Drossscape in flux

Some time after 2005,  I photographed this caravan park that was being remodelled into something more modern.

As I work my way though my colour negative archive I’m rediscovering work. Long forgotten and seen now with fresh eyes, having  seemingly more impact.

I may have even photographed around the park before its remodelling.

It’s rare that I get so many “keepers” from one or two rolls of film, of course not having looked at the images for more than a decade might have something to do with it.

Here’s a digital image made near the caravan park before demolition had begun. Taken in 2005. Look closely at the background and you’ll see several vans still in place and part of the fence.

A open field in sunshine with a disused telegraph pole in the foreground. a dramaitic sky and an old abandoned caravan park n the background. Taken in October 2005
A drosscape in Sunshine, former caravan park seen in the background.

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Narrative ideas

Television and I have a long complicated relationship.

We were only able to afford black and white televisons as I grew up. By the time I had moved out I still couldn’t justify the cost of a new colour TV so bought second hand ones for many years. By the time I was in a ‘commited relationship’ we aquired a discarded colour TV. Eventually at some point after, we bought a small colour TV.

In the interim however, for many years I was either too busy or studying to really engage in any serious TV watching. Often it was the late night rock and roll video show called Rage on the ABC that garnered the most attention from me.

At some point while studying my undergraduate degree, I decide to record some programming then take into the Video editing suites to take stills from it. Late one night I stumbled upon a film starring Tom Waits, called Big Time as well. It was a TV adaption of a live performance based on the album of the same name. Those pictures have been in my archive relativley unseen. Now that I have a scanner I can share them with the world.

Here’s a screengrab of them loosely organised in Neofinder. At some point I will sequence them and either publish them as a Zine or just make a gallery online.

screengrab of the TV stills I made in the late 1990s using film a tripod and a video editing suite
screengrab of the TV stills I made in the late 1990s using film a tripod and a video editing suite

Now of course screens dominate my life. I often sit watching the things that interest me on free to air TV, while using at least 1 or 2 devices to do other things while the ads are on.

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New Group Show ‘Sheet’ at XYZ Photogallery

I currently have some work exhibited at XYZphotogallery.

The show entitled ‘Sheet’ is a collection of work by photographers who use sheet film to make images.

XYZPhotogallery is open Winter time (standard) Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Sunday 1:00-5:00pm  (last entry) and is at 312/757 Bourke St Docklands 3008 Vic [Entry on Batmans Hill Drive

Other exhibiting Artists include:-

  • Zo Damage
  • David Patterson
  • Hody Hong
  • Ali Choudhry
  • Andrew Green
  • Mark Darragh
  • Ellie Young
  • Lachan Fysh,
  • Kurt Baldonado
  • Avner Ben-Arieh
  • Kevin Xue
  • Shea Kirk,
  • Mat Hughes
  • Keria Hudson
  • Charles Li
  • Garrie Maguire

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My Analogue Darkroom*

The year was 2000.

My life was undergoing some big changes.

I had just begun my Masters Post Graduate Degree at RMIT.

I was soon to be married.

I had just bought a house with my ever patient partner. The house was a rare find, a large backyard, facing north, but more importantly a large garage, long enough to store 3 small cars. At last I was about to get my darkroom. It had only taken 8 years.

I had been fortunate however in those years between graduating from Uni, and settling down. I worked as a technician at a photography school and so had 24/7 access to all the processing and printing gear I needed. Like most people however I was scavenging and collecting any and all darkroom equipment I could afford as I waited to find the right space to set one up.

By the time we had bought our house, I had bought an Omega enlarger, and rescued 2.5 meter grey plastic sink,from the school I worked at. I switched out the condensers for a Zone IV cold light head, and saved up for a metronome for it as well. The enlarger came with 3 gorgeous Schneider Rodenstock lenses [50mm, 80mm, & 150mm], and a turret head allowing me to print from 35mm to 5×4. These days it’s either 6×6 or 5×4, but my archives are an endless source of contemplation. The best thing about my enlarger after the Zone VI metronome is the foot pedal used to operate it, keeping my hands free to burn and dodge.

The bench it rests upon is big enough to store other hardware such as my 5×4 camera and paper and notebooks as I work. When it came time to start building, I settled on an ‘L’ configuration, due to the sloping roof of the shed an the height of my enlarger for my 3 meter by 4 meter allocated space. I built the benches myself and rigged a temporary hose into the space, with roughed in plumbing ready for permanent connection when finances permitted.

The previous owners had left a plan press in the garage, so this was coaxed into use as a bench top, which housed a set of custom built shelves for negatives, contact sheets and work prints. I also had a custom built film drying cabinet in storage ready and waiting. Currently I have only cold water from an external tap running into the space, only a problem when printing in winter, bucketing hot water into the space in not an inconvenience at all. The sink is big enough to print 16 x 20, with a added on sink used as a place to put a wash tray. As my workflow usually involves long deliberation between work prints and finished prints these days, I only ever need room for 4 trays, Dev, Stop, Fix & rinse easily accommodated in my sink, these days I rarely print this large anyway.

I use pegs angled slightly on a specially built rack for storage of jugs beakers and other chemical ephemera above the sink. I have a separate shelf for my dry chemicals, and storage under the sink and benches for any other things that need to be kept out of the way. Another of the useful tools I use in this space are, some triple beam balance scales for making custom developers. I like to air dry my prints so I have hung a nylon rope across the ceiling for this purpose.

*Originally posted to Tumblr 7 years ago, now with fresh pictures.

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