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Four seasons in one day

Well at least three seasons; started bitterly cold and gusty at 5am, then reached 27C, before a storm arrived late afternoon.

A couple of postcard images first:

This is at dawn looking east.

This is 3 images combined; a long exposure to smooth out the water, another for the sky and another for the foreground and rocks.

Looking west 5 minutes later.

And I think this one captures the scale of the cliffs as they recede in the distance, note the seagulls.

I was at the Bay of Islands when the storm arrived. Dramatic sky but I couldn’t get close enough to the cliff edge to put water in the foreground (damn those safety rails and my conscience) so the shot is a bit unbalanced towards the sky.

Bay of Islands, Voctoria

Wear thongs tomorrow…

…. because my shoes are full of the Southern Ocean.

Arrived at Port Campbell and the 12 Apostles this afternoon and I have 3 days to do something different from every other photographer that has been here before me. Not that I have googled it but I can imagine the many postcard images and some artistic ones as well I’m sure.

Perfect conditions on arrival – clear sky, light breeze – but then it is supposed to rain for the next few days. Should get something moody shots out of that. Anyway, here are this evening’s selects.

Fascinated by the light on the top of this cliff. Looking up at the cliffs and a wave caught my shoes from behind.
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And the reflection of the sun as it dipped toward the horizon.
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And then I walked further along the beach and there was a second ‘stack’ behind the other one!
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Yes, it’s Redhead rocks all over.

BIFB (Ballarat International Foto Bienale)

After nearly 2 days at BIFB I have seen the work of maybe 40 photographers; some well known, many emerging, and most interesting. Compared to what I saw at Arles in France, I think the images seem more grounded; that is, I found a lot of the work at Arles to be so out there that I didn’t have a clue what it was on about. Certainly there are some like that here, but the lack of understanding is probably my inadequacy in Ballarat.

Most of the work was on display in 10 or so public buildings around Ballarat and the rest in cafes or shops.  Very difficult on a saturday morning to look at photos on the wall of a busy cafe when you are looking over people having their coffee!

Artists that I found especially interesting were:

  • Osama James Nakagawa with his study of the sea cliffs (Banta) of Okinawa, he describes as “between fear and beauty”. Many of his 2m high, narrow images remind me of the views looking out to sea from Redhead bluff: swirling waves and rocks leading out to the horizon. I felt giddy looking at them!
  • Christian Pearson “Conversations with the Land”. Evocative landscape images composed of around 100 smaller images of the same subject in different lighting, or about 20 vertical strips of alternating similar images.  Hard to describe, but very effective and may be useful in my current project.
  • Alfred Gregory – known for his documentary photography but much of his personal work he describes as “finding things when I haven’t been looking for them”, a good definition for the wandering photographic style.
  • Laurence Winder “Continuum” – fine art french travel photography! If only I had seen his work BEFORE the French holiday.
  • Bill Heath. Creates art entirely in his computer based on the mathematics of fractals. We had a discussion as to whether it was photography.
  • Margaret Squires “Interior topographies”. An amazing image from on an insulation batt  and some subtle lighting. Add this to my to try list.
  • Brian Duffy – the 60s British fashion and advertising photographer who burnt all his negatives at the height of his career and gave it all away.  Quote: “Never listen to what an artist tells you, it is absolute drivel.  Their work is their statement”.  I’d always thought this when reading those little placards that tell you what an obscure photo is supposed to be about.
  • Michael Carly “Air”. atmospheric long exposures including the earth shadow!
  • Colin Page “Gossamer”. A series of large B/W portraits where he has used light and pose to create images that are like statues of greek gods and goddesses.
Looking back, I obviously could had gained more from the exhibition by analysing the images more closely; applying Des Crawley’s Visual Expressive Language list to understand better how the artist has communicated their ideas.
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