Melbourne was recently placed into its 5th lockdown since the pandemic began. I found this one more taxing the previous ones. By about the 7th day I decided I needed to get outdoors. I decided to walk aimlessly. Walking aimlessly is harder than it sounds.
So I decided to walk into the park adjacent to our house. Then once on the other side of the park wander in the direction of some incongruous land. This land runs between a rail siding and the medium to light industry either side of it. This gives me access to places that are inaccessible any other way. Carrying a large camera (and tripod) in this instance may not have been permitted by the lockdown rules I suspect. So I carried my small Canon point and shoot as well as my iPhone 12.
I walked for about one and a half hours. I took approximately 6639 steps. Sadly I forgot to run my mapping software as I walked, so I’m using other software to trace my route. In this instance Aperture. I took very few iPhone pictures it seems, anyway. I manually added these images to Aperture’s map feature.
All up I took 189 pictures. Below is a small selection of them in chronological order.
The whole experience was definitely one of heightened senses, visual, aural and olfactory. This in my mind made the journey one that was entirely psychogeographic, even if only partially aimless.
Some changes are occurring in this area also. I have walked this area on and off since moving to Sunshine in 2000. When I next walk it, who knows? The ninth picture is about to undergo a major infrastructure project. This is one of the reasons I walked there. I shall return and use a film camera soon hopefully.
Last weekend I walked from a small carpark west of the CBD to the Yarra river at Spencer Street. A distance of about 2.6 kilometres one way. All up 5.1 kms return.
Upon my return I noticed an electricity tower was partially dismantled. I returned 5 days later and it has been completely removed. This view of the western edge of the CBD now clearly visible from the edge of the Moonee Ponds Creek, only because of the removed tower. I have other pictures in my archive on digital and film from this location.
Photography often takes a back seat in January for me. Summer photography has been prolific this year for me though.
The weather continues to be overcast in the mornings. This is somewhat unusual here in Melbourne, in January. I decided to get out and exploit this on Saturday. I went looking for spots to make pictures in and around the infrastructure projects going on. Close to home.
This truck holding bay is a favourite of mine due to its location and topography. You can see the CBD easily and in the right conditions make some good pictures of Melbourne.
The blue screens on the Citylink off ramp are the only clue that construction is underway. All the action is behind me here. I wandered west with my ‘Blad and made a few pictures of some of the works going on. As I have yet to process this film it remains to be seen if I was successful.
At least I have some record of the changes that are occurring. This forms a major motivation behind what I am focusing on these days.
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.
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 wronglyis 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 of 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.
On Friday I took delivery of my new iPhone 12. I have yet to put it through its paces. Having 3 lenses is a bit of game changer though. Not being able to move around very far, combined with the weather this weekend means limited picture making opportunities.
Here are two examples made so far. The new wide angle lens is indeed wide. So much so I need to watch where my fingers are in the frame.
In 1966, Ed Ruscha photographed ‘Every building on the Sunset Strip‘ in Los Angeles. It became a book and the original is highly sought after. I have seen the copy the NGV has in its collection. Such a simple and elegant idea. The book is one long accordion type book. It is small but intriguing. I have attempted my own version of the idea twice now. Once in Yarraville with a small stretch of houses that have since been demolished, for the Regional Rail Link. The ‘album’ is on flickr it is entitled Buckley Street Seddon. It took approximately 40 minutes to make those pictures.
I did the same recently, only this time I walked along Wright Street, Sunshine, from Stanford Street to Hampshire Road.
I started at the Stanford street and walked West, the numbers on that side of the street are even numbers. I excluded the corner houses. The photography component took all of 20 minutes.
There was one empty block primed and ready for redevelopment. And two other blocks with for sale signs on them. Big changes are indeed afoot. What form shape or size they will take remains to be seen I guess?