Self Portrait

A footpath and fence in an inner suburb of Melbourne shows an empty box and the artist's shadow inside the box. The box has the word free written on it while the garden in the background is locked behind a fence
Self-portrait 2024-02-08 14:43:20

Carrying a camera everywhere, has had a significant affect on my creative endeavours. Never more so than when I walk. Yesterday I was out and about, on a student excursion. We visited the CCP, which hs an excellent exhibition about the German publishing house Spektor. I may revist the current ‘zine’ I’m working on as a consequence.

On the way home as I meandered towards the nearest tram stop I discovered an empty box on the footpath with the word FREE written on it. Initially I was interested n the irony of an empty box with the word free written on it in a busy urban environment. Then as I shifted composition I noticed my shadow was in the picture. Having one’s shadow in the picture you make is often considered bad form. But I realised I could make a silly little statement by putting the shadow of my head in the box. Two clicks and a few seconds later  and I moved on.


Stuart Murdoch is an Artist and Part time Photo Educator he ruminates on many things photographic. From his own work to others as well as aspects of technology that reflect on the sharing and consumption of Photographs.

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Flânuering in Frankston

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.

a collection of dumped or abandoned chairs in a laneway in Frankston
a collection of dumped or abandoned chairs in a laneway in Frankston
Backs of older buildings often have more interesting things to see.
Backs of older buildings often have more interesting things to see.
Murals everywhere, is it street art though?
Murals everywhere, is it street art though?
The train station precinct in Frankston
The train station precinct in Frankston, surprisingly quiet for 8:00am on a Tuesday.
A red sign indicating the direction of the beach
A red sign indicating the direction of the beach amongst the pedestrianised area south of the Train station.

 

When these pictures make it to flickr, they will be titled with their exact time, and include geotag coordinates.

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Flânuering during lockdown 5.0

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.

screengrab of map of walk taken 23-07-2021
The place I walked, 23rd July 2021

All up I took 189 pictures. Below is a small selection of them in chronological order.

Parsons Reserve facing South East 2021-07-23 14:51:59
Parsons Reserve facing South East 2021-07-23 14:51:59
Abstraction of urban forest Parsons reserve 2021-07-23 14:49:40
Abstraction of urban forest Parsons reserve 2021-07-23 14:49:40
Trees and silos at the Western edge of Parsons reserve 2021-07-23 14:53:52
Trees and silos at the Western edge of Parsons reserve 2021-07-23 14:53:52
Wright Street Sunshine facing West with Silos in the background
Wright Street with Silos in the background, 2021-07-23 14:59:00
Linda Street Sunshine, facing South West 2021-07-23 15:04:47
Linda Street Sunshine, facing South West 2021-07-23 15:04:47
Looking North from the Freight Rail siding in Linda Street Sunshine, 2021-07-23 15:08:13
Looking North from the Freight Rail siding in Linda Street Sunshine, 2021-07-23 15:08:13
Melbourne Container Park, from the rail siding. 2021-07-23 15:10:15
Melbourne Container Park, from the rail siding. 2021-07-23 15:10:15
Looking North from the freight rail siding 2021-07-23 15:11:50
Looking North from the freight rail siding 2021-07-23 15:11:50
Track along the freight rail siding looking North with Melbourne Container Park in the background 2021-07-23 15:29:28
Track along the freight rail siding looking North with Melbourne Container Park in the background 2021-07-23 15:29:28
Facing South West overlooking the old 'Huntsman Refinery Site'. 2021-07-23 15:35:30
Facing South West overlooking the old ‘Huntsman Refinery Site’. 2021-07-23 15:35:30. Soon to be a major infrastructure site.
Melbourne Grand Prix infrastructure storage 2021-07-23 15:40:36
Melbourne Grand Prix infrastructure storage 2021-07-23 15:40:36
Pile of stone used as filler 2021-07-23 15:41:23
Texture, of a pile of stone used as filler 2021-07-23 15:41:23
Atop a rail siding overlooking Melbourne facing south east 2021-07-23 15:36:47
Atop a rail siding overlooking Melbourne facing south east 2021-07-23 15:36:47
CBD Skyline with Melbourne Grand Prix infrastructure in storage 2021-07-23 15:48:00
CBD Skyline with Melbourne Grand Prix infrastructure in storage 2021-07-23 15:48:00
Stony Creek and Environs looking West 2021-07-23 15:58:56
Stony Creek and Environs looking West 2021-07-23 15:58:56
Wright Street, Sunshine. Facing North East. Sunbury Train line in the background. 2021-07-23 16:04:52
Wright Street, Sunshine. Facing North East. Sunbury Train line in the background. 2021-07-23 16:04:52

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.

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New Photobook progress report

My current Photobook’s silver gelatin contact prints are taking a bit longer to print than I initially imagined. After about 20 plus hours I’m at the half way mark. Just over 20 prints.

In the interim, between dealing with other aspects of my life, I have been considering the text component of the book. These ideas sometimes come to me while in my darkroom.

notebook notes from my darkroom workbook
notebook notes from my darkroom workbook

So using a pencil, I scrawl them down in a notebook that lives beside my enlarger. After I finish up, I digitise them and then add them to my notes both Apple note and Voodoo Pad . I then digitally transcribe them to make searching them easier later. Some ideas include the idea of the flaneur and by extension ‘The Situationists’ and the idea of the derive. Society of the spectacle by Guy Debord is proving especially fruitful.

I actually ran out of silver gelatin paper and had to wait till the shops opened to buy some more. Adding another delay.

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Walking & Photography [Online Exhibition]

screengrab from the exhibtion organsied by Gary Sauer-Thompson
screengrab from the exhibtion organsied by Gary Sauer-Thompson

The response to the pandemic in the arts industry has been overwhelmingly positive. SALA is running its entire festival through artists websites this year. I have been very fortunate in that Gary Sauer-Thompson via his studio in Encounter Bay invited me to exhibit with an idea that explored the pandemic. The online exhibition is entitled, ‘Walking/Photography’, its premise is simple:-

“The exhibition explores the interrelationships between these two modes of being-in-the-world. The ethos is to go for a walk in your local area, where you can find what you don’t know you are looking for. It is a step into the photographic unknown that uncovers the forgotten or buried history of the area.”

The ‘exhibtion’ opens on the 1st of August and runs until the 30th of September.

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Online Exhibition Opportunities?

Hong Kong 2005-04-07 12:50:57
A lone walker is both present and detached, more than an audience but less than a participant. Walking assuages or legitimizes this alienation.” – Rebecca Solnit, from Wanderlust: A History of Walking.

There is something therapeutic about going on walks and taking pictures – sometimes aimless, sometimes with calculated, project-based parameters in mind. It’s a road trip on foot. It’s about pause, introspection, mindfulness, and maybe some visual mile-marking.

In today’s socially distant, quarantined world, walking (safely!) can be a form of personal liberation – one of the few things we can do outside.

For Humble’s next online exhibition, we’d like to see your images related to walking.
Interpret this however you like. This will be co-curated by Bryan Formhals and Humble’s co-founder Jon Feinstein.

See HAFNY for more info:-

I hope to put together an application soon.

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