Pas de mare

Originally posted on 52 rolls:

Saturday brought gales above 40 knots, a swell of 4-6 metres, spindrift from the top of waves, and repeated rain squalls pushing through. Over the past few weeks we have seen not just inches, but feet of rain, with protracted stormy weather.

The white caps in stormy seas are often likened to whites horses, or depicted as a battle in which waves pound land and erode shorelines. At Bass Point, waves move in three directions in a big swell, and from this confusion the surf seems to dance with the wind, rising in a pirouette, advancing like a chorus line, or leaping upwards in solo flight, in this ballet of the elements.

April 2014 Toyo TMY2 C Xtol(1.2)+Adonal(1.200) 1


April 2014 Toyo Fomopan100 Xtol(1.2)+Adonal(1.200) 1


April 2014 Toyo Fomopan100 Xtol(1.2)+Adonal(1.200) 2


April 2014 Toyo Fomopan100 Xtol(1.2)+Adonal(1.200) 5

Chorus lines

April 2014 Toyo Fomopan100 Xtol(1.2)+Adonal(1.200) 6

Pas de mare

Taken using Toyo-View 45CF with Nikkor-W 180mm and Tiffen Y12 filter, on Kodak TMax 400 (first photo only) and Fomopan 100, and developed in a mix of Xtol(1:2)+Adonal(1:200).

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It has been about a year since I have been to Bombo. On my last visit I rolled my ankle on a rock, breaking a bone in my foot. Lately we have had heavy weather, so in a break between downpours, I headed to the old quarry at Bombo hoping that waves might be breaking over the sea walls.

Waves on columns

Waves on columns

Bombo seemingly was named after Thumbon, a local indigenous leader, at the time of the settlement of the Kiama district. When the railway was first built south from Sydney, it stopped just north of Kiama at Bombo, where the basalt quarries provided blue metal for concrete, building railway lines and roads.

Mar 2014 Toyo Fomopan100 B Xtol+Adonal 1

Old basalt quarry

Bombo headland has geological formations of hexagonal basalt columns of international significance, abutting sandstone formations, which have reversed magnetic polarities from a time when the North and South Magnetic Poles were reversed. Rocks of Permian age throughout the world show a reversed polarity and this unique formation is used for “intercontinental paleomagnetic correlation of Late Palaeozoic rock sequences.”

Mar 2014 Toyo Fomopan100 B Xtol+Adonal 2

Quarry pools

Quarrying began at Bombo headland in the 1880s. Basalt was carried to Sydney by dozens of small vessels known as the Stone Fleet until the railway line was built. The Irish miners employed to quarry the basalt, left rock columns and walls adjacent to the ocean protecting the works from the onslaught of the sea.

Mar 2014 Toyo Fomopan100 B Xtol+Adonal 5

Pool and pillars

Today part of the old quarry is used for a sewerage plant, but that is largely concealed from the coastal walk that wends its way around the headland from Kiama via Bombo to the surf break known locally as The Boneyard, and then on to Jones Beach and Minnamurra.

Mar 2014 Toyo Fomopan100 B Xtol+Adonal 4


On most days the headland is deserted, with the exception of seabirds watching for fish from the columns, just above the waves which pound along the walls.

Mar 2014 Toyo TMY2 D Xtol+Adonal 4


Here and there a few broken columns reveal their hexagonal structure. Where waves crash through gaps, it seems as though the fortress wall has been breached.

Mar 2014 Toyo TMY2 D Xtol+Adonal 6


The break in the wall opens a window to the ocean, clouds and the swirling tides.

Mar 2014 Toyo TMY2 D Xtol+Adonal 5

Foaming sea

On occasions the surging sea rushes over these formations, and once I got struck by water falling over the other side. Although the headland resembles a ruined fortress, or rock amphitheater for waves with seabirds as an audience, local children seemingly also call it Toothbrush Island.

Mar 2014 Toyo Fomopan100 B Xtol+Adonal 6

Toothbrush Island

Wave action shots were taken using Kodak TMax 400, except for the last one in series, which was made using Fomopan 100 along with the rest, using Toyo-View 45CF field camera with Nikkor-SW 90mm f/8 lens, and Tiffen Y12 filter. The film sheets were developed in a mix of Xtol (1:2) and Adonal (1:200).

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Target Beach to Silica Cove

Originally posted on 52 rolls:

Most of the Beecroft Peninsula is a defence force training area and naval gunnery range used during the week for live firing exercises. At the weekend the public is permitted to access the isolated beaches and headlands only along clearly defined trails to avoid unexploded ordinance. Most of the peninsulais off limits. On a recent visit, a park ranger had suggested that the headlands between Target Beach and Silica Cove provided an excellent vantage point for photography of the cliffs and bays. Although there are trails into Target Beach and Silica Cove, the headlands between can only reached by walking carefully along the cliffs, or rock platforms, and where this is difficult, through the adjacent bushland following old tracks. Some of these tracks may have been made by the original indigenous owners of the land, more recently by adventurous ocean fisherman, and by wallabies that have made paths through lomandras…

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Originally posted on 52 rolls:

“Even the sea cant stop me from writing something to read in my old age…”
                                                                                   – Kerouac, Big Sur

It takes forever to get anywhere. Dreaming and thinking have temporalities that hardly ever seem to be hastened. It is not as if the mind ever reaches its destination, it always is restless to move on, or be haunted by persistent themes. Walking through forests and woodlands, rustling leaves, creaking branches and bird calls keep me alert, but hardly stop these cogitations. In the shade of twisted branches along the trail I wander hoping to reach the end. Although my ears are wide open, sounds and sensations, never seem to stop or satisfy, or overcome the relentless search of consciousness to defeat the stimulations of pain. Hurt, both physical and psychological, is hard to end. Time was, but now I am getting older.

At the crest of a ridge, suddenly…

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In limbo

Originally posted on 52 rolls:

Where do all the dead birds go? It may seem like a peculiarly dark question, but just around the point from the oddly named Beaky Bay there is a small cove, littered with the disintegrating remains of sea birds. It is a weird harvest. Bones sit on rocks, feathered wings rest in pools, yet nearby, gulls roost contentedly at the water’s edge. Others, more busy, dive into the sea to catch fish from these abundant waters. Offshore, soft corals lie beneath and around Bass Point, creatures are protected within a marine reserve.

Mar 2014 Toyo Fomopan100 PyrocatHDstand 5

I am reminded of the Jimmy Cliff tune, and wonder whether the birds are just sitting in limbo, songless, harvested from the sky, and are grimly scattered over the rocks awaiting an eventual tidal flow to carry their remains to sea. It seems to me that this a strangely limbo world.

Mar 2014 Toyo TMY2 B PyrocatHDstand 2

It is hard to resist being anthropomorphic…

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Saturday afternoon

Originally posted on 52 rolls:

Mar 2014 Toyo TMY2 PyrocatHDstand 2

Country corner – Honi, Zim, Ahri, Melody and Spirit

It is always a treat to go for a walk with the horses. They enjoy ambling along quiet country lanes, through the bush and getting out of the paddock. New or different vistas are always refreshing, and it is always best when none of the horses is left behind.

On Croome Rd

On Croome Rd

Come Saturday afternoon we are all ready to get out. Melody asked if I would like to go walking with the horses and take some large format portraits. I knew exactly where I would take the photos with late afternoon sun, trees and paddocks in the background. It probably seemed a little odd to the farmer driving past that I had set up a tripod and camera in the middle of the road.

Mar 2014 Toyo TMY2 PyrocatHDstand 3

Through the old gate

The challenge was to get focus, aperture and depth of field correct…

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Steamers Beach

Originally posted on 52 rolls:

Saturday morning, first day of March, not the usual daily 5am start, slept in to 6am. Woke up after dreaming that I had been drinking coffee and it was keeping me awake. Prophetic? Pouring rain outside. Checked weather radar, and although stormy locally, looked clearer heading south. Loaded sheet film into holders, 100 & 400 ASA, sorted lenses and filters, grabbed umbrella, and packed camera pack. Melody made sandwiches and packed day pack. Breakfast, another quick coffee before hitting the road, and as the surgeon suggested, took some ibuprofen for pain relief prior to walking.

Curve, cliff and waves

Driving south we headed around Mt Pleasant, through Gerringong and Gerroa towards Nowra, and the rain started to ease. Stopped for fuel, more coffee and pear bread, and then drove to Booderee National Park. When we arrived at the trailhead to Steamers Beach and St George’s Head there was only a…

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