walking, photography, philosophy

“This process of going astray, doubling back, regaining the path, sometimes gaining the perspective I was seeking and sometimes not, was exactly what it means to be on a philosopher’s walk; a walk that is open-ended, exploratory, and follows thoughts where they lead, even if that is not to a conclusion.” Bruce Baugh, Philosophers’ Walks, Routledge, 2021

For me the key word in this paragraph about walking is exploratory:– not in the sense of exploring oneself, but in taking myself out of my individual identity or subjectivity. When walking we have left behind commentary, refutation, recopying, we are no longer wrapped up books or looking at our computer screens. Walking allows myself to see the very simple, very ordinary things that exist in the space that I am walking in; and then to become immersed in that space.

bark, bushland, Waitpinga

Walking, it is often held, is an indispensable aid to thinking and writing. I would add walking is also indispensable to photography. Walking is a point of access to the sublimely ordinary as it is through our bodies, on the move, that we make sense of our surroundings. In this view, walking offers an embodied basis for experiencing and engaging with the world.

Philosophy is connected to explorationas the marks of philosophy are reflection and heightened self-awareness. Since reflection can deepen our understanding of our ideas and motivations,  it is going to involve historical understanding of individuals in a particular place and time.

return to the sea

Winter on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula was wet and stormy with high tides on the coast, making it difficult to access the coastal rocks and to photograph along the littoral zone and continue making abstractions. During July walking the poodles was limited to walking along the paths on top of the coastal cliffs between Petrel Cove and Kings Beach.

This image of seaweed lying on the rocks was made in early June when the tide was low enough to walk in the littoral zone in June. It was during July that we experienced the very high tides.

seaweed + rocks

The photo was made just after we’d returned from the camel trek from Blinman to Lake Frome. I recall it being a joy to walk by the sea after 14 days in the arid Northern Flinders Ranges. Water there was scarce: the creeks were dry and there was just the odd water hole.

bush + coast

The afternoon walks through the local bush will soon be coming to an end as we came across a brown snake the other afternoon whilst we were walking along Depledge Rd in Waitpinga. I was surprised to see it on the side of the road because it was still late winter, and the day temperatures up to that date had not been that warm.

From now on the poodlewalks in the bush or scrub will need to be in early morning as its too cold for snakes. Kayla and I usually start walking around sunrise and I am looking out for the early morning light. It is changing.

Baum Rd, Waitpinga

The late afternoon walks with Maleko will, by and large, be along the coastal rocks between Petrel Cove and Kings Beach. We have to walk part of the way along the Heritage Trail to reach the rocks. As we have seen the odd brown snake along this path in the past, I keep an eye out.

summer-time + impermanence

The Xmas break  is over for this summer-time.  The holiday crowds have left vacationing  along the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula  during the extended school holidays,  and  returned to work in Adelaide.  The schools are back and  the photographers have gone.

The hot days came and went  during January,   with  the minimium/maximium  temperatures rising.  The warming trend   means that Australian summers are becoming hotter and the heatwaves more intense.  Sadly, the sand has been disappearing  from  Dep’s Beach and Petrel Cove ever since the big storm in December,    and these  two beaches are now looking  desolate.

Over the Xmas break I  continued to  photograph in the early morning  whilst walking with Kayla.  I focused on  low key macro photography before the light became too bright and contrasty. The photography  is hand held and quick. The conditions are not suitable for slow  large format photography.

quartz + salt, Petrel Cove

Currently, the mornings start cool,   the days heat up and reach their zenith around 5 pm but, unlike drought damaged inland regions,  the temperature usually  drops at night. With the crowds gone,  the beaches along the coast are  quiet during the week,  and we often have them to ourselves in the early morning around dawn and sunrise. We now have the space to be in the moment and see the  transient and ephemeral nature of life on the coast.   Continue reading “summer-time + impermanence”

close-ups

After the wildness of the stormy days, which  stripped the local beaches of their sand we experienced several days of humid weather and gentle misty rain. Then the cold front rolled in from the south west and the temperature dropped dramatically.

I spent my time on the morning and evening poodlewalks  exploring the nooks and crannies amongst the rocks,  looking to do   some handheld macro  photography of seaweed.  I  quickly  discovered that  the piles of seaweed that had been thrown onto the rocks by the storm  were mostly seagrass and not suitable.

seaweed +Rocks, Kings Beach

The poodles in the afternoon would spend their time look for golf balls among the granite rocks,  whilst I looked for subject matter for macro photography. We moved slowly across the rocks  on our way beyond  Kings Head finding what  shelter we could  when there was a bit of rain.   Continue reading “close-ups”

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”

2 still life images

One  early morning poodlewalk  along the coastal rocks west of Petrel Cove last week  with Kayla was very enjoyable and relaxing.  The light was soft, there was little wind, and the light cloud cover meant that there was  soft early morning light  for an hour or so after sunrise. We were fortunate as  the early mornings of late have been sunny, bright  with blue sky.

These conditions  allowed me to spend a   a bit of time doing some  photography amongst the seaweed, quartz and granite:

Cuttlefish still life

We have been having this part of the coast to ourselves in the last week or so.  The only person I saw was Allan, who we see regularly. He does a  daily walk from his home in Encounter Bay along the Heritage Trail to Kings Beach Rd, then walks back. Our paths often cross.  Continue reading “2 still life images”

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”

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”