wandering in the West Terrace Cemetery

The poodlewalk yesterday afternoon was in the West Terrace Cemetery in the Adelaide parklands that surround the square mile of the city. We returned there because I was sick of all the junk food and rubbish that was tossed on the ground in the Adelaide parklands proper and fighting the dogs over chicken bones. I wanted an easy walk away from the rubbish and the people playing sport so that could concentrate on photography.


I was looking for material for my 1picaday2014 project. The graveyards in the cemetery have lots of letters and signs to work with as many of the gravestones have been badly damaged by vandals.


Columns of warm air continue to move across southern Australia, whilst a slow-moving high-pressure system means that the hot conditions are expected to be stable over much of south-eastern Australia for another week.

We are midway through a long heatwave in Adelaide with no relief (tempertures below 30 degrees) expected until Thursday of next week.

Adelaide parklands
Adelaide parklands

The earth in the parklands is cracking badly, from the lack of moisture and the prolonged heat.

Even though we were walking through the patches of shade made by the trees it was too hot for the poodles on the lunchtime walk in the parklands today.They walked so far, then turned around and headed back to the car.


The heatwave continue due to the blocking high-pressure system that has set in over the Tasman Sea. This is steering hot continental winds over south-eastern Australia.

The daytime temperature is consistently around 35 degrees C, whilst the night time temperature stays around 21 degrees. There is very little by way of a cooling wind and its mostly bright blue skies. These conditions makes the daily poodlewalks difficult, especially at lunchtime and in the early afternoon. We move slowly, staying in the shade as much as is possible.

stones, Adelaide parklands
stones, Adelaide parklands

This pile of stones has been sitting in the parklands for some time now. I’ve kept on looking at them as we walk past. Yesterday I decided to start photographing them. I did a few snaps in the morning with the Leica with black and white film, then I made some colour snaps with a digital Sony NEX-7 camera on the afternoon walk.


The afternoon poodlewalk on Xmas day was after a long and luxuriant lunch with family friends in Adelaide. We needed some exercise after that lunch, and so Suzanne, Ari and I walked around the parklands. There was hardly anyone around, and so we had the space to ourselves.


I took a few pictures of leaves and bark on the ground with an eye to texture and colour. Suzanne and Ari weren’t willing to stop and wait for me to dilly dally with the photography, the time I had was short.

it’s too hot to do much

It’s very hot in Adelaide at the moment. The temperature is around 38 degrees on our evening walks and 28 degrees during the night. There are no cool gully winds at night now. So Ari and I just mooched around the shade in Veale Gardens yesterday evening. The sprinklers only come on in the early morning.

We sat for a while by some of the trees that I wanted to photograph. These were abstractions of the bark currently peeling off the trunks of the eucalypts. The colours of the bark and trunk are soft and subtle:

trunk of   eucalypt
trunk of eucalypt

I took some hand held close-up photos with the Rolleiflex SL66, since this medium format camera system doesn’t need closeup rings. Then we move on to the next tree taking care to remain in the shade. We pretty much just sit in the shade and watch the world go by.

tree abstract

Suzanne, Ari and I visited Michal Kluvanek’s Hindmarsh studio yesterday. He has made a living for 30 years photographing art works and artists as well as doing his own work–landscape and urban. Some of his work was on the walls of the studio, on a table in the studio and in a gallery-type print rack. He is an analogue photographer who has not established a web presence.

tree abstract,  River Torrens
tree abstract, River Torrens

Afterwards, we checked out parts of the Glendi Greek Festival, before going for a walk along the River Torrens down by the Port Rd Park Terrace corner. It was an area that I used to visit regularly to walk and photograph when I had a studio in Bowden. The area has been cleaned up since then.

organic abstract

The weather is warming up again. It was a gentle meandering walk amongst the eucalypts in the parklands looking at the tree trunks this evening. The trunks of the eucalypts are to loose their bark and to change colour.I started looking for possible abstracts:


I was interested to see if I could take abstractions with the Sony NEX-7 with a Leica Summicron 35m asph lens. This functions as a 50mm lens on the NEX-7, due to the crop factor of the smaller than full frame sensor and it doesn’t allow you to get very close to the object.

tree lines

On a poodlewalk last night I noticed that the Adelaide City Council staff had cut down some of the dead elm trees in the parklands near Veale Gardens. The trees had died a couple of years ago from lack of water caused by the ten year long drought.

The sawn branches and trunks were still lying on the ground last night. I presumed that the logs and branches will taken away today, so I photographed them early this morning between 6.30 and 7.30 am.

tree lines
tree lines

Normally I am at the gym between 6 and 7am each morning, but I have decided to take Wednesday’s off so that I can take some early morning photos in Adelaide. It was overcast so I didn’t have to contend with the sunlight.

remembering a picture

It is hot and muggy in Adelaide at the moment. It is around 40 degrees and it is unpleasant to be outside away from the air conditioning. Ari and I stayed in the shadows in the parklands early yesterday evening and we didn’t walk that far. It was too hot. Rain is forecast to be on the way late Friday afternoon, but I’m sure that, in itself, will not reduce the temperature.

I wanted to use the poodlewalk to make some more studies of the Morton Bay Figs in the parklands. I wanted the late summer light on them and I was thinking about the inside and outside of the photographic frame:

I remembered a picture from a year ago, which I’d seen but never returned to photograph. It was in late summer and when I did return the sun had shifted and the last rays no longer fell on the tree. The time difference was only a matter of a week to ten days. I had made some other pictures then, but I felt that I could more.

in West Terrace Cemetery

The carpets in the studio apartment in the city were being cleaned this morning so Ari and I went down to West Terrace Cemetery to fill in a couple of hours. I wanted to use the time to walk around the cemetery to sort out the focusing problems I’ve been experiencing with the Sony NEX-7 rather than express a general sense of foreboding within a utilitarian culture.

Up to now the focusing with my M mount Leica lens has been very hit and miss. I needed to figure out why and to find a more reliable way of working. 75% of pictures out of focus is not acceptable.

gravestone, West Terrace Cemetery

I’m finding manual focusing with the peak focusing technology slow work compared to using a Leica rangefinder. I’m also coming to realize that the Sony NEX-7 is not a point and shoot or a scoping camera for large format photography. It stands on its own.