Oxidisation of the Dream

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Shadows, cast by clouds

Fever dreams haunt memories

Time erodes all fears.

Reflections in the Pilbara

An ongoing project I have undertaken, in it’s basic form the collection of photographs will be dealing with reflections in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Water reflections that are both literal and metaphoric in nature, captured predominantly with digital cameras both colour and black and white, and potentially some large format colour film as the project progresses. This is just the beginning of the project and the concept is still quite broad, I will enjoy the process and see how the collection and concept evolves over time…

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Lake Myrtle

Two nights camped next to the beautiful Lake Myrtle in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park gave me plenty of opportunity to expose some the Fujifilm Velvia 50 4×5 sheets that have been sitting in the freezer for a couple of months. I managed to capture 14 images on 4×5 sheet film and then two rolls of Velvia 50 120 in the panoramic back for the Toyo Field Camera. I love working with the 4×5 field camera, the slower more considered approach to photography is what it is all about for me. The downside of shooting Velvia in 4×5 is the prohibitive cost, the difficulty in sourcing the film itself and then the fact that I have to pack it up well so that it can be sent to the mainland for processing. It is unfortunate that there is nobody left in Tasmania doing E6 processing, even more unfortunate that film stock is getting harder to find and more expensive. It may get to the point when I mostly shoot black and white in the field camera due to the expense and effort involved with shooting colour. I can easily process my black and white sheet film at home, E6 is not so easy from what I can gather.

I think I will always take colour film up into the Tasmanian Highlands as I love the colour palette that emerges and changes throughout the different seasons. I have really liked shooting Velvia 50 slide film in my Canon 1V and A1 so I expect that I will like it even more in the 4×5 format! My film should be back in a week, I will be able to see the fruits of my labour and I really hope that my exposures were accurate!

Toyo 45AII

The Toyo 45A II with the Rodenstock 90mm Grandagon f4.5 attached.

It is a real commitment to shoot with the view camera in the highlands, I hold the late and great Peter Dombrovskis in the highest regard. My pack probably weighed 20kg’s before I even put any camera equipment in, once the view camera was in with three lenses, 20 sheets of film, a spare film box for the exposed frames, three dark slides, film changing bag, light meter and then the Leica for happy snapping along the way I was probably over 30kg’s. Dombrovskis went to places far more remote and harsher than I have and for far longer too! Most importantly though is that his art is the most profound and moving in my eyes, a real inspiration. Dombrovskis gave people a view of the beautiful Tasmanian Wilderness that has never been equalled, his sense of composition and technical capabilities were astounding. He was also the first Australian photographer to be inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame. Tragically he died of a heart attack near Mount Hayes in the Western Arthur Range in South West Tasmania in 1996. I encourage everyone that has an appreciation for wilderness photography to have a look at his work. He published several books throughout his career, many of which are now out of print and collectors items. I am in the process of collecting them at the moment, I have three so far and a few more on the list! Currently there are still some copies of a publication called Simply: Peter Dombrovskis, it is going out of print from what I have been told. Buy it, the images within are stunning and iconic. It is refreshing everytime I view his work, just like being in the wilderness itself…

http://www.peterdombrovskis.com/

http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an24314453

Below are a few of the shots I captured along the way with the Monochrom…

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Old Machine Room

This series of images were photographed with an 80 year old lens; The Leica Hektor 7.5cm f1.9

Noticeably soft wide open, sharp when stopped down. This lens has a unique look and feel to it, my Grandfather used it on his Leica III from the mid 1930’s. I was able to find a Voigtlander 50/75mm screw mount to M bayonet mount adapter for my Leica Monochrom. It is an honour and a privilege to be able to photograph with my Grandfathers lens.

I have recently had the Hektor and also the Summar 5cm f2 lens with the Leica III serviced and cleaned with the intention of using them. I shot a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 in it which has been processed and the camera appears to be working correctly. Amazing that an 80 year old camera that is 100% mechanical and requires no batteries is still in full working condition. I am pretty sure the plastic feeling Canon 5D Mark II I have won’t be working in 80 years time! It has already had one trip to Canon repair. The build quality of Leica cameras is renowned and legendary, hence a big part of the reason I decided on the Leica Monochrom.

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