Clearly the dam is the iconic symbol of modernity in Tasmania. A celebration of engineering and hydro power. But keeping the lights on in Strahan comes at a terrible cost—the flooding of Lake Pedder and the damming of the Serpentine and Huon Rivers to ensure high water levels of Lake Pedder so that there can be a continual flow of water from Pedder into Lake Gordon via the McPartlans Pass Canal to drive the power station’s turbines.
One of the areas that I’d wanted to visit in Tasmania was the barren and often bleak landscape around the western edge of the Great Lake in the Central Highlands region. I’d seen it briefly on a previous trip last year and thought that it looked interesting.
The highway, which runs along the western side of the Great Lake, is sparsely populated with groups of fisherman shacks. I could only explore this architecture briefly as a rain storm was sweeping in from the west. There was no chance of using the 5×4.
The image below is an example of the landscape site that I mentioned in the previous post which I want to work with the Linhof 5×4. It’s close to the main road, I’m able to park the car safely, the site is easily accessible, and I can work the landscape under a dark cloth without having to worry about cars running me down.
I was up there this morning, but I was too late. The Queenstown township is enfolded in dense fog in the mornings as it is in a valley, and I’m finding it difficult to judge when the sun rises and lightens up the tablelands from the caravan park. Even though I was there at 7.30 with the 5×4 I was too late. So it will have to be tomorrow morning.
I’ve spent the last couple of days doing a scoping study of the work that I want to do with the Linhof 5×4 over the next few days, as well as photographing bits and pieces with the Rolleiflex SL66. I’m annoyed.
The backup body of the latter has now gone and I’m down to the Rolleiflex TLR. The 5×4 Linhof becomes my main camera and the Rolleiflex TLR becomes the ancillary camera. I’m out of my comfort zone.
I have found three sites to work at with the Linhof. One is an area around the old Iron Blow Mine. The second is the burnt landscape around the Queenstown airport; burnt because it has had fire through it recently. The third is the ruins of the Tasmanian Smelters site at Zeehan.
I know very little about the history of the Zeehan site. I know that in late 1882, silver-lead ore was discovered near the present day site of Zeehan and that this led to the largest mining boom on Tasmania’s west coast with Zeehan being dubbed the ‘Silver City of the West’.
I did some sketches of agricultural landscapes to explore with the 5×4 when we return to Tunbridge after the Queenstown and Cradle Mountain leg of the trip. I was put out because the Rolleiflex SL66 jammed on the early Sunday morning shoot and I couldn’t fix it. I was fortunate to be carrying a spare body that I could use.
I’m down at Victor Harbor tonight packing my camera gear and loading 5×4 sheet film for my forthcoming trip to Tasmania. Half of the time on the island has been structured around photography in Queenstown.
We went for an evening walk along the beach and amongst the houses set back from the beach. The sun was shining but the southerly wind was cold. It was jumpers and jeans –it was such a contrast to the warmth of Adelaide. I shivered, thinking how cold the south west part of Tasmania is going to be.
We returned to exploring Wirranender Park in the Adelaide Parklands on Sunday even though it was raining. I wanted to see some of the sculpture in this public spaces; a space that looks as if it is being designed as an urban forest with an environmental trail.
Scattered along the trail are a large number of rock sculptures by Silvio Apponyi and other sculptors, including this piece by Sally Weekes:
An interpretation taken with my 5×4 Linhof Technika IV. This Wirranendi area of the Adelaide Parklands was once covered by Eucalyptus porosa or Mallee Box Woodland. This consisted of widely spaced gums, many acacias, native apricots, quandongs, saltbushes, native herbs, peas and lilies and many types of grasses, providing habitat for many native animals and birds.
Most of the attention is directed at the ecology of the estuary, even though some of the older beach architecture is aesthetically pleasing and deserves to be heritage listed. This kind of architectural work is experienced only from the outside as the interiors is closed to all—it is the “tourists’ gaze” view of architecture: the reception of architecture from an exterior point of view.
There are not many shops on the poodle walk to and from our inner city Sturt Street townhouse to the Adelaide Parklands. One of the few is the Salvation Army shop on Whitmore Square:
The shop is set up to make money for the Salvation Army. The goods–furniture, clothes, nick-knacks, accessories–must be in good condition and desired by consumers. To all intents and purposes it is a retro shop selling vintage gems. They are fussy about the quality of the goods that you can give them free and their window display is varied and interesting.