Gormanston is an old mining town near Queenstown in Tasmania that has pretty much died. There are only a few people living there now. There are more abandoned and derelict houses than lived in ones.
The cemetery is on a side of a hill and is unmarked. There is just a low grade gravel road off the Lyell Highwav as you head towards Lake Burbury. What is fascinating about the cemetery is the way that it has become overgrown with the native flora. You need to dig around to even find some of the graves.
Late this afternoon the poodles and I went to explore a location we had discovered around Xmas time. It is around from Kings Head and it is as far as you can go along the seashore before the cliffs plunge into the southern ocean.
It’s a bit of a hike to get there, especially with large format equipment in the summer heat. I’d taken some pictures with the Rolleiflex SL66 around New Year and I was looking at it today to see whether it would be worthwhile to lug the 5×4 gear around.
The mood or atmosphere of the location is that of the romantic (German) sublime—it is all twisted, contorted rocks and wild crashing seas. Awesome wild nature. I need dark clouds not bright blue sky plus a low tide and a couple of hours with soft light. It was overcast tonight with a bit of rain so we will see what tomorrow morning brings.
The insurance company has come good with the money to replace my stolen digital Sony DSC R1. Soon I will have another digital camera, either a Sony Nex-7 or a Fuji X-Pro1. I have chosen these two cameras because they have adaptors that allow me to use my Leica M lenses with them. It’s a stop gap until I can afford a Leica M9. Whenever that is.
It is unlikely that either of the above digital cameras will arrive in Adelaide before I leave for a phototrip to Tasmania in early March. So I will be shooting film only on that trip. But I cannot wait to start using digital again. I miss the convenience of digital and I’m not really enthused with scanning negatives.
The dry heat gave way to muggy heat with some cloud cover. Ut was still hot–around 36 degrees– but the cloud cover the morning provided me with an opportunity to do some photography.
I was unsure how long the cloud cover would last this morning so I played it safe: I returned to the shade of the unsealed back country roads and explored the roadside vegetation with a 5×4 Linhof. It was the first time I had used the camera this year.
This picture was from an earlier shoot–when I was exploring how the Rolleiflex 6008 operated in the field. What is noticeable with this region is the destruction and loss of native habitat for farming. Approximately 13% of the original native vegetation remains. Biodiversity is in decline due to threats from invasive species and landscape fragmentation.
I was out photographing the Adelaide skyline between 6 -7am this morning. This is normally the time I am working out at the gym, but I allow myself to take a break from the gym on Wednesdays so that I can do the early morning shoots. In summer this must be done before 7am.
The picture below was taken around 7pm with a handheld digital camera from the top floor of a 24 hour car park on the corner of Rundle and Pultney Streets. I was on a scoping excursion. This time I wanted to I see what the skyline looked like in the early morning light. Would it look as dramatic?
I was also checking out to see whether I could use a tripod in the carpark and still be able to get the camera lens through the grill on the side of the building. It was possible to do this with a medium format camera. Would it be possible with a large format camera? Maybe. Next time I go back with the 5×7 Cambo monorail.
We spent this weekend down at Victor Harbor, and the fine, early summer weather meant some long walks with the poodles along the beach that were coupled to me exploring the possibilities at the foot of the granite cliffs for rock abstractions.
I was exploring these possibilities in order to use the 5×4 Linhof. I’m becoming increasingly comfortable with this style of photography and I want to devote more of my time and energy to it.
Sunday morning is allocated to large format photography. Today it was the urban variety. I waited for the rain to stop, then tried to get a 5×7 of Faraway House, around 8am but it was too late. To get the shot I had to stand in the middle of the road across from a major building site, but there was too much traffic. It could only be handheld work.
The light was all wrong anyway–the sun had shifted much further to the east than I had realized. So I tossed it in, and drove to the tramway overpass location on South Rd for the Adelaide-Glenelg tram. This would be a goer I thought in terms of the light and no traffic:
This is an ideal location for a 5×7 shoot as everybody avoids the stairs and takes the lift to the platform to wait for the tram–they were all going to Glenelg this morning. As I walked around and found the ideal location the wind started, and it swirled around the platforms on the steps.
I’ve been photo-walking the streets of Adelaide these last couple of days. Ostensibly it was to hunt down and photograph the various pasteups down by Peter Drews for his street art project entitled ‘Adelaide’s Forgotten Outlaws! I wanted to do it before the temperatures reached the high 30’s–which they are today.
Then I realized that I was really using this urban wandering to basically look for new locations for the Adelaide book I’m slowly putting together.
I was looking for locations from car parks that would give me a skyline perspective for large format photography. I wasn’t very successful in my last exploration as I was looking for car parks with open roofs, but these are few and far between in Adelaide. This time I was happy enough to check out the car parks with open grills to see what kind of perspective they offered.
It was a gentle sunny morning on the beach at Encounter Parade this morning. It had rained during the night, the air was moist, and there was no wind. Not surprisingly, everybody was out jogging and walking. I took some snaps of the seaside architecture:
I spent yesterday working on the Preface of the Victor Harbor book and setting up a simple Posterous style blog for the images that I will use in the book. So the book is under way. Thank goodness something is finally happening on this front.
When I was in Melbourne I used to board the train at Frankston and travel daily up the city to do my photography. Since it I took around an hour I used to take photos through the windows. I took the photo below whilst the train was at Frankston station. It was just before it was due to leave for Flinders Street station, stopping at all stations.
It is a pretty ordinary photo of a banal shopping strip in Melbourne’s suburbia. Within seconds I was surrounded by 3 Victorian police wanting to know what I was doing. Taking photos in public is now a suspicious activity even when there is no obvious security buildings close by. I was placed in the position of having to defend what I was doing.