I recently had the good fortune to stay overnight in a suburb called Frankston. While not that distant from where I live, it is far enough away to be out of the way. I haven’t walked the streets of this shopping precinct in Frankston for more years than I can remember. I in fact I may have never walked this part of Frankston. But I spent an hour or two wandering the CBD of this bayside suburb.
To say I was pleasantly surprised would be putting it mildly. I only have vague recollections of the shopping centre. It is now serviced by all the major food chains and there was lot s of pedestrian friendly “open” space.
I have to admit it’s rare that I feel a tourist in Melbourne, but here I was in Frankston feeling completely foreign; like the proverbial ‘fish out of water’. Nonetheless I could not help myself and wander about and grab a few images that caught my eye. As is often the case I found the small laneways and backstreets the most compelling.
Here’s a series of pictures I thought looked interesting.
When these pictures make it to flickr, they will be titled with their exact time, and include geotag coordinates.
Back in 2004 when I first signed up for a free flickr account I had no idea what I was doing with the service. I did know that the volume of digital files I was creating with both cameras and smartphones needed to be seen and shared. Flickr’s initial offering allowed users to create sets as they were called then and also join groups. Groups could have an obvious common theme or be rearlly obscure. JG Ballard is an obscure group, whereas Paths we walk is more obvious. These seemed to be a great way to share my work.
Outside of these ideas albums allows me to interconnect images. Historically an exhibition has an overarching idea, the work on the walls expressses this. The viewer can choose to walk through the space and engage anyway they see fit.
Albums on a site like flickr are a far more web like experience, non linear and open-ended. Each picture I post can have multiple ideas runnng though it. I achieve this by putting images in mutiple albums from a simple time based one, for the year the image was made for example, to other ideas that constantly run though my work. Some of those ideas have their roots in the Situationists and their ideas about the derive. Others explore the added metadata that can add a layer of context or meaning to an image.
Lastly, each image I choose to upload needs to speak to the preceding image in some way. This forms an angoing process that has me dipping into my archive regularly. The connections may be obvious, subject matter or location for example, or subtle like line, shape or composition. I treat my feed as a permanent 24/7/365 gallery. Available for all the world to see.
Deep down this does not really answer why I photograph the places I do, or even what drives me to pick up a camera. Perhaps that idea is for another day?
I was recently gifted a scanner. Thanks to Gary. This now means I can scan any or all of my analogue work on an as needs basis. All I need is time. This image has always stayed with me since I made it around 1992. It is one my earliest successes using 5×4 inch film. However it never moved beyond a contact print as the emulsion had been damaged in a couple of places.
Now using Affinity Photo, I am at least able to resurrect it and use it online. I may some day get a commercial scan and make a big print from it. In what context I’m not sure. I use Affinity Photo because it has a perpetual license and a few technical advantages over PotatoeShop.
I have been photographing this area for a long time and the changes are significant. I will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Even after the major infrastructure project is over the mix of light industry along with the decaying heavy industry and modern architectural flourishes makes this in my mind an interesting place to photograph.