If Australians adhere to social distancing, if testing can be rolled out, and if enough masks and personal protection equipment can be produced, then there is a good chance that the country will be able to avert the worst predictions about COVID-19, and at least temporarily bring the pandemic under control. No one knows how long that will take, and though the curve of new cases is flattening, it won’t be quick.
Meanwhile the economy tanks. The global economic machine is built for growth, and it has been brought to a screeching halt. The economic shock has seen unemployment rise, businesses close down, and a grim economic global and national outlook for the rest of 2020. Civil liberties have been significantly curtailed, parliament adjourned, and the normal operations of the media are greatly restricted, meaning that it is more difficult for the public to access reliable information. Realistically, is simply not possible to thoroughly insulate an economy from the impact of a pandemic of this kind.
The most realistic scenario is that the world plays a protracted game of whack-a-mole with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, stamping out outbreaks here and there until a vaccine can be produced. There are no existing vaccines for coronaviruses—until now, these viruses seemed to cause diseases that were mild or rare—so researchers must start from scratch. The estimate is that it will take 12 to 18 months to develop a proven vaccine, and then longer still to make it, ship it, and inject it into people’s arms.
After my return from the Overland Corner Reserve trip I felt a bit deflated when I was walking along the coastal beaches in both the early morning and the late afternoon. Photographing whilst walking in the littoral zone along the these beaches seemed a bit ho-hum, low key and rather mundane. I even started to toss up taking a camera with me.
Mundane and ho hum because I am back to photographing seaweed again whilst I am walking along the Esplanade town beach with Kayla early in the morning before sunrise. I arrange this walk so that I am making my way through the clusters of seaweed after sunrise whilst consciously trying to avoid the way the tourist’s gaze aestheticizes this seaside resort.
There is a sense of dull repetition in that I keep doing the same thing over and over again, without really knowing what I am going to do with all these coastal images. It is becoming a bit routine if not automatic.
It has been a wild start to winter in South Australia. We have been experiencing a week of wet, stormy weather on the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula. The coast has been battered by cold and blustery south westerly and southerly winds, rain and surging seas. The sand on the small, local beaches (Petrel Cove and Deps Beach) is starting to disappear.
The balmy days of late autumn with the early morning macro photography in the gentle early morning light are a memory. The two photos in this post were the last macro photos I made before the cold winter weather set in.
I have avoided walking along the littoral zone and have started walking along the back country roads seeking protection from the wind. That means photographing trees and back country roads. The weather is easing, but we still have sporadic showers and strong, cold winds.
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.
Adelaide is in the middle of a week long heatwave. Its been clear blue skies, an intense heat from the sun and, a hot northwesterly wind, which means that it doesn’t cool down at night. The temperatures are in the low 40 degrees centigrade. A code red alert has been issued by the SA state government, which unlocks extra support for vulnerable people, such as the homeless, during a heatwave.
5-10 minutes latter the light is too contrasty for this kind of photography.
This is the second heatwave this year–the first one was in mid -January — with January being on the hottest January on record. The cause of this February heatwave is a “blocking high” on the Tasman Sea. With winds going anticlockwise around the highs this is helping funnel desert heat down to the southern states. Thankfully there have been no bushfires in South Australia this time, but this is not the case for Victoria.
The Xmas break is over for this summer-time. The holiday crowds have left vacationing along the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula during the extended school holidays, and returned to work in Adelaide. The schools are back and the photographers have gone.
Over the Xmas break I continued to photograph in the early morning whilst walking with Kayla. I focused on low key macro photography before the light became too bright and contrasty. The photography is hand held and quick. The conditions are not suitable for slow large format photography.
Currently, the mornings start cool, the days heat up and reach their zenith around 5 pm but, unlike drought damaged inland regions, the temperature usually drops at night. With the crowds gone, the beaches along the coast are quiet during the week, and we often have them to ourselves in the early morning around dawn and sunrise. We now have the space to be in the moment and see the transient and ephemeral nature of life on the coast. Continue reading “summer-time + impermanence”
After the wildness of the stormy days, which stripped the local beaches of their sand we experienced several days of humid weather and gentle misty rain. Then the cold front rolled in from the south west and the temperature dropped dramatically.
I spent my time on the morning and evening poodlewalks exploring the nooks and crannies amongst the rocks, looking to do some handheld macro photography of seaweed. I quickly discovered that the piles of seaweed that had been thrown onto the rocks by the storm were mostly seagrass and not suitable.
The poodles in the afternoon would spend their time look for golf balls among the granite rocks, whilst I looked for subject matter for macro photography. We moved slowly across the rocks on our way beyond Kings Head finding what shelter we could when there was a bit of rain. Continue reading “close-ups”
We are now easing back into our daily routines and poodlewalks at Encounter Bay. The Easter holidays are a few days away. That means huge crowds in the coastal towns and along the coastal walks.
It is autumn in South Australia. The light has softened, there is now more in the way of morning cloud cover, the winds have eased, and the temperatures are mild (in the mid 20’s C) . It is still very dry, as there has been no rain. Continue reading “back home”