Agricultural landscapes

As mentioned in this post on my Encounter Studio blog I have started to explore the back country roads and the agricultural landscape in and around Waitpinga whilst on our afternoon poodlewalks. The Fleurieuscapes project needs to include the rural landscape in order to have some balance to the coastal images in the littoral zone. Most of the space of the Fleurieu Peninsula is an agricultural landscape consisting of dairy farms, grazing land for sheep and cattle, and the rapidly expanding vineyards.

I do struggle with photographing this subject matter, and most of what I see and then scope with a digital camera on our poodlewalks is boring and uninteresting, especially when I look at the digital files on the iMac’s computer screen. I am finding it to be a depressing and disheartening process.

One exception is this picture of pink gum, with a farm shed, silo and water tank along Pitkin Rd in Waitpinga that I came across on an exploratory afternoon poodlewalk with Kayla and Maleko:

Pitkin Rd, Waitpinga

This scoping picture was made in the autumn, when I first started to consciously explore the back country roads in Waitpinga. This picture of a dry, agricultural landscape works much better for me in black and white. The initial colour image looks too pretty and touristy–the photos would be what you would see in a feature in the glossy Fleurieu Living Magazine.

a cold snap

Temperatures have dropped with winters cold snap since I have returned to Encounter Bay from the brief Murray Mallee photo trip to Claypans and beyond. It is now quite chilly in the morning and in the early evening. Though the days are still, there is little warmth in the sun due to the cloud cover.

I have started to walk the back country roads through the various agricultural landscapes on the early morning poodlewalks with Kayla:

Tugwell + Wilson Hill Rds

Surprisingly, I am encountering people who are running and walking along these back roads before sunrise. They, like me, are out walking and running around 6.30 am, which is roughly an hour before sunrise.

After the rains

As mentioned in an earlier post it is very quiet along the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula these days, even after the rains. Despite the atmospheric conditions it’s only the locals who are out and about in the early morning before sunrise.

When I parked the Forester at the Petrel Cove carpark before dawn this morning (May 20th) it looked as if the ‘after the rains’ scenario was a misreading of the weather. The cloud cover was heavy, the clouds were dark, and there was rain out at sea. So I put a rain coat on, left the tripod and Rolleiflex SL66 in the boot of the Forester and went walking.

Kings Head, Waitpinga

As we walked along the Heritage Trail to Deps Beach and the rocks beyond the beach Kayla and I encountered an echinda making its way along the Trail. I saw a couple of seals and a pod of dolphins hunting in the sea along the edge of the coastal rocks. There was the odd speckled Pacific Gull sitting on the rocks and some seagulls. Apart from that we had the coast to ourselves as we made to the rocks past Deps Beach.

returning to the Heysen Trail

In the last week or so I have returned to walking along the Waitpinga section of the Heysen Trail in the morning with Kayla and in the afternoon with Maleko. This section of the Heysen Trail is a narrow strip of scrub or bush that runs between two roads, and it is bounded by two grazing paddocks (cattle and sheep). The narrow strip is a corridor that is quite dense in parts.

The mornings and afternoons have been overcast with minimal wind, and this has allowed me to do some black and white film photography of tree subjects that I had photographed in colour a couple of years ago. I started the scoping here.

Whilst walking to and from the photo sites on both the morning and the afternoon poodlewalks I made some exploratory/scoping studies of different subject matter in the scrub/bush for some future film photography. This is an example:

branch, Heysen Trail

I would have walked past this branch on the edge of the path of the Heysen Trail many times without ever having seen it. I only saw it this time because Kayla went exploring in the undergrowth behind the branch. I quickly made a snap and moved on.

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”

at Kings-Head and beyond

The pictures in this blog post are from an afternoon poodlewalk in 2017 initially to Kings-Head in Waitpinga,  and  then on to a rocky outcrop just west of Kings Head. The rocky outcrop  is on the Coastal Cliffs walking trail to Newland Head and, as a result,  we often meet walkers coming from Waitpinga Beach.

rockface + sunlight, Kings Head

The rocky outcrop is near the foot of the Waitpinga Cliffs,  and it is  not possible to continue walking much further around the bottom of the cliffs. The Coastal Cliff walking trail  from Waitpinga Beach  to Kings Beach is along the top of the Waitpinga cliffs. Continue reading “at Kings-Head and beyond”

squalls

During the winter of 2018 the southern coast of  the Fleurieu Peninsula has  been battered by king tides squalls and gusty, cold  northwesterly winds  off and on for a couple of weeks at a time.  It is off and on because in -between  these intense,  northerly winds we have the winter’s standard south westerly winds bringing  rain in from  Western Australia.

rain + sun, Waitpinga

The rain eventually clears after a couple of days,  we have a fine day,  then we are back to the gusty northerlies again. Sometimes these changes in the weather  can be quite  atmospheric.

On the days of rain it is a matter of trying to  go on the poodlewalks inbetween the passing showers,  and then  hoping that we don’t get caught in a squall out in the open.  Often we see a lone surfer, and on other days there are groups of people standing on the cliffs look out to sea, presumably whale watching.  Continue reading “squalls”

photographing during the heatwave

During the recent January weekend heatwave in South Australia after our roadtrip  to,  and holiday in,  Melbourne  I ventured to  Kings Head in Waitpinga for the  afternoon walk with Maleko.

We did so to  find shade and shelter from  the  hot, burning sun. We usually  walk between  6-7pm,  and there is little by way of shade  along  the southern coast when there is no late afternoon cloud cover.

sea+granite, Kings Head

At one stage on the walk we just sat on some rocks in the shade at Kings Head  and watched the waves roll in around our feet. It was a section of rocks where the surfers jumped off into  the sea when the waves were rolling in between Kings Head and West Island.  Continue reading “photographing during the heatwave”

wet weather

Cold, wet weather  that came in from the south-west replaced the few days of hot weather after my Sonex  flight along the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula earlier in the week.   The temperature is  now roughly half of what it was  during that hot spell.

Suzanne and I got very wet on a couple of occasions on our walks  — we were caught in the fast moving rain  that swept in from the southern ocean whilst  out walking with the poodles.

granite, quartz, sea

There is little shelter along  the coast west of Petrel Cove.  On an afternoon walk  Maleko and I had  little choice but to continue  walking and  to get wet in the process.  At least it was not as cold as it would have been  in winter. Continue reading “wet weather”

at Newland Head cliffs

Suzanne caught the zombie flu whilst she was walking on Kangaroo Island, and so I took Kayla and Maleko on yesterday’s afternoon walk. We walked along the Heysen Trail to Kings Beach, along the edge of the beach, over the top of Kings Head, and dropped down to a rocky outcrop at the base at the eastern end of the Newland Head cliffs.

It was a spring day: sunny, with no cloud cover and little wind. I was wanting to avoid the hot, dry blustery north-westerly wind that was on its way.

quartz, Newland Head cliffs

I haven’t been to this spot for ages. The last time I was there to photograph was several years ago, and I wanted to familiarise myself with the location. The last time I’d been there was in the early morning during the winter when the rocky outcrop was buffeted with wild waves, south westerly winds and passing showers.

It was much calmer yesterday as we walked around the site , but the rocks were very slippery underfoot. Not that it worried the four legged standard poodles. I remembered how I’d lost my footing the last time I was here, and tumbled over onto the rocks whilst trying to stop my Rolleiflex SL66 from falling onto the granite.

Continue reading “at Newland Head cliffs”