Finding wilderness

52 rolls

Hidden places close to nature, with long views and untouched wilderness areas are becoming harder to find. In the environs of the Morton and Jerawangala National Parks there are still a few such places. Rising from the Tasman Sea, the coastal escarpment ascends like a great sandstone curtain, behind which lie its hidden valleys, streams and forests that are seldom seen.

Jan 2014 LCA Svema64 Adonal(1.100)stand 31Jan 2014 LCA Svema64 Adonal(1.100)stand 27Jan 2014 LCA Svema64 Adonal(1.100)stand 25Jan 2014 LCA Svema64 Adonal(1.100)stand 32Jan 2014 LCA Svema64 Adonal(1.100)stand 30Jan 2014 LCA Svema64 Adonal(1.100)stand 11Jan 2014 LCA Svema64 Adonal(1.100)stand 3Jan 2014 LCA Svema64 Adonal(1.100)stand 34Although the breeze blows, leaves rustle, the sky is grey, and there is the promise of a little more rain to fill the rock pools at the cliff edges, which overflowing run down the precipices, eroding cliffs, sustaining rainforests and filling streams – not a soul can be heard. Only the ringing of bell birds break the silence deep within the forests. What a delight to spend a day finding wilderness.

Photographs taken with Soviet Lomo-LCA on Svema 64 (expired 1984) shot at 50 ASA and stand developed in…

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Pour la science, or going bionic

52 rolls

Nuclear radiation and public safety is a serious matter. I oppose the development of nuclear reactors in Australia, and, protested against French nuclear testing at Muraroa Atoll in the the South Pacific. Exploding nuclear weapons by “Superpowers” in atmospheric testing meant harmful radiation was carried on the winds and probably entered the food chain. Some reports indicate that atmospheric testing was accompanied by spikes in thyroid cancers. The disaster at Chernobyl, the failure to quickly evacuate, and letting children drink contaminated milk meant mass exposure to Iodine-131 (I-131), and increased incidence of thyroid cancer. Fukushima is still of great concern. Nuclear power does not produce green energy. It is ironic then, that I-131 is also used in the treatment of thyroid cancer.

Last week I spent several days in Wollongong Hospital where I was given a capsule containing I-131 for ablation of any thyroid cells that may have remained after…

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For every time there is a season

52 rolls

Living on the east coast of Australia it is not easy to find a place on land where the sunset can be viewed in the west descending over the sea and mountains of the Great Dividing Range. From within Booderee National Park at Summercloud Bay, near the small indigenous community of Wreck Bay, where the waters are pristine, dolphins and seals swim, and crabs crawl around the rocks, during summer months the setting sun can be seen across the water. Moreover, from this location and angle, during this season the sun seems to set directly behind Pigeon House Mountain, or Didthol as it is known in the local language of the land’s first peoples.

Around the summer solstice and during its season, when viewed from Summercloud Bay, the sun travels no further south than when it is seen setting behind Pigeon House Mountain. (Last year I posted photos http://52rolls.net/2013/10/14/mountain-zen-or-patience-is-its-own-reward/ taken…

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Kodalith horse play

52 rolls

A good photography friend, Dave Schofield from the UK, sent me a recovery pack of a couple of rolls of film to cheer me up after I had several operations last year. Included in the parcel was a roll of Kodalith Ortho which he recommended I shoot at 12 ASA. Although the lowest ASA setting on my Olympus OM-1 is 25, I believe 12 ASA was achieved by deliberately shooting in the negative zone of the camera’s light meter.

After loading the film, my wife Melody unexpectedly asked if I would take photographs, of her and the horses. Spirit was going to be ridden for his first time, and Ahrend (Ahri) was to have his first full ride with with bit and bridle rather than just a halter. It was only when I came to develop the film, did I become cognoscent of the problem I had created for myself…

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May the lens be with you

52 rolls

There is something deeply troubling about the lens. The mind can bring to our observations of reality, feelings of doubt, and deeply troubling moments of existential angst, when our experience and circumstances, project themselves onto the ground glass socio-historico-panoroma which focuses our being. In the absence of critical analysis, self criticism or even contemplation, a photographic project might simply become the process of taking photo upon photo, image upon image, topography upon new topography, searching for the captured moment when reality is transported with transcendent magic, when ugly can be beautiful, consciences are pricked, or serenity is found in stillness from a photograph.

Before one arrives at such underlying philosophical issues, although there is no reason that one should, the problems of technique must be confronted, surveyed and journeyed: choice of film, developer and myriad articulations of light calculations to predetermine tonality in the negative. Which lens to select, should…

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