Summer appears: walking

We have only experienced a couple of warm to hot days this summer so far in South Australia. It is early days, but the weather has mostly been cool with strong cold south westerly and south easterly winds on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula. Though Xmas is approaching it has not been warm enough for swimming or sun baking on a beach. This is La Niña, which is a weather event that often brings overcast conditions, above-average rainfall and cooler temperatures. But a heat dome is coming in a week or so.

It is good weather for walking. This particular scene of people swimming, lying and playing on the beach at Petrel Cove in the late afternoon was unusual for 2021. It was during the spring/summer cusp in late November and it was the first time a summer’s day had happened in 2021.

Petrel Cove, Victor Harbor

On the afternoon of the above photo I’d parked the Forester at the Petrel Cove carpark and Maleko and I were setting out to walk along the local Heritage Trail to the Kings Beach Rd lookout. Usually we would start our walk by going down the Petrel Cove steps, walk across the beach and then scramble around the rocks on the western side of the Cove. It was too busy on the beach that afternoon to start our poodlewalk from the beach.

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.

Xmas/New Year holidays

It’s Xmas/New Year summer holiday time.

Apart from the odd couple of days when we had a cool change, the weather has been hot, with clear blue skies, full sun and glaring light. The land is drying out and there have been bush fires along the Victorian coast of the Great Ocean Rd—–at Wye River on Xmas Day. We had planned to stay near there in February on our way back from Melbourne.

Our poodlewalks are earlier in the morning now and further afield in the afternoon. We are trying to avoid all the runners, walkers, bikers, dog walkers, families, surfers from Adelaide who have just come down to the southern Fleurieu Peninsula coast for their summer break.

quartz + seaweed
quartz + seaweed

I am continuing to use my APSC digital camera (a Sony NEX-7) as my everyday walkabout camera, thereby continuing my slow walk from film photography to digital imaging. My everyday walkabout camera used to be a film Leica. No more.I am not a dyed-in-the-wool Leicaphile. Sony’s NEX-7, which was Sony’s flagship camera only three years ago, is a handy, friendly, high-performance compact camera. It’s very functional for the diary-style photos on poodle walks as opposed to the art photography ones on the galleries of my website.
Continue reading “Xmas/New Year holidays”

cruising along

Most of the early morning walks these late autumn days are with Ari and Kayla and are are in and around the Victor Harbor Beach area or along the Hayborough beach. It’s easy. There are few people around, there is very little junk food, dead birds or decaying fish, the wind is low and the sun rises onto the beaches at sunrise.

Kayla, Granite Island causeway
Kayla, Granite Island causeway

There is not much photography taking place on these walks. Only a few pictures of the ongoing version of the sand dunes around Hayborough, but this does not effect any of the holiday homes as they are on the cliffs above the beach, and there is a railway line between the beach and the base of the cliffs.
Continue reading “cruising along”

a poodle walk with Heather Petty

Whilst Suzanne walked Ari and Kayla Heather Petty, Maleko and I went on a photowalk along the foot of the cliffs east of Kings Beach yesterday afternoon. We were photographing for about 3-4 hours in the warm autumn weather:

Heather Petty near Kings Beach
Heather Petty near Kings Beach

Heather was using her brand new DSLR —–a Nikon Df—–with a super duper zoom lens—a AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 VR11— that allowed her do everything she needed along the coastal strip.That big impressive lens looked like Nikon’s workhorse lens. Continue reading “a poodle walk with Heather Petty”

at Second Valley

We took a break from our shift to Victor Harbor on Sunday afternoon. We’d had enough of packing up at Sturt St and clearing out the years of accumulated junk at Victor Harbor. So we went for a quick trip to Second Valley on the western Fleurieu Peninsula.

This was the location for the Fleurieu Four Seasons Photography Landscape competition in 2014. You can view the images online, if you register and vote for the People’s Choice Award.

We meet up with Heather Petty at Leonards Mill, and then we walked along the cliffs above the beach at Second Valley with the poodles for an hour or so. The beach was packed with people.

Second Valley
Second Valley

Suzanne, Heather and Maleko continued walking up a step hill whilst Ari and I waited for them on a stoney/rocky beach. Ari’s arthritis means that he can no longer climb hills. 
Continue reading “at Second Valley”

summer rains

Whilst the Sturt St townhouse in Adelaide is on the market and the various offers are being assessed, I’m down at Victor Harbor keeping the standard poodles out of the way for the open inspections and beginning the adjustment to living on the coast.

I’m using the time away from Adelaide to start to centre some of my poodle walk snaps made  in, and around, the Fleurieu Peninsula coastline into some kind of project. A low key or modest one.

Hindmarsh estuary
Hindmarsh estuary

The weather on the coast has been overcast and showery with strong south westerly winds, and we’ve usually ended up getting wet in the morning and the evening whilst returning to the car or house from the beach from the rain. It’s wet shoes, damp clothes and wet dogs.  Continue reading “summer rains”

on Dog Beach

A car trip from Adelaide CBD to Mt Barker for the poodles to be clipped and groomed, a quick walk in Kuitpo Forest afterwards, then onto Victor Harbor for a couple of days. The evening walk with Ari and Maleko was along the beach west of Petrel Cove. A cold south westerly was blowing. It was cloudy. Rain was coming.

dead fish
dead fish

Despite it being the first week of the school holidays there was no one around on Dog Beach. The families were all hanging out at the Woolworth’s mall in town.

it is hot

The day dawned warm and bright. I was down at the jetty area by 6.15am, but the light was already intense, even though the sun had just risen above the hills. The wind was warm rather than cool. The day promised to be unpleasantly hot.

So I just sat on the edge of the jetty and made some sea abstracts, with both digital and medium format film cameras:

sea abstract #1, American River
sea abstract #1, American River

I gave up after 20 minutes as the light was becoming too harsh. It was a pity because the rocks, seagrass and the strong tidal current were providing good possibilities for abstractions.

at the foot of the cliffs of Newland Heads

Whilst Suzanne is in Barcelona revelling in the delights of a delightful international city Ari and I are at Victor Harbor this weekend.

I’ve come down to scan some of the medium format negatives from the Queenstown Tasmania shoot. There has been lots of rain at Victor since we were here last, and though the weather today was cool and overcast, it was very still. So went for a poodlewalk beyond Kings Head around to the inlet at the edge of the cliffs that form Newlands Head. There were lots of people around— cray fishermen and Heysen Trail walkers. There were no seals cruising the shoreline this time.

We returned to the area when we were down at Victor Harbor last My memories are of shots that I had taken back in late summer on one of those rare muggy overcast days in Victor Harbor. I’d shot in both colour and black and white then, and in looking at the scanned images now, I noted that the highlights were blown out and the shadows had no detail.

rockface, Kings Head

Today was the same approach–I exposed both colour and black and white whilst Ari stood guard. The cray fishermen had friends in camera clubs and talked about thenm doing a study of textures. Was I doing the same?

Unfortunately, this time, in returning to my base, I slipped on the seaweed and, though I managed to save the Rolleiflex SL66, light meter and film back from crashing into the rocks, I landed on my knees, scrapped my skin on the rocks, and twisted my left knee.