Pitt St car park

It’s back to hanging around the rooftop of car parks. With early summer almost here it is now possible to photograph on the roof after the commuters have picked up their cars and returned to the suburbs. Adelaide has really been dumped on in the last couple of decades as backward, provincial and boring. Nothing happens in the city of churches. Sydney and Melbourne are where it is at. So we don’t see the city for what it is. What we see is what it lacks.

Ari, Pitt St car park

The city is changing due to a post the global financial crisis mini building boom, even the fabled BP Billiton Olympic Dam mine, which the boosters said would have produced rivers of gold in the streets of Adelaide, has been put on hold indefinitely.

wandering Franklin St

I made this picture whilst we were wandering our way to see the Jeffrey Smart exhibition at the Samstag Gallery. We were to meet up with Suzanne and then look over the exhibition.

It took Ari and myself a couple of hours to get there, as we more or less strolled up and down all the little streets and alleyways between Sturt St and the gallery on North Terrace. There was so much to check out.

Franklin St. Adelaide

I was trying to think through a different approach to photographing the city to the bird’s eye view from the top floor of carparks. I was experimenting as we slowly weaved our way in and out of this part of the city, but I didn’t come up with much.

wandering in Bowden

Ari and I wandered around Bowden late this afternoon.

I’d gone there to check out Fontanelle, as I understood that there was a darkroom there and workshops on alternative technologies, processing and printing called The Analogue Lab. I was looking for a darkroom in Adelaide to develop my 8×10 black and white sheet film. I presumed that this photographic facility is run in association with the Fontanelle Gallery and Studio in Bowden. Everything was closed.

So Ari and I went walking around the streets. I took a few snaps. This picture of industrial forms (Conroys Smallgoods) was in Sixth Street, just down the road from Fontanelle before the Drayton Street corner. I used to work at Conroys when studying at Flinders University and the money I earned there enabled me to set myself up with different types of large format cameras.

Conroys, Bowden, Adelaide

Bowden was located close to the city, park lands and the train line and it is where I used to live and work in the 1980s. I had a photographic studio and darkroom in Gibson St near Seventh St, and I used to walk around the area and photograph it with medium and large format cameras. I also spent a lot of time walking in the western parklands with Fichte, my standard poodle.

Though I’d develop the film myself, I was never much good at printing (ie., producing a fine print), so I never exhibited the work about Bowden as a place. I just built up an archive of negatives in a filing cabinet. I’ve started to revisit and to digitalize.

walking the city

It has been a while since I’ve wandered the streets of Adelaide on a daily walk with Ari and a digital camera. Today was the first day that I returned to walking the streets taking photos:

Ari, Adelaide

I was wanting to take more street level photography for the Adelaide book. The draft is top heavy with ‘birds-eye’ views of the city. I wondered if the digital camera become a tool of the flâneur who walks the city in order to experience the present conditions of daily urban life. This urbanscape in which we live which is often ignored or taken for granted.

The idea of the flâneur returns us to the Situationists concept of psychogeography, which is the practice of exploring places in unpredictable ways within the society of the spectacle. This is connected to a favorite practice of the dadaists, who organized a variety of expeditions, and the surrealists, for whom the geographical form of automatism was an instructive pleasure.

returning to the Cheetham Salt Fields

Ari and I returned to the Cheetham salt fields early this morning with Adam Jan Dutkiewicz. He is from Moon Arrow Press and the convenor of the Facebook Art Photographers group.

It was a frosty morning and the light on the salt fields around 8.30am was bright and clear. Perfect conditions. I’d gone back to take some pictures with the 5×4 Linhof that I’d scoped on the earlier trip:

Cheetham salt field, Adelaide

I wasn’t happy with the pictures of the salt crystallisation ponds I took with the Linhof. I need to be there earlier in the morning. So I’ll go back tomorrow and have another go around the time the sun lightens up the salt mounds.

Adelaide: Cheetham salt field

I’ve been meaning to return to the Cheetham salt field ever since taking this aerial picture. I’d been back a couple of times with the poodles on an afternoon walk on the north and west sides looking for a spot to photograph the piles of salt without much luck.

Earlier this week, when the weather cleared for a day, I found a location that I could access to photograph with a 5×4. This picture was taken on the east side of the Dry Creek salt pans looking west.

Cheetham Salt field, Adelaide

There are plans to develop the salt field site into a mixed-use urban waterfront precinct. The State Government’s 30 year plan for Greater Adelaide identified the Dry Creek salt field area and the adjacent Globe Derby Park as a “key urban expansion” site.

Adelaide: looking north

Another day, another poodlewalk in the afternoon cruising car parks with Ari scoping for some different urban views of Adelaide for a large format shoot. Sad to say I have little to show for it.

Sebel Playford, Adelaide

This picture, the best of today’s bunch, was shot through the grill of the iron bars on the edge of the car park. I’m not sure that I could get a tripod close enough to the grill to poke the lens through the grill; or even if I would be able to get a large format lens through the grill.

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.

at Victor Harbor

I’ve come down to Encounter Studio at Victor Harbor this weekend to scan the 5×4 negatives from the Tasmanian shoot. Suzanne is staying in Adelaide this weekend.

Rain squalls were sweeping across Adelaide as we left, but the weather at Victor Harbor was sunny and a cool wind was blowing. Ari and I went on a poodlewalk along the cliff tops and the rocky foreshore. The tide was very high, there was more erosion of the dunes on the beach and the seals were hunting along the coast. There was the odd jogger but no southern right whales to be seen. The afternoon walk was very enjoyable after several weeks in the city suffering from the flu and hanging out in car parks.

looking towards King Beach

I got drenched from a rogue wave whilst I was taking photos of the rocks on the shore. I was so busy trying to figure out why the bloody Sony NEX-7 switches to video so easily that I didn’t see it coming.

looking for carpark rooftops

Our afternoon walk yesterday and today was spent checking out the open access car parks around Adelaide to see what views they offered of the city for the Adelaide book that I am working on.

Gilbert St, Adelaide

I’m using the rooftop locations of these car parks to work from to obtain views of the city skyline. I’m running out of locations and I need to find more. The locations I explored on Saturday, such as The Frome Street car park, weren’t that interesting in terms of the view they offered of the CBD.