Post Covid Exploring?

The View East from the new bridge in Laverton over Dohertys' Road
The View East from the new Cycling bridge on the Federation Trail in Laverton over Dohertys’ Road

This view did not exist in 2019. I can’t remember the last time I drove along Dohertys road.

I am standing on a bridge built for cyclists that forms part of the federation trail. I’m not quite certain when it was completed. Google maps most recent picture of this part of Dohertys road is from 2019. The new bridge forms part of the larger infrastructure works going on around the Westgate. The works are affecting the peripheral and arterial roads that run off it. This trail will allow cyclists to ride from Werribee to the city. It crosses Dohertys’ road a dual carriageway arterial road.

As I had not had a chance to really explore this part of Melbourne since we had spent so much time in lockdown last year. I decided to investigate several areas nearby that I know would have altered radically.

Dohertys road used to be a single lane arterial road. Given the real estate in this part of Laverton there would have been many many large trucks using this road. It is now a dual lane road which no doubt means the numbers will increase. Melbourne’s cyclists can now cross this road safely using this bridge.

The weather on the day I was there proved to be almost perfect for photography. Unusual for Melbourne in January. I suspect this will be a regular location now.

This approach to finding locations underpins my work. Not being able to wander and just follow my nose while we were in lockdown was stifling to say the least. At least it means there will be plenty more surprises waiting for me; all within a 10 minute drive from my house.

Summer Preoccupations

This interactive piece on the New York Times website is a marvellous example of how the web can be harnessed for educational good.

Click on the image below; to view.
The woodblock print referred to by the New York Times is by Katsushika Hokusai’s: “Ejiri in Suruga Province.” It is the 10th image in his renowned cycle “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji.” It examines the print in detail and draws some conclusions about its impact on Western Art, even referring back to Jeff Wall’s iteration.

Raw Files & the iPhone

A raft of new features were added in the recent iOs 14.3 update.

Two stand out for me.

Firstly the new Apple Raw file format. Since about 2017 or 2018 I used a 3rd party app that captured DNG files as I went. Called ProCamera. Now Apple natively supports DNG in camera.

Tap Settings.

Tap Camera.

Scroll down to formats.

Toggle Apple ProRaw on


The second is a setting about app tracking and privacy. You need to activate this setting to enable sites like Facebook to track your movements online. It is off by default. Personally I would leave it that way. More on the  Mac Rumours website
Tap settings

Tap Privacy

Scroll and tap Tracking.

Make sure the toggle is grey. No sites or apps can track your movements.

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Search, Browsers and Google?

It’s a common misconception that you can only use Google to search online. There are other options and turning off Google should  be one fo the first things you do when you open a browser like Safari, Firefox or Opera. I use duckduckgo for all my searching online.

Changing this in your browsers settings is simple, and is similar for most operating systems.

With the DOJ in America bring an anti-trust suit against Google now is the time to help break Google’s monopoly over search, and claim back the internet.

Here are some screengrabs from my desktop machine in the 3 main browsers I use.

Safari preferences to change search engine
Safari preferences to change search engine
Firefox preferences to change search engine
Firefox preferences to change search engine
Chrome preferences to change search engine
Chrome preferences to change search engine

Needless to say I rarely use Chrome, in fact it took some digging to find where to make the above changes.

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AI & Photography?


The most recent version of photoshop was released on the 20th of October, for both the iPad and the Desktop. Adobe’s promotional material on their blog is promotoing the Artificial Intelligence side of the new update. Adobe, rightly or wrongly is seen as the leader in the field of Digital Photography. I want to vent about them here in my own little photography diary. Adobe justifies their use of AI to ‘save time’, and boost creativity, from the blog.

With the addition of these five major new breakthroughs, you can free yourself from the mundane, non-creative tasks and focus on what matters most – your creativity.

I would argue that for me the most creativity comes when I’m walking alone in one of my favourite locations. Contemplating either a finished print or a ‘networked image’, camera in hand. Any post production is just about fitting the values of the scene. Onto my chosen medium, in a manner I see fit based on my own aesthetic. This aesthetic is of course rooted in the long tradition of straight photography. Not to mention an appreciation of materials and processes I have strived to master. Having good teachers helped me start my own journey on this path in the early 1990s.

This time poor approach to craft has been a growing trend, and one that  I feel runs counter to good photography. Good in the sense that the picture is worth making and says something about meaningful, if this is the authors intention.

Change the perspective of your landscapes. Focus on the story you want to tell. Get rid of unnecessary details and create an impactful photo in one smart click

Recently I returned to Aperture to experiment and explore further, Apple’s professional digital asset management and editing tool. The differences between Luminar 4, and it are huge. To the point where I have to round trip my work to see what I can achieve. I’m still unclear as to how to proceed. I like the AI features in Luminar, but feel at the mercy ofd the software. The AI tools in Luminar 4 are good, but what do they really mean? I can find no comparable tools in Aperture. So I have to wonder am I doing these files the justice they deserve in Aperture? 

When artificial intelligence is able to create art works and portraits where does the human operator sit? I make images because it satisfies an urge. Indescribable; yet one that lies beneath the surface. That needs scratching at least several times a year. None of which involves much input. other than my own desires and understandings of the materials and processes I’m working with. Skills learned from many hours of making mistakes and asking the right questions.

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