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