summer 2021

It has been a very cool summer so far. The days have been overcast and windy with occasional rain. We have only had the occasional hot summer day. Maybe a more normal summer will come during the months of February and March.

The picture below was snapped at 7am on a Sunday morning at Petrel Cove in January 24th). It is not a typical morning: it was humid, the temperature was in the high twenties, and there was no wind. It rained latter in the day.

at Petrel Cove

My energies in this last month have been renovating the Mallee Routes website, working on The Long Road to the North blog, and putting The Bowden Archives into some sort of order. My days have been spent sitting in front of a computer screen.

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.

coastal waterfall

I have moved away from walking in the local bushland or the back country roads. It is dry and dusty with brown snakes and the ground is full of grass seeds. I now walk along the coastline and the various beaches. This limits the possibilities that I have for film photograph.

Film photography has come to the fore now that Light Paths is up and running, and Thoughtfactory’s Newsletter #3 has finally gone out. I want to do some large format photography–using the 5×7 Cambo monorail–as I am tired of sitting in front of a computer screen all day.

waterfall, Waitpinga

The above coastal waterfall is one possibility that I have in mind. I checked the location out yesterday afternoon when I was walking with Maleko to Kings Beach. The water flow has eased now that the rains have stopped and the hot, dry weather is returning. That means it is now possible to stand on the rocks with a tripod—just.

skies: am + pm

The lockdown restrictions for the Covid-19 pandemic means that I can only travel in my local area, until the travel restrictions are eased (in mid-May?) to allow us to travel more widely within the South Australian borders. The permitted movement with the stay-at-home order is primarily for exercise. There are lots of people walking along the coastal paths in the Petrel Cove / Kings Beach area.

With the extensive economic dislocation and suffering from the Covid-19 lockdown, the political conversation has shifted to reopening the nation’s economy to ‘get the economy moving‘ as soon a possible. Rosy scenario’s abound. The federal Coalition government in Australia says it plans to return to its austerity and small state prescriptions –ie., cutting regulations, reducing taxes on business, a punitive cutting back welfare, and generally letting the private sector lead the economic restart. This, it is promised, will ensure that economic growth will proceed as before  Covid-19.  This assumes a sharp, V-shaped recovery. 

During the lockdown I have been photographing in the Encounter Bay/Waitpinga area on the poodlewalks in both the morning and the evening. This digital snap was made on the morning of the 28th April before the rains came in from the south-west.

am, Waitpinga

Whilst I was walking along Baum Rd with Kayla around sunrise I could sense that the rain was on its way. It held off until 3pm that afternoon, then it rained for most of the night. Luckily, the painters, who are painting the eves of the house, had just finished for the day. They won’t be returning until the following Monday, as the weather forecast is for continual rain for the rest of this week.

cliffs and ocean

On a recent poodlewalk to Kings Head and beyond one overcast morning in February I made a few photos of the cliffs I was walking along. This snap is looking back to Rosetta Head, or The Bluff:

Rosetta Head

The next morning we clambered down the cliffs via the dried up waterfall to the rocky foreshore as I wanted to make a photo of the cliffs and sea with the early morning light on the rocks.

Ho-Hum + the tourist gaze

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.

seaweed, Esplanade Beach

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.

water flows

When I have been doing   the evening poodlewalks with Maleko  I’ve sometimes  included sitting  quietly on a rock to  watch the sea water  flowing amongst the coastal granite. Maleko either sits with me,  or  he looks for any golf balls buried amongst the rocks in the littoral zone.

Occasionally,  I    try and make a still photograph of a particular moment of the rapid movement of the  waves surging amongst  the rocks:

flowing sea, Dep’s Beach

The reason that  I don’t  bother to photograph the water, is that it  is usually difficult to make the composition,  and to get the lighting right.  The sea water moves so very quickly through and over the granite rocks–too quickly  for me  to  compose the picture whilst ensuring  that my feet don’t  become wet from a rogue wave. Continue reading “water flows”

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”

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”

seaweed, quartz + granite

Prior to my solo  Balranald photo trip  for the Mallee Routes project the morning  poodlewalks with Kayla  had started to shift from exclusively walking amongst the seaweed and granite  rocks the foreshore  below  the Heritage Trail  to walking along the back country roads.

One   reason for the change in emphasis  is that sun is  too bright  early in the morning  for photography,  so the coastal walks with now  take  place with Maleko in the later afternoon. This is when the coastal rocks are in open shadow and the contrast is softer:

quartz + seaweed

However, it is hit and miss with   finding the  seaweed, bird wings, dead birds or fish for the  open air studio.   For a while it   has only been  the odd bit of ephemeral seaweed lying amongst the granite rocks that I can  use to construct  a still life.  Continue reading “seaweed, quartz + granite”