winter walking: June 2022

An icy cold snap with lots of rain and bitterly south westerly winds hit the southern Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia in late May/early June. It has been extremely cold when the sun has gone missing, with the cold snap lasting a fortnight or more. Though there have been the occasional days with sunshine, the rain and cold winds usually return the next morning. Consequently, walking with poodles is walking in the bracing wind and the rain:–rain walks.

The daily poodlewalks in early June included walking Rosetta Head ( Kongkengguwar ) in Victor Harbor so that I could photograph the sky, rain, sea and light. These photographs have usually been seascapes (as distinct from coastal), though I sometimes I have been photographing the clouds themselves.

rain, Encounter Bay

We have been walking Rosetta Head in the early morning before sunrise, as the weather has usually cleared by the late afternoon, with this occasion on the last day of May being a notable exception. The walking and photography in low pre-sunrise light works well with a hand held digital camera.

It is much more difficult with the large format camera and tripod, especially when it is a 5×7 monorail. Much more organization and planning is required, as I need to check out both the cloud cover and the direction of the wind to see if it is worthwhile carrying the camera equipment up Rosetta Head. If it is, then it is a slow walk and climb.

Remembering Kangaroo Island

I have been going through my 2013 digital archives as we are planning a trip to Kangaroo Island in the autumn of 2022. I wanted to have a look at the photographs from the 2013 visit to the island. I I haven’t looked at these digital photos for nigh on seven years. I am in archival mode the moment, due to working on The Bowden Archives and Industrial Modernity book through 2021.

American River

We –Suzanne , myself and Ari– stayed at American River in both January and November of that year. I recall that the easterlies in November blew non-stop and that some of the roads were still un-passable from the winter and spring rains. We spent a lot of time walking along the walking trail on the lagoon’s foreshore.

Ari, American River

2013 was just after I’d made the switch to digital technology in a serious way. I’d acquired a compact digital Sony NEX-7 with its APS-C sensor, which I was using with an old 35mm Leica M lens. I was attracted by the promise of good image quality in a small, highly portable camera, with the ability to adapt almost any lens to fit.

My thinking was that this kind of camera would be the digital equivalent of 35mm rangefinder film photography, even though I knew that it was only a full-frame is sensor size that would be the same as old 35mm film. The technological simplicity of the Sony was equivalent to that of a Leica rangefinder, and so the emphasis was on the purity of the vision: the camera was the extension of the eye.

water abstract #1

The shift to full frame digital came about 5 years latter. Embracing Sony’s digital technology was a no brainer, as I had the Leica lens from a film Leica M4. The latter’s body had gone missing whilst the range finder mechanism was being repaired, so the lens was sitting unused in a cupboard. Sony’s E-mount technology meant that I could use the lens with a Novoflex adaptor.

The Sony NEX-7 replaced the Leica M4-P film camera as my walk around, everyday camera. Digital was more versatile and it was cheaper to use. I continued to use film for medium and large format photography. Digital was definitely the future. The Leica M4-P and 35m colour film became a niche.

in training

An added dimension to the poodlewalks is that I am starting to train for the 14 day camel trek in late in May 2021 from Blinman to Lake Frome. This forthcoming camel trek is part of this project.

So I have started to walk to and over Rosetta Head, run up the steps twice at Petrel Cove, and increase the poodlewalks to 90 minutes. I’ve started doing the Rosetta Head route with Kayla on Sunday mornings when Suzanne is walking on her loop route. I really need to increase my cardio and to toughen up my feet.

look west from Rosetta Head

Building up my strength and cardio is going to be long and slow as, unlike Suzanne, I am currently not going to the gym. My exercise levels and muscle strength have dropped unfortunately. These need to be substantially increased.

self-isolation

We arrived back from a 2-3 week holiday in the lower part of the South Island in New Zealand on Monday night (the 23rd March), and immediately began our mandatory 2 weeks of self-isolation. We just made it back to Australia before New Zealand locked down–a nationwide shutdown– on Wednesday, and Virgin had cancelled all its international flights in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

I walked Kayla along the coastal rocks the morning after our return before sunrise in order to avoid other people. There was one runner on the Heritage Trail, and the Green Car man was walking amongst on the rocks with his aggressive Australian Blue Heeler on a lead. I was able to keep a large distance from both of them. Other than that there was no one around and I entered no buildings.

granite

It was a mild and overcast morning. The landscape looked so very dry compared to Fiordland or to Dunedin. Though it started to rain as we made our way back to the car at Petrel Cove, the rain didn’t last long and it was very light. It wasn’t enough to green a browned landscape.

stormy days

South Australia was  been battered by a violent  storm from the south west during the last three days– from Thursday to Saturday. We  experienced gale force winds, solid rain, high tides  and  surging seas along  the coast of  the southern Fleurieu Peninsula.

storm,  Dep’s Beach

Our usual morning and evening poodlewalks  were curtailed due to  the water cutting off access to parts of the littoral zone. So I could not photograph the water flows.  It was also  too dangerous to venture around the rocks to Petrel Cove  to do some macro due to  the huge waves.   Continue reading “stormy days”

at Kings-Head and beyond

The pictures in this blog post are from an afternoon poodlewalk in 2017 initially to Kings-Head in Waitpinga,  and  then on to a rocky outcrop just west of Kings Head. The rocky outcrop  is on the Coastal Cliffs walking trail to Newland Head and, as a result,  we often meet walkers coming from Waitpinga Beach.

rockface + sunlight, Kings Head

The rocky outcrop is near the foot of the Waitpinga Cliffs,  and it is  not possible to continue walking much further around the bottom of the cliffs. The Coastal Cliff walking trail  from Waitpinga Beach  to Kings Beach is along the top of the Waitpinga cliffs. Continue reading “at Kings-Head and beyond”

at Petrel-Cove

Many of the coastal morning poodlewalks with Kayla incorporate the  return walk along the coastal  rocks  to the car park  via Petrel-Cove. Incorporating Petrel Cove  is more frequent in the early spring,  due to my  allergy to the rye grass growing along the side of the coastal path.  It irritates my eyes and causes sneezing fits.

Occasionally there is a photographer on the beach or a surfer  but more often  than not,  the  only other person in  Petrel Cove at that time of the morning is  the odd fishing man:

fisherman, Petrel Cove

Often it seem as if the fishing men  standing on the edge of the sea with their lines are meditating in nature,  and are  not overly  concerned if they don’t  catch any fish.  I can understand that as I often just sit on the rocks and watch the action of the waves.  Continue reading “at Petrel-Cove”

sea-mist

The sea-mist doesn’t happen that often along the southern coast of  the Fleurieu Peninsula. It happens maybe about once or twice a year,  and it can be quite localised.

The sea mist  briefly appeared early one morning  late last week on the coast:

sea mist, Petrel Cove

When I saw it I hoped  the it was thick  enough for me to photograph some of the granite rocks amongst the seamiest,  as  had happened on a previous occasion.       Continue reading “sea-mist”

recovered archives

I have been going through my old archives from a PC that died many years ago.  The images had  been backed up on Lacie hard disc which also  crashed,  and they were eventually recovered by a  tech specialist.   The 13,000 images are all jumbled up, there are many repetitions, others are jpegs,  whilst large numbers  are corrupted and so useless.

This is one rescued image from along the coast west of Petrel Cove, and it was made around 2008 when Suzanne and I were coming down to Encounter Bay for the weekends. We  were living in Adelaide’s CBD then, and  we were both working full time.

lichen + granite

My reason for returning to these archives is to see the  images that I have made around the River Murray since 2008.  I wanted to see the relevance  of these archival images for the proposed Our Waters  project with Lars Heldmann.   Continue reading “recovered archives”

Spring has arrived

The  noticeably warmer days during  this last week in August suggest that spring is  arriving.  The sun  now rises before 6.45am and it sets just before 6pm. It is also warmer  and have started going on the early morning and late afternoon poodlewalks without a coat.   I am also  now able to enjoy breakfast on the balcony in the early morning sun.  I am sure that the wet weather weather will soon return.

Surprisingly,  my poodlewalk photography   during  the  cusp of spring/winter in 2018,  when the light becomes special,   is becoming  darker:

granite, am

The reason is not  just the low light capabilities of the Sony digital camera. I spend a lot of time being in the  coastal space  of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula,  but  as  I am isolated  in Adelaide with this kind of photography,   I have  been searching to find   what other artists representing coastal Australia in their work  have been doing.   I notice that some  work in the dark mode with their explorations of   impending storm clouds towering over the land or the wild stormy seas.

The dark mode appeals, and   I have started looking at  group exhibitions to  find a visual  affinity with the ways that some  artists have approached   representing the  ocean, waves,  rocks and sky. Continue reading “Spring has arrived”