People

Since my last post on poodlewalks my images for the multimedia Rock, Stone, Earth exhibition at the Onkaparinga Art Centre in late September have been printed and framed. They just need to be delivered to the gallery next week. My days have been mostly spent sitting in front of computer working on this review for Light Paths, as well as grinding my way through the texts for the Bowden Archives and Other Marginalia project.

The weather is becoming warmer in September, with temperatures in the mid-20’s on some days. More people are starting to venture out in the morning.

Brian, Rosetta Head

It is not just those regulars who are out every morning rain, wind or cold. Other people are walking along the coastal trails, hanging out on the beaches, playing with their dogs and kids, or fishing and surfing.

return to the sea

Winter on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula was wet and stormy with high tides on the coast, making it difficult to access the coastal rocks and to photograph along the littoral zone and continue making abstractions. During July walking the poodles was limited to walking along the paths on top of the coastal cliffs between Petrel Cove and Kings Beach.

This image of seaweed lying on the rocks was made in early June when the tide was low enough to walk in the littoral zone in June. It was during July that we experienced the very high tides.

seaweed + rocks

The photo was made just after we’d returned from the camel trek from Blinman to Lake Frome. I recall it being a joy to walk by the sea after 14 days in the arid Northern Flinders Ranges. Water there was scarce: the creeks were dry and there was just the odd water hole.

winter in July

Sony A7 R111

It has been cold, wet and very windy along the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula during July. As these are not good conditions for doing large format photography, I have been inside the studio working on the Lake Frome camel trek photos; a review of Christopher Houghton’s recent Grounded exhibition for Light Paths; and doing some online research.

Does this start me on a pathway of becoming an (independent) artist researcher?

We try and walk in the morning and the afternoon in-between the showers and the squalls if we can. Sometimes we get caught. Other times the rain by passes us.

Sony A7 R111
Sunrise, Encounter Bay

The photograph above is from Rosetta Head:— I have been walking to, over and from the Rosetta Head, in order to build up my cardio for walking in the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park in late July/earlyAugust.

Salt

It is not often that I come across dried pools of salt along the littoral zone of the southern Fleurrieu Peninsula on the poodlewalks. High day temperatures, low tides and minimal coastal wind are required for the pools seawater to evaporate leaving the pools of dried salt:

salt + granite

I usually photograph these salt pools as abstractions.

The spaces in the littoral zone between Petrel Cove to King’s Beach in Waitpinga where this consistently happens are few and far between. Usually the moving sand or the tide covers them up.

Autumn’s arrived

The weather has changed in the last week. Though the gusty, coastal winds have continued, the day temperatures are lower, and the mornings and the evenings are cooler. There is now a briskness in the air in the early morning prior to sunrise, which is after 7am.

The picture below was made on an early morning walk along the Victor Harbor beach near Bridge Point and the mouth of the ephemeral Hindmarsh River. It is a popular spot for walkers.

pier, am, Victor Harbor beach

Bridge Terrace is an older part of Victor Harbor. We were there on an early morning poodlewalk so that I could photograph the seaside architecture. Once that was done –there’s not that much to photograph — Kayla and I then wandered along the beach.

The location (Eastern Beach) is roughly where the Victor Harbor Council is considering building a second all weather boat ramp, given the congestion at the Bluff boat ramp during the Xmas holidays. The Council will have to deal with the loud objections from the residents along Bridge Tce.

photographing: large format

We are at the mid-February point of summer and the weather has been more of the same: cool and overcast with just the odd hot day with a north easterly wind. The hot weather started this week but it is forecasted to last for only several days this week — not the normal two weeks. Maybe that will come in March.

I have stepped up the training programme for the camel trek by walking Rosetta Head twice a week and climbing up steeper approach and been working on a website for the Bowden Archives and Other Marginalia. I have also taken advantage of the cooler weather to photograph roadside vegetation in the early morning with the 5×7 Cambo monorail. I have been inspired by Mark Darragh’s large format photos on Flickr.

Cambo5x7 monorail
am, Baum Rd, Waitpinga,

At the moment I ‘m running my film stock down before I make the major annual purchase through B+H in New York. I have only half a box of the 5×7 Kodak Portra 160 ASA left.

It’s been a matter of selecting the location, knowing the time the light shines on the trees, setting the camera up, then waiting for the light to shine through the trees at the required time. Often the moving cloud cover means that there is no sunlight. So the large format equipment is packed away in the Forester and I continue the poodlewalk with Kayla.

summer 2021

It has been a very cool summer so far. The days have been overcast and windy with occasional rain. We have only had the occasional hot summer day. Maybe a more normal summer will come during the months of February and March.

The picture below was snapped at 7am on a Sunday morning at Petrel Cove in January 24th). It is not a typical morning: it was humid, the temperature was in the high twenties, and there was no wind. It rained latter in the day.

at Petrel Cove

My energies in this last month have been renovating the Mallee Routes website, working on The Long Road to the North blog, and putting The Bowden Archives into some sort of order. My days have been spent sitting in front of a computer screen.

in training

An added dimension to the poodlewalks is that I am starting to train for the 14 day camel trek in late in May 2021 from Blinman to Lake Frome. This forthcoming camel trek is part of this project.

So I have started to walk to and over Rosetta Head, run up the steps twice at Petrel Cove, and increase the poodlewalks to 90 minutes. I’ve started doing the Rosetta Head route with Kayla on Sunday mornings when Suzanne is walking on her loop route. I really need to increase my cardio and to toughen up my feet.

look west from Rosetta Head

Building up my strength and cardio is going to be long and slow as, unlike Suzanne, I am currently not going to the gym. My exercise levels and muscle strength have dropped unfortunately. These need to be substantially increased.

walking art

I realise that I have been walking with the standard poodles and making photos on these walks for several years now (both in the city of Adelaide and the foreshore of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula), without ever understanding that what I was doing was working within the tradition of walking art.

When I came across the walklistencreate website recently, I realized that what I was doing was a part of this artistic tradition — without being aware of it. I just walked and photographed naively, set up a blog, and occasionally thought about making a photobook from what had been produced. But I got no further.

salt+ seaweed, Waitpinga

I did understand that the poodlewalks were a means of generating photographic work, and that this shaped my minimal approach to the post processing of the picture — ie., avoiding the glossing, toning and filtering to visual enhance the digital image.

What I wasn’t doing was consciously making an art piece or work — photos, sound, writing — for others to view, read, or listen to. I hadn’t gone beyond various blog posts, such as the ones on poodlewalks, or those on the Littoral Zone , to consciously view walking as a catalyst for my photographic practice. What I was naively inching towards was a marriage of writing and imagery in a photographic culture where most photographic bodies of work contain either no text or if there is text then its role is very severely limited.

coastal waterfall

I have moved away from walking in the local bushland or the back country roads. It is dry and dusty with brown snakes and the ground is full of grass seeds. I now walk along the coastline and the various beaches. This limits the possibilities that I have for film photograph.

Film photography has come to the fore now that Light Paths is up and running, and Thoughtfactory’s Newsletter #3 has finally gone out. I want to do some large format photography–using the 5×7 Cambo monorail–as I am tired of sitting in front of a computer screen all day.

waterfall, Waitpinga

The above coastal waterfall is one possibility that I have in mind. I checked the location out yesterday afternoon when I was walking with Maleko to Kings Beach. The water flow has eased now that the rains have stopped and the hot, dry weather is returning. That means it is now possible to stand on the rocks with a tripod—just.