winter starts: walking and thinking

The rain had eased and we were now protected from the wind. Carrying a Rolleiflex SL66 film camera and an old aluminium Gitzo tripod I went searching for a pink gum that I’d seen on my earlier wanderings. My intention was to try to photograph it. Unfortunately, I only had a vague memory of where that particular tree was.

It took about 30 minutes of wandering around the different kangaroo trails to find the pink gum. Everything was damp. The light was flat. I had been hoping that the rain would bring out the intensity of the colours in the pink gum’s trunk. I was disappointed. It didn’t work out as I’d hoped on the digital camera. The film is yet to be processed.

pink gum

Not that Kayla minded my wanderings. There were lots of rabbit and kangaroo trails for her to check out, whilst I criss crossed my steps and walked around in circles trying to remember where I’d walked a few days earlier.

It was silent apart from the bird songs. There were no cars roaring down Waitpinga Rd chasing the waves at Waitpinga Beach that morning. No sounds of farm machinery starting up. No smell of smoke from piles of rubbish burning on agricultural land. Whilst wandering around I came across some odd, interesting shapes that looked photographically promising, even on a wet, grey morning:

grass tree

Walking. Alone with Kayla, in the openness of a bounded nature. The dampness. The cold. Learning to see what is there around me, rather than just walking quickly through it. What I see is not new, nor is it really interesting in itself. But I engage with the particular objects in the bush without consciously knowing why. It is a simple judgement. A vague sense that something is at stake here from being immersed in this quiet, local pocket of bush.

After returning to the car I realised that I had enjoyed the mornings walk despite weather, but I started to wonder about what I was engaged with? I often photograph the same objects in different lighting and weather conditions. Am I engaged with the weather and time in relation to particular objects? Is it possible to write about this? How do I start thinking about this topic in a world of a constant flux of isolated photographs on Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr?

What comes to the fore is the way that the photos on social media one liners in a world awash with photographs; and this is the way that we currently consume photographs on social media. These one liners in social media are akin to the old school one-a-day photoblogs, and their effect is to destroy a more complex or cohesive photography.

along Depledge Rd

How do we create a more complex photography online? Is the photobook with its  traditional beginning, order, and ending, a reaction to these one-liners? Is an exhibition in an online gallery another option? Are these viable modes of dissemination, which appears to be the central “logic” of photography today?

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