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.

Rosetta Head, Victor Harbor

After returning from the Wellington trip the early morning poodle walks in Victor Harbor have been around Rosetta Head (The Bluff). We—Ari, Kayla and myself– have started walking on the Bluff at sunrise. This is just before 6am during the early summer months.

Encounter Bay,  6am
Encounter Bay, 6am

I’m still interested in photographing the landscape around The Bluff in the early morning light now that summer is here, and the local landscape has that dried brown look.
Continue reading “Rosetta Head, Victor Harbor”


Ari and I went walking along a back country road west of Victor Harbor yesterday afternoon looking for more material for the conceptual photography book I didn’t find much in the way of the pink gum and Xanthorrhoea combination, but it was an enjoyable walk along Wilson Hill Rd. I found myself wondering how difficult it would be like to take pictures with a digital field view camera. Would it need to be tethered to a computer?

on Wilson Hill Rd, Victor Harbor

This part of the Fleurieu Peninsula region is dairy country and there is very little native bush left. This region been extensively cleared.

Thinking in terms of regionalism—the expression of a type of local identity—recalls the divisions between figuration versus non-figuration, and regionalism versus internationalism in the early 1970s where there was an identification of foreignness with non-figuration that was set against an emerging post-colonial regional cultural identity (Antipodeanism) that did not seek to create a national style.

stormy weather

I scanned the remaining 5×4 negatives from the Queenstown, Tasmania trip last night. They look good, given the wet conditions I was working under.

The weather at Victor Harbor this weekend has been stormy with lots of rain and wind from the south west. Ari and I got drenched on both the walks yesterday afternoon and early this morning due to heavy rain squalls.

early morning, near Kings Head

There has been little photography even though I carried the Sony NEX-7 with me. The weather was too wild to return to my favourite location at the base of the Newland Clifs on the Heysen Trail to explore the photographic possibilities with the 5×4 Linhof.


I reckon I have found one location from my scoping for a large format urbanscape shoot with the 5×7 Cambo monorail. It is a carpark roof in Hindley St looking south along Bank St up to Currie Street.

Today Ari and I set out about 4pm to walk from our Sturt St townhouse to the Hindley St carpark to check out the late afternoon urban winter light in this location. It’s a soft light in winter in Adelaide–such a contrast from summer— and I wanted to get there just before the last rays of the winter sun disappeared. I wanted to see what this urbanscape actually looked like. The location looks a goer:

Bank St, Adelaide

I have chosen this time because I wanted people in the picture as opposed to photographing at night with no people. I was interested in people walking home to the railway after leaving work –looking small and overpowered by the mish mash architecture.

architectural studies

It’s been raining heavily and consistently this last week in Adelaide. Winter has arrived. So I haven’t been out photographing in the CBD much. However, I did find a couple of car parks in Adelaide’s CBD–Hindley St and Playford—- on a poodlewalk last weekend.

I checked them out again this afternoon for their possibilities for large format urban photography using my 5×7 Cambo monorail.

architectural study

There are some. The open roof of Hindley St car park is one, and it will require some planning as its open roof ohas a wire grill around it, and I’ll need to use a step ladder to get myself above it.

on Bruny Island

After the residency finished at LARQ in Queenstown we travelled across to Tunbridge in the Midlands for the night with Barb and Mal. I had a little time in the late afternoon to briefly scope for a 5×4 afternoon picture of the salt lake.

saltlake, Tunbridge

Then we travelled to Bruny Island for a couple of days holiday. Whilst the others did some bush walking in the South Bruny Island National Park I explored the sandstone cliffs at the edge of Adventure Bay.

too windy to photograph

It was very muggy early this morning in Queenstown. A very gusty north west wind was blowing. The locals say that rain and thunderstorms are on the way. If so, then this brings to an end to the spell of hot weather on the south west coast of Tasmania.

The large format photoshoot this morning didn’t turn out as planned. I went to the location above the town that I’d scoped yesterday. Although I managed to set the Linhof up, the gusts of wind blew the gritty white dust into my eyes and ears as well as into the camera.

photoshoot, Queenstown

I had to bail out and wait for another day and walked along the Queen River looking for possible photographic subjects of the contaminated river. It was protected from the wind and the light was soft.

in Tunbridge, Tasmania

The three or four days that we spent in Tunbridge in the Tasmanian Midlands allowed me to do a little bit of large format photography. I was able to scope out some suitable subject matter, including this salt lake:

Salt lake, Tunbridge, Tasmania

I basically ran out of time before I could come to grips with the arid landscape—its ever changing moods, cloud formations and light. This is the third time I’ve visited the Midlands and I’m becoming familiar with this landscape and its various representations.