tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:/posts Leica Chronicles, Snaps + Cliches 2017-10-24T05:25:20Z Gary Sauer-Thompson tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1200464 2017-10-24T04:13:51Z 2017-10-24T05:25:20Z Appearances

This is a photo of a section of a tin wall in  Myers Lane in Adelaide's CBD. 

This wall was just opposite where I used to live in the city, which  was in the process of change during the shift from  an industrial to a postindustrial or information capitalism. Our  image culture changes into a digital culture with this shift.  This  was a time of rapid technological change, due to the emergence of digital technologies, such as the computer,  the mobile phone,  the internet as a information superhighway,  computer generated imagery,  video surveillance in the shopping mall and the high tech Desert Storm of the Gulf War.       

This is a photography of appearances, of the look of things, the ephemeral, the particular. It is an older way of seeing  that is being dislodged by the post-photographic tendency in a digital culture  to  devalue and deny the representation of appearances and sight in favour of the emancipation of the image from its empirical moorings. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1197477 2017-10-11T02:30:12Z 2017-10-11T23:01:32Z Introduction : the post-photographic age?

This is the introduction to the book.

The impact of digital technology on photography  was initially seen in the 1990s as a threat to, and a  undermining of,  the practical tradition of visual representation of the photographic. This was usually expressed in terms of the death of photography, the loss of the real, and the emergence of the post-photographic age.

This kind of understanding  signified both a sense of the displacement of photographic practice by the use of digital technology and a sense of epochal change in our visual culture. Digital imagery meant  new ways of seeing based on a freedom from the  inherent constraints of automatism and realism that tied the analogue photographer to being a mere recorder of reality--a mirror held up to the world. The duality between the photography and  the digital image  is stark and it is understood in terms of technological means of production. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1195566 2017-10-03T05:40:13Z 2017-10-03T05:40:14Z chance

There is a view that film photography after digitalisation provides a way to create poetry because the convenience of digitalization  also tidies things up, correcting mistakes and eliminating chance.  If this analogue media of contemporary art  involves a backward glance to what has been, as we become ever more immersed in digital media, it also keeps photography  open to chance.  

You don't know what you are going to get with film, even when the photo has been carefully scoped and theme of the shoot  carefully selected.  

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1189908 2017-09-09T08:16:05Z 2017-09-09T08:16:06Z Mallee landscape

A Mallee landscape near Mantung, in South Australia.

 This was made whilst on a photo camp in Loxton in 2017]]>
Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1188231 2017-09-02T03:25:32Z 2017-09-02T03:28:36Z seaweed + quartz still life

Another attempt at a still life in one of the  open air studios:

This studio was located  just west of Depps Beach, which borders Victor Harbor and Waitpinga.  

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1188021 2017-09-01T09:36:25Z 2017-09-01T09:39:15Z towards abstraction

A reworking of an earlier post so that it becomes more of an abstraction.  

I am surprised that I didn't see this when I made the photograph whilst walking around Hobart, Tasmania.    I was making a lot of  photographic abstractions around 2012.

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1168746 2017-06-29T08:33:17Z 2017-09-01T00:18:41Z bark

Made on a poodlewalk along the Heysen Trail in Waitpinga, South Australia,   in 2016 

I went back in the autumn of 2017 to rephotograph with bigger cameras,  but the bark had fallen to the ground from the winter storms.

   

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1163046 2017-06-12T08:29:43Z 2017-06-12T08:57:11Z Tunbridge, Tasmania

The talk circa 2011 is that with the  analogue-to-digital shift to the last decade, film has died and digital photography opens up new horizons. The symbolic events are the end of Kodachrome in 2010 and the  blowing up of the Kodak  film plants in both Rochester and Chalon-sur-Saône. 

Whilst film aficionados lament a disappearing past, digital devotees are looking forward to endless expansion based on recycle, clip and cut, remix and upload.The argument is that it  took the death of film to fully liberate the medium from the paradigms of painting.

This image was made with an old Leica film camera whilst I was staying in Tunbridge in the Tasmania Midlands in 2017.  

I had just come back from spending several days  photographing in Queenstown whilst Suzanne and her friend were walking in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park.  We were staying at Tunbridge for a couple of days before we wen exploring the Tasman Peninsula. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1159567 2017-06-01T11:55:19Z 2017-06-01T11:55:45Z Hobart, Tasmania

Made whilst I was wandering around Hobart in 2012

There are some more snaps on  the Tasmanian Elegies Tumblr blog. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1157822 2017-05-27T02:29:02Z 2017-05-27T03:58:27Z seaweed still life

This snap of a found still life was made along the coast between Petrel Cove and Kings Beach in Waitpinga whilst I was on an early morning poodlewalk:

 I have been looking at an exhibition  of the early 35mm work  made by Joel Meyerowitz between 1963 and 1978. The exhibition is entitled "Joel Meyerowitz: Towards Colour 1962-1978",  and it is at   Beetles and Huxley, a photographic gallery  in London. These Leica snapshots  are   from Meyerowitz's very early days shooting in black and white on the streets of New York  to the year he published his first book, "Cape Light", the pictures of which were made with a large format camera. 

Meyerowitz worked in advertising for four months of the year to support his family and devoted the rest of his time to photography.  A number of the pictures in Mexico and Florida   were made with  a Guggenheim Scholarship to take pictures on the theme of 'leisure time'.

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1143771 2017-04-04T00:31:37Z 2017-04-14T00:23:25Z King William Street, Adelaide

 King William Street, Adelaide, South Australia. 

This picture  is from 2011.  It was made  for the Adelaide book project that I was starting to work on.   

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1141542 2017-03-26T00:18:28Z 2017-03-26T06:47:12Z beyond the Red Centre

In the nineteenth century the colonial narrative represented Central Australia  negatively--it was a  dangerous and hostile environment. It was the Australian Outback, and  this was represented as  being without economic potential a dead heart,  arid and waterless,  as a space of the 'other', 

In the  late 20th Australia represents Central Australia  is seen positively. It becomes  the Red Centre, a major desert tourist destination in the Northern Territory.  The Red Centre in the tourist marketing brochures is the welcoming heart, the place of cultural significance, the site of the 'real' Australia, a site of unchanging beauty.

The tourist conception  of the Red Centre primarily refers to  Uluru, Kata Tjuta,   Simpsons Gap, Glen Helen Gorge,  Kings Canyon etc and the promotional images are those of a decorative pictoralism.  The Tanami  desert, which lies beyond the region of Australian  Tourism's  Red Centre, remains a space of the 'other': an empty land  without a trace of culture.    

The Tanami, as this snap of the landscape at Hooker Creek  indicates,   is not an empty land.  It is the space marked by the foundation of settler society and the dispossession of indigeous peoples, the intersection of  indigenous and settler cultures,  and the site of indigenous painting of country as a contemporary art form. There is a form of forgetting or disremembering by settler Australians associated with how they understood the history of their nation. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1131785 2017-02-16T11:13:22Z 2017-02-18T01:53:05Z The snapshot tradition

The pictures made with the film Leica are snapshots and, and as such, they belong to the tradition of the snapshot image culture. Traditionally, snapshot photography is  one in which the images  are almost always produced for and circulated within,  the private realm, and its meaning and significance are  imbedded in individual and rarely rational affective responses. 

The snapshot  tradition has been interpreted as a form of vernacular photography,  and  this culture  is usually interpreted as  pictures made by everyday  folk about their everyday life;  or more specifically,   "the unself-conscious efforts of common people . . . to create satisfying patterns in the realities of everyday life. 

This results in a gap between the unruly vernacular culture and the modernist,  hermeticizing discourse  of the art institution, with its emphasis on autonomy, authorship, uniqueness and universality.   

 This vernacular culture insists on lived experience, or a rhetoric of authenticity, works within specific social and cultural conventions, and emphasises personal narrative. For most of us, snapshots mean something because they preserve a memory, capture a moment, or depict a friend, family member or loved one. -These are the  same themes that Kodak promoted for decades. From a personal point of view the significance of snapshot aesthetics often revolves around what we see and feel when viewing snapshots, rather than what they mean to art historians, curators, and collectors.  

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1081826 2016-08-17T05:25:25Z 2016-08-17T05:45:07Z playground, Andamooka

A picture of the past. A  picture of life in a frontier mining world of Andamooka. 

It's not much of a backyard or  playground is it, at the foot of the  opal mine tailings.  My memory of Andamooka is that the dust  from the mine tailings was everywhere, layered over everything. It was hot and the atmosphere was arid.  

What this photo from the archives does is bring the past--that has been---into the present.    In offering  an image of the past it opens  up history, allowing us to see the past---what  once was; allowing us an insight into the lives that were lived in a frontier mining town; allowing us to imagine a life lived among the dust from  the mine tailings next to the traditional tin houses of old.    

It's a  remnant of the town's past --a different remnant  to  the raditional dugout style houses of old that was  pictured in the previous post. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1080835 2016-08-13T01:28:07Z 2016-08-13T08:17:33Z miners hut, Andamooka

This picture of  an  opal miners hut  at Andamooka in South Australia, which  is from  my film archives ---  an example of  ordinariness or a deadpan aesthetic that was made whilst  travelling on the margins of modernity.

Like the previous images  the picture was  made with a Leica M4-P, with a 50mm  f.2 Summicron lens and Kodak 400ASA film.   As previously mentioned in an earlier post  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. I had no knowledge of digital cameras. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1080394 2016-08-11T09:03:03Z 2016-08-13T01:24:44Z B.Construction, Andamooka

From the  film archives.  

This  is another  image that I came across when I was going through my film archives. A public sculpture at Andamooka in South Australia. The picture was  made with a Leica M4-P,  a 50mm  f.2 Summicron lens and Kodak 400ASA film:

 As I mentioned in an earlier post 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.

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1079328 2016-08-07T06:49:01Z 2016-08-07T10:55:29Z 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.

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1077445 2016-07-30T11:41:02Z 2016-07-31T11:46:29Z 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.  

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1073368 2016-07-17T01:16:11Z 2016-07-17T09:40:54Z 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. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1072660 2016-07-14T09:13:46Z 2016-07-17T02:04:28Z seafog

A rarely experienced moment during the summer months on the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula near Waitpinga- dense sea fog:

It  happened  for a couple of days. It would roll in across the landscape  in  the late afternoon.  Then it disappeared. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1064854 2016-06-19T11:33:46Z 2016-07-17T02:05:11Z Wellington wharf precinct

An abstract image from when Suzanne and myself  were  in Wellington in 2015 before we   walked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing:

It is from the wharf precinct  in Wellington.  Suzanne and I spent a lovely Friday evening on the wharf. It was a warm,  balmy evening and everyone was out and about enjoying themselves.   Such evenings are few and far between in Wellington. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/983664 2016-02-02T05:57:26Z 2016-02-02T22:56:35Z 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.

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/981415 2016-01-29T23:37:00Z 2017-04-14T00:25:16Z container abstract

Myers Lane, Adelaide CBD 

This container was just around the corner from where I I lived in Sturt St in the CBD. It was part of the redevelopment (apartments) of an old industrial site. The redevelopment and urban renewal  never got off the ground due to the global financial crisis.    

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/979190 2016-01-26T23:46:53Z 2016-01-26T23:53:55Z near Kingscote

This scene is near Kingscote on Kangaroo Island in South Australia. I was on a poodlewalk on a roadway that ran along the edge of the coast.  This part  of the coast was basically a rubbish dump. 

We were staying  at American River  on Kangaroo Island on a holiday. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/977590 2016-01-25T00:10:54Z 2016-01-26T23:37:20Z 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.

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/975692 2016-01-21T22:47:11Z 2016-01-21T22:57:08Z Grenfell St, Adelaide

This image was made whilst I was on a photoshoot early one Sunday morning in 2015. I was still living in Sturt St in the city then, so I could easily walk to and around the CBD.  

 My urban photography----here, here and here--- has come to a standstill now that I am living on the southern coast in the Fleurieu Peninsula.  


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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/960400 2015-12-30T22:19:25Z 2016-01-22T23:41:53Z photographic poetics at the Cotter River

This picture was made whilst I was on a photo trip to the Cotter River when I was in Canberra in mid-2015 whilst on a photoshoot with Judith Crispin:

It was here that I became away that it is  not about the accuracy of  representation  of the optical designs (the way that Leica choose to stay ahead of the competition and carve out a profile of excellence for their image).   Its a move away from   the metaphor of the lens is something we see with (a focusing or fiteringinstrrument), rather than something we look at to being  about the poetics of the situation in the here and now of  making a photo. 

That situation is a junction of acting forces and is in flux, is dynamic, and full of energy.  The poetics is a representation of the intensity and immediacy of our experience of that local moment in the context of the history of  that habitat. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/959761 2015-12-29T22:40:09Z 2015-12-29T23:50:53Z The Hay Plains

The Hay Plain in NSW is a space that people drive through on their way from Adelaide to Canberra or Sydney. It is treeless with scrubby saltbush, and it is commonly seen by those viewing it through their car windows  as a  flat,  barren, featureless  and bleak space--especially during the day in mid-summer.   I find this space fascinating as it is very atmospheric with the  changing light, clouds and rain.

 Hay is an overnight stop for me on the Adelaide and Canberra trip and I usually stop and take photos. This picture was made on a 2015 trip  to Canberra as I was driving into Hay on the Sturt Highway:   

The light was starting to fade and I only had the time to  quickly make  a couple  of photographs.  I stopped the car and wandered around whilst  the road trains roared past.  I noticed the bits of cotton moving over the  road and along the ground from the  wind and the road trains. I laid down on my stomach on the side of the road and made some snaps before the light went.  

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/929880 2015-11-08T06:29:38Z 2015-12-29T22:43:31Z at Adelaide airport

I'd flown into Adelaide from spending several days in Wellington,  New Zealand,  on a photo trip and I was waiting  for Suzanne to pick me  up. She had driven up from Victor Harbor to pick me up, but was running late as she  was battling the afternoon commuter traffic that was going to the southern parts of  the city and beyond to the coast.  

So I filled in the time by making some photos around the  airport.  The light was good. 

I was carrying  several different cameras with me from the trip, so I quickly played around with each of them as the  late autumn light was fading.  This is the Leica version. 

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Gary Sauer-Thompson
tag:leica.posthaven.com,2013:Post/923783 2015-10-29T11:05:37Z 2015-10-30T02:34:27Z Kywong

This picture was made whilst I was travelling along  the Sturt Highway  from Adelaide to Canberra  for a photo shoot along the Cotter River:

I'd stopped to take some photos of a silo just past Wagga Wagga in NSW with  the 5x7 Cambo monorail. I then wandered around the site and I saw this history of times past  in rural Australia. 

The silos for the storage of grain  prior to rail transport to markets  closed down at the start of the 21st century.  The Kywong  branch line   of the Main Southern Railway line in NSW, which services Wagga Wagga,  closed down in 1975. The closure of the branch lines --eg., the Tocumwal branch line which closed around 1988-- is an indication of the emptying out of rural Australia. 

It's a sad history of broken dreams and landscape and place in the form of place attachment that is concerned with the symbolic meaning in early settler Australia.  Place attachment is the “emotional bonds that form between people and their physical surroundings. These are powerful aspects of human life that inform a  sense of identity, create meaning in the  lives of human beings,  facilitate community and influence action.  

Photography has the  ability to aid and create place attachments. Photography  is also  valuable for  interpreting the erosion of Aboriginal culture form the Australian landscape. The  19th century image-makers document the land as the British  immigrants settled it, thereby   helping create meaning for the settlers and establishes the land as virgin by not effectively including Aboriginals in their narratives.

Photography helped represent  the land as empty and by extension created a culture of ownership, plenitude and expanse   for white settlement and so covered up the destruction of Aboriginal place attachments for the place creation and subsequent attachment of thew white British  settlers.  

 


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Gary Sauer-Thompson