaweed

However, it is hit and miss with   finding the  seaweed, bird wings, dead birds or fish for the  open air studio.   For a while it   has only been  the odd bit of ephemeral seaweed lying amongst the granite rocks that I can  use to construct  a still life.  Continue reading “seaweed, quartz + granite”

back home

I am  now back home after a hectic period of travelling  during March.  There were  a couple of trips to Wellington to photograph around Wellington quickly followed by one  to attend Photobook/NZ.  After that   I made   a couple of trips  to Swan Hill in Victoria for the  Mallee Routes 2018 exhibition. 

We are  now easing  back  into  our daily routines and poodlewalks at Encounter Bay.  The Easter holidays  are a few days away. That means huge crowds in  the coastal towns and along the coastal walks.

seaweed strand, Petrel Cove

It is autumn in South Australia.   The light has softened,  there is  now  more in the way of morning cloud cover,  the winds have eased,  and the temperatures are  mild  (in the mid 20’s C) . It is still very dry, as there has been no rain.  Continue reading “back home”