Sedan landscape

This picture was made whilst I was on a phototrip for the Mallee Routes project.  I stayed at Tanunda with the people walking  the Lavender Trail and travelled into the Murray Mallee each day. This road trip  was a little break from working on the aesthetic essay for the  Adelaide Art Photographers 1970-2000  book for Moon Arrow Press. 

I spent a lot of time driving across  to the Murray mallee on the eastern side of theRiver Murray, as well as  between Cambria and Sedan. I was trying to trace the old railway line from Sedan to Cambria. This is the railway siding at Sedan:  

 I read somewhere on my iPhone on the trip that camera sales  keep on shrinking or that the industry is in  transition, even though people are increasingly relying on imaging for stories in their  daily life.   The smartphone  with its touch screen has disrupted and transformed the entire photographic industry.  The iPhone vs Google Pixel vs Samsung is a  marketing battle,  much of which  centres on the camera, in-camera processing  and  computational photography. One consequence of this  disruption is   that entry-level APS-C style cameras (point and shoot) are  on their  way out.  That shifts the emphasis  to  the higher end or top shelf  full frame market. 

White Island, New Zealand

I visited Whakaari/White Island  in the Bay of Plenty,  prior to attending Photobook/NZ  in Wellington in 2018. 

Suzanne and I were on a weeks holiday in the North Island,  which included exploring the GeoThermal Highway.  White Island was where we started the exploration. After the holiday  Suzanne then went on to  walk the Grand Traverse  in the South Island,  whilst I stayed in an Air BnB in  the Te Aro Valley  in  Wellington. I spend the  week walking  and photographing around the city for the Reconnections project.    

I could only go to White Island in a party  organised by the local  tourist operators at Whakatane.  I was lucky to make  it to island,   due to a cyclone that had swept across this part of the island a couple of weeks earlier.  It   flooded  the Whakatane River,  littered the mouth of the river  with  the trunks and branches  of trees upstream,  and made the swells around the island too dangerous  for the boats to  land. 

near Wenthworth

This was made whilst I was on a Mallee Routes phototrip in  the Lower Darling region of NSW in 2019. The text on the Wentworth road sign  says,  "How many times have you been cooked out this month"? 

The picture references the traditional Leica aesthetic: quick glimpses of lived life taken with a small, discrete camera.  That 35mm aesthetic of the non-metered all mechanical M  is about simplicity and ease of use with its emphasis on functionality, ergonomics and  the feel in the hand.  This aesthetic was  at a time --the early 1970s--when rangefinder technology was seen by both professional and amateur as an antiquated throw-back with numerous disadvantages. Photographers  had started  to shift to  the Nikon SLR F system with  its excellent but affordable optics. 

I was driving back to the camp at Wentworth after I'd been  photographing the dry river bed of  the Great Darling Anabranch. There was no water in the river.  There is a long term drought in this region,  and most of the water in the river had been extracted by the upstream cotton irrigators. There is little water for the  towns  and properties along the Anabranch and the Lower Darling rivers.