the little places

I find that I often return to the little local places to take my photos, rather than seek to go to the exotic or distant places, such as Shanghai in China; or Zhouzhuang, Jiangsu Province, China; or anywhere in China This is especially the case when I am based in Victor Harbor, as it feels like nowhere, or the edge of the world.

near Petrel Cove

This would be an example. I’ve gone past this rock many times on poodlewalks but I’ve never really looked at it seriously as a photos. I’ve noted it but maybe taken the odd snap, but I’ve never thought—gee that’s a suitable subject for an 8×10. But is it possible using a heavy duty tripod? I’d have to check.

a mummy daddy visual language

Photography in the common visual language of the snap shop would be more than an aesthetics of the fragment.This aesthetic has dominated the poetic since the romantics; including the fragment as transmogrified by modernism, high and low, and more recently retooled in the neoclassical form of the citation—ironic and/or decorative—throughout which is called “postmodernism.

Encounter Bay, Victor Harbor

People ofter refer to the common visual language of the snap shop as the mummy daddy language. What is attractive about the visual language of the snapshot is that it is an anti-hierarchical means of organizing knowledge and of recognizing intersections and engagements between seemingly disparate ideas and things.

the ordinary

Engaging with the ordinary in everyday life is both elusive and difficult to represent. It is also difficult to express or communicate what has been represented in an everyday visual language. Is ordinary visual language something other than, or different to, the visual language of our commodity culture? Do we need to unlearn the normal visual language in order to represent and express the ordinary?

beach house, Victor Harbor

I don’t know the answer to these questions.

I do understand that in a society of the spectacle, such as Australian society, much of ordinary life is constructed by consumer culture. In this sense, the shopping mall is the most ordinary environment and shopping the most ordinary activity. Yet, this kind of ordinary in a consumer culture may be quite opposite to the everydayness a photographer might want to evoke.

seeing what things look like as a photograph

When I’m in Victor Harbor I drive past this scene whenever I go to the shops in the car. I keep on looking at it and thinking, ‘ now, that sure looks interesting’. It looks to be a suitable photographic subject. Would it work as a photograph? I kept on looking as I drove to and from the Woolworth’s shopping centre.

Today I decided to incorporate it into a poodle walk, and I took a couple of snaps to see what it would look like as a photograph. If it looks okay as a photograph then what is the best way to shoot it.

Inman River, Victor harbor

This looks okay to me. In fact it’s looks good enough for me to consider reshooting the succulent with a large format camera (5×4) tomorrow afternoon, weather permitting of course.

Hindmarsh River

When we are down at Victor Harbor on the the weekend I often walk around the mouth of the Hindmarsh River with the dogs. This coastal walk and beach are a popular with strollers, bathers and other dog walkers. The scene looks best in the soft afternoon light, and it is reasonably protected from the winds coming in from the sea.

mouth of the Hindmarsh River

It’s hard to do the landscape photos with a large format camera due to the time constraints (household duties and obligations), blogging and the weather. I managed to take a photo of the silky oak yesterday with the 5×7 Cambo, even though the weather was dull, overcast, and a few spots of rain were falling.

before the rain

I managed to take some 5×7 photographs this morning at Petrel Cove, Victor Harbor, before the rain came in. Just as I was finishing with the two types of landscapes mentioned in the earlier post it started to rain.

before the rain

It hasn’t stopped raining since. It looks to be settled in for the day. I hope not as the conditions are very still and I’d planned an afternoon shoot of this landscape.

the sea

Whilst I’ve been down at Victor Harbor this week I have been experimenting with seascapes on the poodlewalks. I want to take photographs of the sea with a large format camera (5×7 Cambo) and to do so in a way that is minimalist, colourist and is from a location that has easy access.

So I have been taking shots whilst on the coast cliff top walks with the poodles:


My starting point was this image done about a year ago. I wanted to go more minimalist.Most of the photograph sketches I’ve down are not all that successful. The above picture is probably the best of them and it is probably where I will start.

rubbish dump

One of the places in Victor Harbor that we often visit on our poodle walks is the local rubbish dump. It is situated within a ravine that cuts it way to the sea and borders the beginning of the Heysen Trail in the southern Fleurieu Peninsula. It offers some photographic possibilities.

tires, rubbish dump

Suzanne walked the Heysen Trail from Kings Beach to Waitpinga Beach this morning. We all walked to the eastern edge of the Newland Head Conservation Park, then the poodles and myself turned back whilst Suzanne walked on. I picked her up at Waitpinga Beach a couple of hours latter.

preparing for Tasmania

I’m down at Victor Harbor tonight packing my camera gear and loading 5×4 sheet film for my forthcoming trip to Tasmania. Half of the time on the island has been structured around photography in Queenstown.


We went for an evening walk along the beach and amongst the houses set back from the beach. The sun was shining but the southerly wind was cold. It was jumpers and jeans –it was such a contrast to the warmth of Adelaide. I shivered, thinking how cold the south west part of Tasmania is going to be.


We were down at Victor Harbor over the weekend and so the poodlewalks were along, and around, the coastline. This is the image that I wanted to take with the 5×7 Cambo view camera, but the weather was against me. There were strong winds blowing from the south west across the top of the cliffs and this made it impossible for me to use a view camera.

coastline, looking to The Bluff

So I had to give it up even though I’d finally found the location I was looking for. I have been exploring this coastline for several years, as it is our backyard so to speak. I now find I’m reworking it with a digital camera looking for a photographic image.