Andamooka grave

From the archives.  

A miner's grave at Andamooka in South Australia made with a Leica M4-P,  a 50mm  f.2 Summicron lens and Kodak 400ASA film:

 I only came across this image when I was going through my film archives. I discovered a roll of film I'd exposed whilst I was  visiting  Andamooka circa 2004-5   My film work at the time--35mm and medium format--- was usually developed and scanned by a pro-lab, but for some reason this roll hadn't been scanned.  This was  several years prior to  buying my first  digital camera.

Tullah, Tasmania

The picture below   is an  archival image from the time when I'd just  picked up  film photography again after a 20 year break.  The image was made whilst Suzanne and I were travelling in Tasmania on a holiday  with our standards poodles (Agtet and Ari) in the 1st decade of the 21st century---it was  in late 2006 judging from these  posts on my old Junk for Code blog. 

This was our first trip to Tasmania,  and we were travelling down on the west coast of Tasmania at the time.  There'd been a fire in the hills in the hills around  Tullah,  Lake Rosebery and the MacIntosh Dam.  So I took some photos.  I was rusty judging from the fact that most of the  black and white negatives  from this trip were badly underexposed. 

The camera I was using then was  my old  Leica M4 with an old  Summicron 50mm lens and Tri-X film. The picture  was made  before I'd shifted to using colour film and  Mac computers.  The film was developed  and scanned by a pro lab and it was scanned as a jpeg--a low res scan.   

I didn't know what a  low res scan meant then. I knew nothing about the shift to digital that had been taking place in photography since the 1990s.  I 'd just picked up from where I'd left  photography  20 years earlier- I  was more or less naively starting over again  but without a wet darkroom.  

summer light

This picture of roadside vegetation  was made whilst  I was walking along  a back country road in Waitpinga, on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. It was in the late  summer in 2016 and  I was on an early morning   poodlewalk  with the standard poodles. 

I was forcing myself to take photos of trees and the agricultural landscape around me so as  to keep my  photographic eye hand in. This was the area/locality  in which I now live,  so how can I photograph it? I recall that I didn't have the confidence to  set things up to  do tripod based photography. 

Though film has quickly gone  poof (poor Kodak) as the medium of choice   for photographers,  I am part of that 'bridge generation' between film and digital. Digital, including rangefinder digital,   is simply easier, faster and immediate since the camera  is really a portable computer (with a sets of options,) and a sensor and  lens.   My technique is far slower and more measured with film.  

My doubts  about 35mm film photography are beginning to ease.  I can see that there is still some life in 35mm film photography,  in that  it has a different quality to the digital version.  But it is only for some subject matter, as I'm beginning to discover.  Unfortunately, I cannot predict which one.  

That  filmic quality is hard to pinpoint,  but it  has something along the lines of  providing a more emotional response to what is photographed, as distinct from a technically perfect image that can be quite bland.   Digital images are  unfilm like and so perfect that camera software manufacturers are now adding  adding "grain" enhancement plugins. 

walking Wellington

This is one of the pictures I made of the Clifton Car Park when I was in  Wellington, New Zealand  late last year after Suzanne and I had  walked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.  We  spend the day after we returned to Wellington, and before we flew back to Adelaide,  checking out  some of my old haunts (Island Bay) when I  had lived (Evans Bay)  and worked in the city as an economist.   

I  enjoy walking Wellington. On this occasion I was walking in the  early in the morning before breakfast.  I'd seen the Clifton Car Park late the previous  afternoon and  I'd walked around it. I found it  a fascinating place to explore with a camera.

Murraylands: a snapshot

I was on my way to Canberra. It was early in the morning and I was  driving through the Murraylands  heading towards  Wellington  to catch the ferry  across the River Murray. The days journey was  to go to Talem Bend, travel  the Mallee Highway, and have an overnight stop at Hay in NSW. I was  hoping to take some photos of the exposed roots of the redgums along the Murrumbidgee for the Edgelands project. 

I was travelling alongside  Lake Alexandrina and it was the light and the colours that caught my eye.  So I  made a cliched 'on the road' photo with my decades old one lens/one camera. It is photography with a rangefinder camera. A spontaneous snapshot with its  trace of the real.  

Whilst making the photo I realised that the Leica rangefinder film camera is basically a relic  in a world of automation and algorithms; in a world where photography is now produced through a mathematical set of rules that work autonomously, without human interference and which are self-correcting. You press the button and the program takes over to produce a data set cheaply and easily.  Perfection.