a walk but no photography

Ari and I went on a photowalk early this morning along the Heysen Trail past Kings Head to an outcrop of rock just west of the Kings Beach Retreat. I’d photographed there around there earlier this year. With Agtet gone Ari is depressed and lacking in energy and motivation.

But he did pick up yesterday afternoon when we visited Kings Beach. Hence the decision to do a longer walk this morning; one that would take us closer to the eastern boundary of the Newland Head Conservation Park.

rock detail, Kings Head.

As it was overcast, I carried the medium format camera gear and tripod. My new digital camera–a Sony Nex-7— has yet to arrive in Adelaide. The conditions were hopeless for photography: strong south westerly winds, pounding seas, floating waves of sea spray drifting across the ricks and sea foam swirling through the air. The seals didn’t seem to mind the turbulent conditions though.

at Evandale, Tasmania

The last poodlewalk I did with both Agtet and Ari was at Evandale in the northern Midlands. The walk was along the banks of the South Esk River the night before we left Tasmania.

We were to drive to Devonport early the following morning to catch the ferry across Bass Strait to Melbourne, stay overnight in Geelong, then drive to Adelaide the next day.

near the South Esk River

It was a lovely walk in the late afternoon sun. It was very peaceful and gentle. The river flowed gently, people were fishing, others, like me, were walking their dogs. A farmer was cutting down the willows along the river bank and the occasional plane flew overhead bound for Melbourne.

Agtet: in memoriam

Our poodlewalks will probably be very different from now on, given what has happened to Agtet at the very end of our Tasmanian trip.

Agtet had a serious accident arising from stomach bloat and he will propably not recover. He has been recovering from the surgery but, as he also suffered from cardiac arrest just after the surgery, his neurological functionality was impaired. Unfortunately, the neurological improvement has been extremely slow.

This picture was taken on location in Zeehan, an old mining town on the west coast of Tasmania:

Agtet’s stomach had twisted 360 degrees after we arrived in Geelong from Tasmania on the ferry last Monday–the 2nd of April. He has been at the Vet hospital in Werribee since then, and his recovery during that week has been small step by painful step. We have been staying with my sister at Safety Beach on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula during that time.

Queenstown re-photography project

The Queenstown Library has initiated a ‘then and now’ photographic project in relation to the 1912 Mt Lyell Mining disaster. It emphasizes both community involvement and re-photographing some of the photos of the open cut mine taken by the early twentieth century photographers.

Queenstown, Tasmania

I had a go at finding the sites used by Frank Hurley for his photographs of the Queenstown landscape and Mt Lyell mine out of interest. But I was way out. I just don’t know the area. Only a local with a keen topographical eye and a knowledge of the access roads could find the old sites now in order to show some continuity between the old and new images.

in Queenstown, Tasmania

This is my second day in Queenstown, Tasmania. The first morning was very similar to what I’d encountered when I was here in April last year—very heavy fog in the valley until about 11am:

fog, Queenstown

The early morning walk with the standard poodles was in the fog until we climbed above it on soem kind of fire break or electricity track. When the fog lifted around 11am the rest of the day was bright, still and very hot. The night was quite mild.

architectural photography

The insurance company has come good with the money to replace my stolen digital Sony DSC R1. Soon I will have another digital camera, either a Sony Nex-7 or a Fuji X-Pro1. I have chosen these two cameras because they have adaptors that allow me to use my Leica M lenses with them. It’s a stop gap until I can afford a Leica M9. Whenever that is.

It is unlikely that either of the above digital cameras will arrive in Adelaide before I leave for a phototrip to Tasmania in early March. So I will be shooting film only on that trip. But I cannot wait to start using digital again. I miss the convenience of digital and I’m not really enthused with scanning negatives.

Hawke Building, Uni SA

This picture was taken on a photowalk one Sunday afternoon through the grounds of the University of South Australia’s City West campus. This is the southern or Fenn Place end of the Hawk Building.

This is one of the more interesting contemporary buildings in Adelaide. It was designed by John Wardle Architects (in association with Hassell Architects) and the southern end is an explosion of different forms that include sky bridges.

isolation

My exploratory wanderings in the CBD of Adelaide with a small digital camera are currently on hold, due to both the hot summer weather and not having replaced my stolen digital camera. This makes me uneasey in the sense of being disquiet—I should be walking the streets exploring, not stuck in front of a computer screen.

The picture below was snapped on a daily walk without the poodles at the beginning of summer in 2011:

Hyde St, Adelaide

I’m struck by how isolating the new apartments are. Each is contained within itself, so any contact or connecting with others comes digitally: with the mobile phone or email using mobile broadband. In this world of networked mobility people now walk the city streets looking at the pulsating screens of their smart phone, and they are only vaguely aware of what is around them. It appears that the virtual world is more important than the real world.

Wirranendi Park project

As mentioned before one of our favourite evening walks is Wirranendi Park. This part of the Adelaide parklands is adjacent to the West Terrace Cemetery and is undergoing bush restoration.

Morton Bay Fig
Adelaide, Wirranendi Park , film , Rolleiflex SL66

This is an earlier photo from the Wirranendi project. It is underexposed compared to this latter image. I’d forgotten to change the film speed on the light meter when I switched film backs on the Rolleiflex SL66. Silly me.

give way

Urban renewal in Adelaide grounded to a halt with the global financial crisis in 2008. The money from the banks dried up and the commercial and apartment building boom just collapsed. In the language of the real estate industry the property market–residential and commercial– was subdued. This stasis lasted several years–apart from new car parks being built everywhere.

give way

The urban renewal situation has slowly improved. Most of the buildings currently being built in the CBD are primarily high rise apartments. This building is an exception –it is a specially designed building for the Australian Tax Office.

roadside vegetation

During the Xmas break at Victor Harbor I did some photographic studies of the road side vegetation on the back roads. These arose from searching for a place with some shade to walk the dogs away from the intense heat in the late afternoon. I just started looking at the shapes of the vegetation whilst walking down the dusty unsealed road. I was seeking new content–souping up my creativity or design juices.

roadside vegetation

The country side is basically all farmland—cattle and sheep– and what remained of the native vegetation was a strip along side the road. Even then a lot of that roadside vegetation had been cleared , and what remains is gradually degenerating.