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.

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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Wordless Wednesday, the iPhone 12 Pro Edition

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Processed using Luminar 4.. If you use this link to purchase Luminar 4, I get some benefits.

iPhone 12

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.

Test shot from an iPhone 12 Pro, 2020-10-24
A rainy Saturday Morning photographed using an iPhone 12 Pro
A test shot photographed on an iPhone 12 Pro 2020-10-23
A test shot photographed on an iPhone 12 Pro 2020-10-23, at the local shopping centre in Braybrook

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.

Processed using Luminar 4.. If you use this link to purchase Luminar 4, I get some benefits.

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Some West Suburban Bungalows

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.

64 Wright Street, Sunshine
64 Wright Street, Sunshine
66 Wright Street, Sunshine
66 Wright Street, Sunshine
68 Wright Street, Sunshine
68 Wright Street, Sunshine
70 Wright Street, Sunshine
70 Wright Street, Sunshine
72 Wright Street, Sunshine
72 Wright Street, Sunshine
74 Wright Street, Sunshine
74 Wright Street, Sunshine
76 Wright Street, Sunshine
76 Wright Street, Sunshine
78 Wright Street, Sunshine
78 Wright Street, Sunshine
80 Wright Street, Sunshine
80 Wright Street, Sunshine
82 Wright Street, Sunshine
82 Wright Street, Sunshine
84 Wright Street, Sunshine
84 Wright Street, Sunshine
86 Wright Street, Sunshine
86 Wright Street, Sunshine
88 Wright Street, Sunshine
88 Wright Street, Sunshine
90 Wright Street, Sunshine
90 Wright Street, Sunshine
92 Wright Street, Sunshine
92 Wright Street, Sunshine
94 Wright Street, Sunshine
94 Wright Street, Sunshine

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?

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This week on flickr

Docklands, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 2013-06-21 14:31:39
Docklands, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 2013-06-21 14:31:39

This view has gone. More residential and office space has filled the small green space left in this obscure pocket of Melbourne. I made this picture in June 2013. The World Trade Centre building is gone as well. The famous statue, Bunjil is slated to be moved from Wurundjeri Way to an as yet decided location.
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Early Abstractions? [TyAT Edition]

abstract photogrpah
Early abstract experiments in digital photogrpahy 15th of August 2000

When I first started using digital cameras I was fortunate to have been given a then high end amateur type camera. Even at $2000.00 or so dollars it was far too “automatic” for my liking.  As a consequence I enjoyed trying to subvert these controls and make pictures that hinted at a photograph but could have been anything at all.
This is one example of my success in achieving this. I made this picture at home on the 15th of August 2000. Twenty years ago today.

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altfotonet.org

first issue of altfotonet.org
a screengrab first issue of altfotonet.org

In what now feels like an eternity, but was only 11 years ago; I created a website called altfotonet.org.  It was going to be a publication of photography from creatives/artists/ideologues/ratbags/visionaries. I published 3 issues along with Gary Sauer-Thompson. Somewhere along the line it all became too much for me and the idea lay idle, the web site remaining static. In the intervening 11 years the ground has shifted drastically. So much so that even after recently having revived the website I am unsure if I should continue publishing? I originally published 3 issues.

The site was meant to showcase work that fell outside the mainstream art world and was not commercial photography either. I’m not sure what possesed me to undertake such an endeavour? As Facebook was launched in 2004, and it must have taken a few years for it to reach critical mass here in Australia. Facebook has famously sucked the life out of many other online communities; flickr in particular. So I ploughed on regardless. The truth is I was very fortunate to have been donated some server space and the ideas driving the idea were all very egalitarian at the time. I was hoping to make something that was useful and new.

Now I have a new appreciation of what it takes to publish a magazine. I have also learned lots about photobook publishing. The world both in real life and online, is completely different now compared to 2009.

With all this in mind I have archived the old site and started a new one. Using a WordPress installation I will write at length about the ideas and concepts that drive my picture making and some of my underlying concerns. With occasional guest writers artist and photographers.

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