Final Day!

2019-05-11 14:59:46

Today, Saturday the 25th of May is the final day for my solo exhibtion. If you're in Melbourne, swing by say Hi! Closing time is officially three but I am open to negotiations.

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Last night walking home...

2019-05-24 17:25:33

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Yarraville 2009-04-24

2009-04-24 15:05:01

In May 2009 I was wandering with my Nikon camera chasing that killer shot of some of my favourite subject matter. I have always been interested in pictures of infrastructure. Gaining access to these paces is very difficult so making pictures from outside and using the external elements as an aid to composition is all that one can do. I got extra lucky on this day, a Sunday. A worker wandered through my scene adding a scale element to the picture.
Looking at this picture so many years later I realise how much my technique has changed. Software has moved forward too. The commonly held wisdom in the 2000s was, underexpose. The idea being to not overexpose your highlights. Now with RAW file formats on almost every camera I use this is no longer the case. I now expose to the right, ie overexpose. This then captures as much data as I can in the low values. If the subject brightness range is too large care still needs to be taken. I have overexposed up  to 1 1/3 stops on overcast days, but usually on 1/3 of a stop on days with too much contrast.

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TYAT 2009-05-22

2009-05-22 08:26:10

Ten years ago today I made this picture with my then state of the art Sony Ericsson C902 Phone camera. I am guessing the location based on my local knowledge of Sunshine. Which in itself has turned into my lifelong 'project' both digital and analogue.



Sunshine, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 2009-05-19

This space has changed markedly in the last 19 years. A business case for the Tullamarine airport rail link is being developed. What this means is, this space and the now vacant land to the left out of shot is most likely going to be redeveloped in some way. Over the years I photographed here often. Now I have an archive of work that examines its changes in use and appearance. For example, it used to be way to access the station along that path bottom left of the frame. After the Regional Rail Construction and completion of the new train station, access was blocked to the station.

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Moonee Ponds Creek 2019-05-01 11:50:23
It's hard to know when to bring big analogue cameras to these locations. The light this day was perfect; almost.

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Edward Burtynsky and filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier in The Anthropocene Project, an ambitious multimedia endeavor that includes a photo book, a documentary (it will debut at the Toronto Film Festival in September), and a series of virtual reality experiences.

More on wired.com

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Garry Winogrand’s “Untitled (New York),” from 1952-58

I am looking forward to visiting New York City soon. I have compiled a list of cultural institution I want to visit and in this day and age of the internet I know exactly what galleries are showing what art and when. Two of those galleries are, Brooklyn Museum and Gagoisian . The Brooklyn Museum is showing Gary Winnogrand’s colour work. The Gagosian, Jeff Walls’s work. The Newyorker online magazine has an article that covers them both and compares them. It is now impossible for me to unthink what I have read about. But also I can go and visit with some prior knowledge. A double edged sword? Only time will tell?


Kodak & Kodachrome

Kodachrome is a legendary film amongst those who remember it.
Kodak has a blog/magazine that celebrates this marvellous film as a linchpin. Rabbit hole alert.
See you in a few days.

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Outside Sunshine Art Spaces 2019-05-10 12:56:03

I stepped out of the gallery today and made a quick picture.

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Pop Culture

I recently caught up with my brother. He is a writer and newspaper sub-editor. We were sharing a few beers and a yarn as you do, and the conversation got around to TISM. TISM, or This Is Serious Mum were a band who performed around Melbourne and Australia from about 1982 to 2011. Sadly I only ever got to see them once at the Corner Hotel in Richmond. They have an extensive footprint on youtube. As a consequence once home later that night I loaded up a bunch of videos on YouTube, and also grabbed the book they had published. I grabbed it as I dashed out the door to sit the gallery this afternoon again. Reading the introduction was a great laugh. Last night my brother and I wondered. Who is writing and playing such rebellious and irreverent music these days? Neither of us could answer. As an example of their ethos attitude and barbs here’s a song of theirs that resonates. It’s called  ‘The Back Upon Which Jezza Jumped”.  It’s more about the ‘Average Joe' than footy, which is why I like it.

The 1970 Grand Final. One the greatest marks ever in the
History of VFL football is taken by Mr. Alex Jesaulenko.
And this is a song about the man he took it over,
Mr. Graeme 'Jerker' Jenkins."

The back upon which Jezza jumped and rode into the ground,
The humiliated vertebrae that mighty mark crushed down,
The pathetic platform from which Jezza leapt into the sky,
That ladder to immortality is finally laid to down to die.
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
Yes, Graham "Jerker" Jenkins, the man that stood his ground,
That took the pain that gave others fame is six foot underground.
Giant jolly Jerker Jenkins, Jesaulenko's dupe.
All he got out of that magic mark was a tendency to stoop.
Did he hear the thundering footsteps on that fateful day,
As he looked up at that Sherrin, did he know he'd have no say,
As Jezza jumped to fame and glory with one almighty leap
And he was left to be forgotten in a crumpled heap.
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
And so all you men with small ability and mediocre skill,
All those of you who in the race of life are left standing still,
All those who must always know others who are unquestionably better,
The second class, the also-ran, the unsucessful go-getter
The minor-leaguers, the average markers, the consistent second-raters,
The stay-at-homers, the timid loners, the habitual masturbators,
The ugly girls, the amputees, the screaming mongoloids,
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
The senile old, the deformed young, the bladders that unwillingly void, the cancer ridden,
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
The Aids victim, the plastic surgery disaster, the fake bowel,
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
The anguished howl as the psychopath shafts ya, the violated, the child rapist,
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
The jerkoff artists, The intensely hated, the disaster fated, the involuntary farters.
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
All of you huge race of men, with mind or body dismembered,
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
Never forget the name of the man who will never be remembered
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
And beware all of you with hopes of happiness you pathetically nurture,
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
Lest you forget the back upon which Jezza jumped
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
The giant Graeme 'Jerker'.
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
Is Jerker... is Jerker, Jerker dead?
Is Jerker...



ON1 Software screen grab, 2019-05-08
I download a demo version of this software as I'm always looking for alternatives to Photoshop/Lightroom. Initially the interface looked promising but then the program just hung there. I eventually force quit it.
I circumvented the network using my own device and now it works. I will watch some tutorials now and see if I can get my head around it.

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Ten Years Ago Today

This image from ten years ago was made with my then state of the art C902 Sony Ericsson phone camera. The image would most likely have sat dormant in my archives if not for this current series of TYAT [ten years ago today] images I am now posting.
The idea itself is made possible by software, Lightroom, and also has its roots in Wordless Wednesday. This is an idea I learned about while interacting with another WordPress blogger.
The picture made on my way from work to the nearest train station, Auburn, intrigues me with the arrangement of the shapes and lines and how I organised them in the 'viewfinder'. It has had minimal post production applied to it. This time however the lighting was suitable enough  to allow this scene to be easily captured and presented here.
2009-05-07 16:33:40

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Stephen Shore on Instagram!

Stephen Shore's instagram feed

This article was shared with me by my friend Robert.
I like this quote particularly...
I see some photographers, students of mine or other photographers, who shoot in a very intentional and thoughtful way with film, but when they pick up a digital camera, they lose all their intentionality. There is nothing about the camera that forces that, and you can use a digital camera with as much concentration, awareness, and intentionality as a film camera. Nonetheless, I see there is this downside where some people use it with less mental focus. So you have the positive aspect of less inhibition and the negative aspect of less intentionality.

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I have been an instagram user since about 2011. It launched in 2010. It was one of many services on offer at the time. I cannot remember any of the other services that competed with Instagram.
Instagram was a crazy place, in the beginning. A place where good and interesting photography was being posted. For me this was reason enough to use it. Then Facebook bought it. Over time the marketers and influencers took over and finally advertising formed part of its death knell. The final nail in the coffin? Algorithms.
In the early days I would post often. Charged by the idea that somehow using only my phone camera I was attempting to make ‘good pictures’. I realise that this is a nebulous and slippery idea. It was a level flying field and everybody was working with the same tool. Somebody worked out how to fool the instagram web site to think you were using a phone or tablet to upload with. Thereby removing the remaining friction in using the service. These days I rarely upload more than once a week. And now it’s as much about my work exterior to the service. Another marketing tool. This is a pity it was fun and interesting in its early days. Now I rarely find any new or interesting work. And somehow have managed to avoid influencers all together.
With all this in mind there seems to be some push back on the web against Instagram. Andy Adams’ Facebook group FlakPhoto is a good place to gauge the current state of the medium from a serious photographers perspective. While I see that instagram is useful, everybody seems to use it, I don’t feel compelled to use it. Josh Rose in his article on Medium recounts a recent interaction. He worked with a creative agency. Nobody there asked him about his instagram account. And several people looked at his website. I agree a serious working commercial photographer needs to maintain a presence there. But using numbers such as ‘followers' and 'likes' is precarious to the point of damaging. I suspect savvy enough creatives will understand this and will have adapted long ago. I gave up the numbers game a while back. Then accidentally deleted my main account. Which in itself was refreshing.
I joined instagram for the challenge of making “good” images using the simplest of tools. And in the beginning that was enough. Many skilled photographers were doing interesting with the service. All that has gone out the window. I feel like blogging and websites may have gone full circle and be on the up again for photographers.

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Photographic Storytelling: A Poverty of Theory

I read this article over on Medium, Photographic Storytelling: A Poverty of Theory by Lewis Bush.
"...why there is such a poverty of theory about storytelling in photography compared to other fields, and why there is so little precision about the terms and techniques we use. Why, for example, are so few photographers able to differentiate between such fundamentally different things as story and narrative." 
Definitely food for thought.


Are Digital Cameras Computers?

I agree with Mike Johnston, from the Online Photographer. I only considered teaching students to use the auto focus settings on digital cameras once 1.8 lenses became cheap enough and I understood the implications of how shallow DOF is on digital cameras.

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Winter is coming!

Melbourne's CBD from the Dynon road bridge looking south east. The light got really harsh not long after.
2019-05-01 12:00:27


Ten Years Ago Today? [TBT]

2009-05-02 15:06:42

Ten years ago today, I mdae this picture. At the time I was using a Sony Ericsson C902 phone camera. I had a 5 megapixel sensor and full internet connectivity. These were the reasons I bought it, even though my telco had offered me an iPhone 3 at the time.
In those early days I was fond of pushing the limits of a digital photograph being made using the humblest of devices with minimal control. I feel I had some interesting outcomes.
Now ten years later I have a much more sophisticated device. One that is capable of capturing in several file formats and allowing some exposure and focus controls. In some ways I miss that early experimental aesthetic. It feels like it's harder to achieve when I can shoot in RAW, and the process the file in Lightroom. I use a third party app for this on my iPhone XS. It is called ProCamera, I wrote a couple of articles about it back on my Wordpress blog.
Having the ability to make a "serious" picture that may end up on a gallery wall on in a book is too tempting to not make sure at least some of the pictures that I see, I can best reproduce using any device at hand. The opposite idea really applied in this early days. How far could I subvert the image using this simple tool? Yet hold onto that vestige of indexicallity that so many critics claim is Photography's Achilles heel?


Exposure Triangle?

I am currently the teaching Certificate IV Students how to use their digital cameras more effectively. One task revolves around using a simple calculator to work out a series different exposures. All ‘correct’ but some giving different outcomes based on shutter or aperture choice. I don’t allow the students to change ISO in this task. This idea is often referred to as the exposure triangle. In the days of teaching film the ISO was always locked in a single place. Students then only needed to understand the relationship between image brightness and aperture and shutter.
I was unhappy with the way the students responded to this task.
In an effort  to find another way of explaining or teaching it I opened three books. Those books were:- 'Reframing Photography Theory and Practice’, 'Photography 4.0 A teaching guide for the 21st Century' and 'Digital Photo Assignments, Projects for all levels of Photography Classes'. None of these excellent books draws a string around the 3 principles involved in image brightness and exposure? Is this a deliberate choice? Do the editors and writers of these books not consider the relationship meaningful enough for a section or a paragraph?
A quick google returns an enormous amount of information. It seems I will have my work cut out for me formulating a new way to teach this idea.

[edit 2019-04-03] I found two more books in my library that could offer some interpretation or explanation. These are, Langford's Basic Photography and Horenstien's Black and White Photography, a  Basic Manual. Both are pre-digital books and as a consequence approach the idea from a film angle. That is; that it, exposure is fixed at the ISO level. In good news. I took my students out to practice. The idea may be sinking in now. we shall see?