Whilst walking along the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia this year I have been exploring how to photograph the fleeting character or the ephemerality of light in the early morning. These are photos of light, as distinct from photos of clouds or of seascapes, are a modest walking art project.
Unlike many of the photographers in the book I didn’t see light as a metaphor. What I was seeing on my poodlewalks were the fleeting moments of light at Encounter Bay. Fleeting in the sense that the interplay of light and dark just before and after sunrise was brief: it would often last less than 5 minutes as the clouds evaporated and the darkness disappeared with the rays of the early morning sun.
The weather since our return to Encounter Bay from our 12 day trip to the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges in South Australia has been continually stormy. There has been strong to gale force north westerly winds and regular rain, with a few fine periods within, and between, the series of cold fronts. The winds have often been chilling with rain falling each day. The earth is saturated.
It has been very atmospheric as we attempt to walk avoiding the wind and the showers. More often than not we are caught in the rain as it is fine one minute then rain the next.
Whilst on the poodlewalks we often have to sit the rain out — either in the car or seeking shelter whilst on the walk. The showers ease and we walk on. Sometimes this happens several times on a single poodlewalk. More often than not we get caught by the rain.
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.
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.
Kayla and I have started to walk along the various roads next to the various beaches in Encounter Bay so that I can photograph the seaside architecture. As these morning walks incorporate Hayborough, which is east of the Hindmarsh River, they can take several hours. The mornings have been overcast and the cloud cover has remained until 9am.
I have taken photos of the domestic seaside architecture before on previous beach walks, but not published any. I wanted to be a little more thorough. This house at 68 Franklin Parade is one that I have walked past many times, but I’ve never bothered to photograph it. It is quite secluded by the trees and bushes on the right hand side of the front of the property.
It stands out from the other beach houses on Franklin Parade because of the dark, brown wood, orange roof, and the trees. It is much darker and in deeper shadow than the other houses.
I took advantage of a heavily overcast morning on Wednesday (18/4/2019) to walk with Kayla along the Heysen Trail to the rocky outcrop on the western edge of Kings Head. This outcrop is down from the Kings Beach Retreats that are on top of Kings Head, and is at the foot of the Waitpinga Cliffs.
I had visited the outcrop earlier –on the 9/4/2019. This was in the late afternoon when Suzanne was in China, but combination of a south -westerly wind, wild seas and the high tide that afternoon meant that we could not gain access to the outcrop. I had to stay on the edge of the hill side of the littoral zone.
For the return visit in the morning we left just after dawn, so that we had time to reach the rocky outcrop just after sunrise. This, I hoped, would gave me some time to photograph around the rocky outcrop before the cloud cover broke up and the light became too contrasty.
During the last days of summer I would walk along the Esplanade Beach just before dawn. I would drive along Franklin Parade past the runners and walkers and park the Subaru Forester at Kent Reserve. Kayla and I would then start walking north along the beach amongst the seagrass towards the Granite Island Causeway in the predawn light.
My hope was that I would come across some seaweed on the beach around sunrise so that I could make a macro photo. More often than not this didn’t happen–there was either no suitable seaweed, or the sunrise happened before I reached the piles seaweed on the beach.
Now and again the sunrise and a seaweed form would coincide. An example :
It’s just a moment. Then it is gone. I would quickly look around for more suitable seaweed forms before the sun became too bright and so blowing out the highlights on the seaweed. That is more or less the end of the macro photography along the beach.
The weather along the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula over the Xmas break was surprisingly cool; surprisingly so, given the record breaking heatwave across central and south-eastern Australia.
Despite having several friends stay with us in and around the Xmas break, it was a quiet holiday for me. I’d sprained my right shoulder one morning just before Xmas day whilst helping Suzanne to make the bed.
The shoulder became inflamed and, as it involved shoulder bursitis pain, I was obliged to rest the right arm in a sling for a couple of days over Xmas before seeing a physiotherapist late in the Xmas/New Year Day week. I was given a set of exercises to do for a week to strengthen the strained shoulder muscle.
Then the injury would be reassessed. The prognosis was that it could take 2-8 weeks to heal, depending on how I responded to the various exercises. I’ve had good days and bad days so far. Continue reading “the Xmas break 2018”
We were stunned at how dry, brown and bleak the South Australian landscape was when we were driving down to Encounter Bay from Adelaide. We had just flown into Adelaide from spending a couple of weeks travelling, walking and photographing in New Zealand.
It was a real shock after experiencing the greenness and lushness of the New Zealand landscape in both the North and the South Islands. After experiencing frequent rain, flowing streams and rivers, and lush green bush, we were taken back by the dryness. Hell, we thought, we live in this dry, bleak landscape.
I had noticed the brown landscape as we flew across Victoria and South Australia on route from Melbourne to Adelaide, but up close and walking in this landscape was a shock.
Yesterday afternoon, when I walked along the coastal path and the rocks on a late afternoon walk with Maleko, I didn’t even bother to take a camera with me. I couldn’t see the point. Continue reading “such a bleak landscape”
Whilst Suzanne was away walking the Wilderness Trail on Kangaroo Island with her walking friends, I looked after, and walked, the two standard poodles twice a day. That’s the daily routine with hunting dogs.
These portraits of Maleko and Kayla was made whilst we were on an early morning walk up, over and down Rosetta Head (or The Bluff). Ari had just died a few days earlier, before Suzanne went walking on Kangaroo Island.
We were hanging about on the top of The Bluff having a bit of fun as it had been the first time I’d walked up Rosetta Head in the early morning for ages
Kayla recently injured her back legs when she racing down the side of Rosetta Head.Then she and Maleko spotted a kangaroo and off she went. Her knees are quite sore, and she is on a weeks course of anti-inflammatories and restricted walks along the local coast. She walks solo with me in the morning and then solo with Suzanne in the evening.
We move slowly along the coastal foreshore in the morning–usually along the Encounter Bay beach. It reminds me of walking with Ari along this beach in the last month of his life.