a slow decay

My time recently has been spent working on the website’s various galleries Two of the earlier portfolios are now pretty much in place—Bowden and Port Adelaide. They look pretty good. The next step is to reconfigure the rest of the portfolios in this carousel style.

The daily poodle walks in both the morning and evening have been just quicker walks with little time being spent on scoping photography. The grasses are rapidly drying out on the coast and they represent a real problem as they hook onto the standard poodle’s coats, and then quickly work their way into the skin. So I am avoiding areas where there are lots of grass seeds.

Rambler, old dump, Victor Harbor
Rambler, old dump, Victor Harbor

The Rambler picture in the old Victor Harbor dump was one of the last scoping photos that I’ve done. Rambler is slowly falling apart from neglect. Rambler was built by Peter Sharp at Cruickshanks Corner, Port Adelaide in 1875 and it was possibly Australia’s oldest racing yacht.

It used to on the slips at Searle’s Boatyard–in the historic boatyards in the Central Basin of the Port River–before Port Adelaide’s oldest surviving boatyard was closed down to make way for the residential waterfront redevelopment of Port Adelaide. The redevelopment at Newport Quays failed to regenerate Port Adelaide. The development of the expensive dog boxes on the waterfront was scrapped but not before it had successfully destroyed the fabric of the history of the port.

It is sad to see Rambler just being left in the ex-dump site to rot. It needed have been so, since it just wasn’t necessary to destroy the Port Adelaide’s oldest surviving boatyard for expensive dog boxes that never eventuated.
Continue reading “a slow decay”

on small walks

With few exceptions, my photography has been limited to the small walks I’ve been doing in and around Encounter Bay with Kayla and Ari in both the morning and evening. They are small walks because Kayla, who is still only 9-10 weeks old, cannot walk that far.

We hang about for a while on the beach on each walk so that Kayla can play in the sand and seaweed and rest. Ari stands guard and I learn to ‘be  in the moment’ and look for photographic subject matter.

tuna head
tuna head

Given the limited opportunities for photography I have to make do with what I can find whilst on the small walks. Continue reading “on small walks”

Adelaide's City South precinct

Australia is commonly seen as the one country that managed to avoid the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2007-8. But the effects of the GFC can be seen in Adelaide as you walk around the city and see the numerous holes in the ground in the CBD.

These are the traces of developments –urban renewal–that came crashing to a halt because the finance from the banks for development dried up post GFC. 6 years on and most of the CBD’s holes in the ground remain. Maybe the holes in the ground keep changing hands as they are bought and sold, plans are drawn up, approval is granted, but then fail to get off the ground because it is difficult to get the necessary finance.

VUE site
VUE site

Most of the development that is taking place is apartments with only the odd office building being constructed. In the above case in King William St in the City South precinct the proposed 28 storey development is called VUE on King William designed by Woods Bagot and developed by the Asian Pacific Group.

It is heralded as a new residential benchmark in Adelaide and it is designed to attract empty nesters planning to move into the city from the suburbs and young professionals. The finance will come if 70% of the building is sold pre-plan. So we will see what happens.


The heatwave conditions have passed, as has the high humidity that followed it for several days. It is now pleasant to walk the city streets of Adelaide and explore back alleyways:

Steve's Fat
Steve’s Fat

Some of the alleyways behind the Gouger St restaurant strip are really grungy.

a momentary respite

Today Adelaide had a one day respite from the heatwave. It was actually cool enough for Ari and I to be able to drift around the western part of the CBD in comfort. I was even able to do some photography in the form of making digital snaps.

Exercising, working, or even walking at a fast pace becomes difficult to sustain at temperatures above 35ᵒC. During the heat we just sought out the shade around Veale Gardens and we moved very slowly in the shade to avoid overheating and heat stress. Fortunately, the city had cooled down over night and it was no longer a heat island. So we were able to walk the city in the late afternoon for an hour and a half.


I was looking for photographic ideas to explore. In drifting around the Hindley Street part of the CBD and then city west I was wandering around in the seedy or scruffy side of Adelaide.

modern urban grunge

Ari and I wandered around the west part of Adelaide this evening. The north west wind and high temperatures had gone as the cool change had come through. The air was cool, it was overcast and the light was soft. There were lots of young people out and about: walking the streets, sitting on balconies and drinking at pavement tables outside the various pubs.

Adelaide actually felt alive–revitalized.

Franklin St development

My starting point, the idea that I had prior to the evening walk, was urban grunge in the form of the stalled development around the Precinct redevelopment of the former Balfours site on the corner Morphett and Franklin Streets in Adelaide. The high rise apartments –the Altitude–reminded me of an Eastern European housing commision site when it was being built.

I had the above in mind and I reckoned that Ari would find a way to get through the fence. He did.

coastal debris

On Tuesday I made a quick visit to Victor Harbor to install a new modem for Encounter Studio.

Ari and I managed to do an evening walk along the coastline west of Petrel Cove and east of Kings Beach; one that involved scrambling amongst the granite rocks on the foreshore and walking along a bit of a goat track on the cliff face that Ari had found. I was looking for a location at low tide to do some sea abstractions.

rusty gas bottle

I’d seen this rusty gas bottle a year or more earlier and I noticed that the rust had become more intense. I was going to walk by because the digital photo I took then was pretty ordinary and bland.

picking up the pieces

I’ve recovered enough from my illness to start photographing again using more than a small hand held digital camera. I feel that I’ve lost most of this year and I’ve a deep sense of being wasted. There was so much that could have been done (especially with large format) and wasn’t. The momentum has been lost. It’s like starting all over again.

This was a picture of roadside vegetation I took just before things disintegrated around me:

tree + rubbish, Victor Harbor

It’s the road to the old Victor Harbor rubbish dump and one that the poodles and I would walk along if it was too windy along the coast. I kinda liked the view towards the southern ocean through the fields as we walked down the road through farmland towards Rosetta Head.

urban texture + pathos

Just before the Xmas break I wandered the streets of the CBD with a medium format camera–the Rolleiflex 6006 and a wide angle lens. It was a dull and grey Sunday morning and I was looking for urban architectural texture with a slightly grungy feel.

French St, Adelaide CBD

I was searching for urban subject matter that would be suitable for a 5×7 shoot; one that referred back to the pictures of shop fronts in Rundle Street in Adelaide that were taken by the nineteenth century urban photographers. These early pictures (1860s-1870s) were known as carte de visite views due to their small size and they functioned like today’s business cards.

along the Moonee Ponds Creek

I went photographing yesterday afternoon with Stuart Murdoch. The rain and heavy cloud cover cleared whilst I was travelling on the Frankston train into the CBD, and the bright sunshine put paid to the 5×4 car park rooftops scenario I had planned.

So we decided to explore around North Melbourne and Sunshine. We initially explored the areas along Railway Canal or the Moonee Ponds Creek in North Melbourne that I’d started to explore on an earlier trip.

overpass, Bolte Bridge, Melbourne

Luckily for me Stuart knew the area quite well as he had photographed in and around there about a decade ago. There is a bike path under the City Link overpass that provides walking access to the area under the Bolt Bridge over pass. The area has everything—nature, concrete architecture, industry, rubbish–and it is fertile ground for an Australian topographics style of photography.