This picture was made whilst I was walking with the three standard poodles around the lagoon of the Hindmarsh River at Encounter Bay, Victor Harbor, late in the afternoon:
I was scoping as usual— looking for photographic subjects whilst on the poodlewalks.
Basically I am teaching myself how to photograph the bush and, to a lesser extent, the foreshore along the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula. The latter work is mostly abstractions of the rocks on the coastline.
I returned to an old country road that I used to walk along in winter yesterday evening with Maleko and Ari. I was tempted because the late afternoon light was soft due to the cloud cover, and I hoped that the various grass seeds along the roadside vegetation the side of the road would be manageable with Maleko racing around. I was wondering how much of the roadside vegetation had changed during the spring.
We normally walk on the beach this time of the year because of the grass seeds. The previous night’s walk along Hall Creek Rd–to see if things would be okay— was a disaster grass seed wise.
The land is drying, the temperatures are warmer than usual (starting to be in the early 30s) and the dust is forming on the roadside vegetation. Southern Australia looks to be in the grip of an El Niño that has been established in the Pacific for the last six months and it is not expected that El Nino will break down until after the start of 2016. That means below-average rainfall across eastern Australia in winter and spring, and also warmer-than-normal daytime temperatures over the southern half of the country.
Suzanne is currently away walking in the Mt Remarkable National Park around the Alligator Gorge area. It’s a short walking holiday based at Alligator Lodge with some friends from the Larapinta walk that they did earlier in 2015. She will explore the Mt Remarkable area again next year when walking section 43 of the Heysen Trail. Hopefully, Suzanne will scout for some good photographic sites.
I’m at Encounter Bay minding the 3 standard poodles and looking for areas to walk in the morning and evening, which are away from people and grass seeds. In the morning that requires me to be walking on the beach at Encounter Bay before everyone else comes out, take a quick photo of objects near the sand dunes, then move on. We are generally back home by 7am.
iron + wood, Hayborough
In the evening the best option is to walk to Kings Beach in Waitpinga, then hang out around Kings Head because nobody goes there other than the odd surfer when the waves are rolling right. People prefer the beach to the rocky outcrops and so they miss the dolphins cruising by around the headland. The Heysen Trail walkers go over the top of Kings Head on their way to the Newland cliffs.
Whilst Suzanne has been away walking the Heysen Trail around the Kapunda and Burra area in South Australia this week, I’ve been minding the standard poodle, processing and uploading some of the images from my road trips early this year, and planning the Mallee Highway silo project for next winter. I’m very limited in where I can go walking at the moment because I have to stay in, and around, areas that are from the dam grass seeds. They are everywhere.
I have been limited to walking along the coastline at such places as Kings Beach and Kings Head where there are few people. Or walking along the country roads that are part of the Heysen Trail and that don’t have that many grass seeds amongst the roadside vegetation.
rockface, Kings Head
I cannot do much photography when I am walking with three dogs. I have to keep an eye on the dogs rather than use the poodle walks to look for photographic opportunities:
Suzanne took us to a section of the Heysen Trail that she’d walked through. The poodles were left in the car as the section of the Heysen Trail that we walked along was Yulte Conservation Park and no dogs are allowed. Suzanne had found this section of of the Heysen Trail attractive compared to the open paddocks of the farming country.
Yulte Conservation Park traverses steep undulating hills south of the town of Myponga, offers panoramic views of the surrounding Myponga Valley and the Sellicks Hill Range country from the higher sections of the walk, and is alive with wildflowers and running creeks in spring.The land was drying out when we visited a few months latter. The creeks were barely running, the wild flowers had pretty much gone, and the scrubby landscape offered little in the way for photography.
The picture of this pile of bricks, for instance, was made outside Yulte Conservation Park. It was household rubbish lying next to the path into the park.
a pile of bricks
I was a bit disappointed. I had been looking for an area that I could explore photographically over a period of time. Yulte Conservation Park was not it, unfortunately. I also realised that I could not join Suzanne’s Heysen Trail walking group: they are about walking a section of the track, not stopping to take photos or waiting for the right light.
My time recently has been spent working on the website’s various galleries Two of the earlier portfolios are now pretty much in place—Bowden and Port Adelaide. They look pretty good. The next step is to reconfigure the rest of the portfolios in this carousel style.
The daily poodle walks in both the morning and evening have been just quicker walks with little time being spent on scoping photography. The grasses are rapidly drying out on the coast and they represent a real problem as they hook onto the standard poodle’s coats, and then quickly work their way into the skin. So I am avoiding areas where there are lots of grass seeds.
Rambler, old dump, Victor Harbor
The Rambler picture in the old Victor Harbor dump was one of the last scoping photos that I’ve done. Rambler is slowly falling apart from neglect. Rambler was built by Peter Sharp at Cruickshanks Corner, Port Adelaide in 1875 and it was possibly Australia’s oldest racing yacht.
It used to on the slips at Searle’s Boatyard–in the historic boatyards in the Central Basin of the Port River–before Port Adelaide’s oldest surviving boatyard was closed down to make way for the residential waterfront redevelopment of Port Adelaide. The redevelopment at Newport Quays failed to regenerate Port Adelaide. The development of the expensive dog boxes on the waterfront was scrapped but not before it had successfully destroyed the fabric of the history of the port.
It is sad to see Rambler just being left in the ex-dump site to rot. It needed have been so, since it just wasn’t necessary to destroy the Port Adelaide’s oldest surviving boatyard for expensive dog boxes that never eventuated.
Suzanne and I are currently in the process deciding whether we will stay in Victor Harbor or move back into the south-east corner of the city of Adelaide. The latter is the more capital expensive option (an architecturally designed extension to a cottage) whilst living on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula coast at Victor Harbor means that we are much more isolated. We are currently swinging between staying and going at the moment. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options.
One disadvantage for me in living at Victor Harbor is the limited opportunities that it offers for urban photography–ie., the flâneur, the casual wanderer, observer and reporter of street-life in the modern city. This kind of work now requires either day trips to Adelaide, major trips to Melbourne or road trips. Consequently, my daily photographs made on the morning and afternoon poodlewalks are nature orientated. I do feel constrained by this.
seaweed still life
Hence the idea of quickly constructing the image as a still life whilst on the walks, since it is not really possible to bring the seaweed and rocks back to the studio to photograph.