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.
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.
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.
I was out at dawn this morning lugging the Cambo 5×7 monorail, Linhof tripod and computer bag of double dark slides down to Kings Beach to have the camera set up before the early morning sunlight became too intense.
There was just enough cloud cover to keep the sun covered long enough to give me the extra time that I needed to set the camera up:
I had around a 20 minute time frame in which to work to take the photos before the early morning light became too bright.
Dusk on Saturday was the ideal time to take photos with the 5×7 Cambo monorail of the coastline of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula. It was very still, very warm, and there were amazing colours. It was magic time. For some reason I was exploring the rocks around Kings Beach with the poodles with my point and shoot Sony. I returned home around 7pm–just when I should have been using the large format camera.
The weather on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula changed the next morning:–the strong south westerly winds made impossible to photograph along the coast with a large format camera.
As I mentioned in my earlier post on Kangaroo Island my shift back to large format was a result of the poor quality of the pictures I achieved with digital on the Kaangaroo Island shoot.
Over the next couple of years I shot only in raw, shifted to Apple computers, acquired Lightroom, started using medium format cameras more extensively–I bought a Rolleiflex 6006 system. I then picked up my old large format cameras rather than spend $15,000 to $30,000 on a medium format digital camera.
We are at Victor Harbor for the long weekend along with heaps of other people who are having fun. It is definitely early autumn on the Fleurieu Peninsula, for though the days are hot, the early morning air is crisp and the nights are cool.
I have been going through my digital archive, looking at the pictures that were initially taken with the digital point and shoot around 2007 on a trip we did to Kangaroo Island in autumn 2007:
I’ve never really looked at the pictures closely. They had the date digitally stamped all over them and they were not shot as jpeg’s and not in raw. I didn’t really know what I was doing then. A friend set the camera up for me–the menu looked looked far too complicated after a using a Lecia rangefinder — and I could not understand the ‘how to’ booklet. Everything on the camera was set on automatic.
One of the afternoon walks we often do when we are at Victor Harbor is a cliff top walk to King Beach. I often then cut back along the rocky foreshore to explore the rocky cliffs with my point and shoot digital camera.
The walk along the cliff-top is part of the Heysen Trail; a 1,200km long distance walking trail in South Australia that extends from Cape Jervis, on the rugged south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula, to Parachilna Gorge, in the Flinders Ranges.
On these kind of walks I am looking for objects, landscape details and scenes that would be suitable for taking a photo with a large format camera. I did return to photograph this rock detail with a 5×7 Cambo monorail, but I have yet to have the sheet film processed at a pro-lab.
An example of the erosion of the beach at Victor Harbor.
There is constant coming and going of coastlines as quite natural and that this has been going on for decades. It continues today. However, another discernible pattern is being overlaid on this cycle—it is noticeable that the sea is slowly eating into the sand dunes. Some of the low lying coastline where there are holiday houses are vulnerable, and some local councils are starting to take measures to defend, retreat, or block development.
A lot of the landscape outside of the conservation parks around Victor Harbor and the Fleurieu Peninsula in general has been stripped bare, and now consists of dairy and sheep farms. The remnants of the native bush can only be found in the roadside vegetation scattered here and there.
It is a pity because the bush is interesting and it supports a biodiverse fauna and flora in its native state. As the farms give way to urban development some people do plant trees; but most of those who built their holiday houses near the coast prefer the panoramic views of the coastline.
The poodles and I are down at Victor Harbor for a couple of days. The automatic irrigation system for the garden is not working properly and, as it is ten years old, it needs some repair work. This was meant to be done on Monday but the irrigation chap had been held up on another job.
Yesterday, after the walk along the beach, we went exploring the roadside vegetation on the road to the rubbish dump. It’s quiet and it has picturesque views both to the sea and to The Bluff or, more accurately, Rosetta Head.
We had been along the road before when we’d been exploring the landscape around rubbish dump. I’d taken a picture of this pink gum and farm dam
I was checking out the light for a large format shot of the pink gum, but the sun has shifted and it no longer shines on the tree before it goes behind the hill. So the picture will have to be done in the early morning just after dawn after returning from my Melbourne trip next week.