Southern Beaches Market

poster southern beaches market

 

Next Sunday, the 18th October 2015 to be precise, my wife, Helen,  and I are starting to sell fine art cards, prints and other items at Southern Beaches Markets which is held at Okines Community House in Dodges Ferry. The market is held on the third Sunday of every month for the next six months. We hope to see you there. Please feel free to stop by and have a chat.

All the art on sale will be predominantly about this part of Tasmania. More details about Helen’s art practice can be found here and here.

Whether the weather…

Pink Robin at Silver Falls
A pink robin (Petroica rodinogaster) at Silver Falls, Mount Wellington in Tasmania.

 

Whether the weather be fine

Or whether the weather be not,

Whether the weather be cold

Or whether the weather be hot,

We’ll weather the weather

Whatever the weather,

Whether we like it or not.

There’s no doubt about it we get a lot of weather in Tasmania – it is said that you can experience all four seasons in one day, and that if you don’t like the weather then just wait ten minutes and it will completely different.  Thankfully after what seems a very long and cold winter, spring is starting to show. Flowers are starting to bloom, the days are warmer and people are out and about looking happier. The space of time between the first photo and the last is just five weeks and I have gone from wearing thermals, fleece and Gore-tex to shirt sleeves.Here’s looking forward to summer.

 

Mount Wellington In Winter
Looking out across the water from Dodges Ferry to the snow-covered Mount Wellington.

 

Orange
Sunset on the beach at Connellys Marsh, Tasmania

 

Tailed Spider Orchid
Tailed Spider Orchid (Caladenia caudata), Waverley Flora Reserve, Tasmania.

 

New Year’s Day*

New Years Day 2015
Sitting in the car waiting for the rain to stop.

Sitting in the car this morning waiting for the rain stop I was thinking about it being New Year and what sort of resolution or revolution I could implement for 2015. Fittingly the radio station I was tuned into played “New Year’s Day” by U2 and then “All I Wanna Do” by Cheryl Crow**.  I have reached something of  a crossroads*** as a photographer (doing well so far first paragraph and already three song titles referenced) – the choices are do I still remain committed to printing and showing my work that way or do I just output for the web and e-books?

New Years Day 2015
The rain finally slows down enough so I can head out onto the dog exercise area on Okine’s Beach, Dodge’s Ferry.

For me as a photographer and writer I want my ideas and images to be seen by as many people as possible and along with the process of creating that really floats my boat. If I just rely on exhibitions at best all I got was maybe a couple of hundred people look at the work. That’s a lot of effort and expense for for just so few hits (to use the web parlance). Having said that I really enjoy making prints – it was after all how I started in photography disappearing into the bathroom at night to process film and print. I found the process terribly exciting and rather magical. Fast forward a bit and an assignment that took me to Russia to shoot a bag full of Tri-X and when I got back home I processed the film and printed the proofs for the client. Later I got to see photos printed really big used at the launch of a human rights campaign. It was then that I realised the power of photography and the impact of a large print. I was hooked. Some twelve years later I got my first computer and started to play about with digital photography, desktop publishing and the internet. The world had shifted on its axis and now nearly twenty years later I’m doing stuff and reaching a what to me is a large very diverse audience. WordPress sent me an email the other day that gave a breakdown of the visitors to this blog, basically where they’re from and how they got here. While the majority of the readers are from the USA, England and Australia I get a surprising number from Russia, Central Asia, and the Latin American countries. The downside is that digital has made me a very lazy photographer and I’m loosing touch with what I’d call the craft of photography and I find that rather sad. I’ll explain that. It is sad because over the thirty years I’ve been pressing the shutter button I’ve accumulated an awful amount of knowledge – reciprocity failure, the Scheimpflug principle, push processing etc etc – and that hard-won knowledge is not being used anymore.

New Years Day 2015
Washed up tree trunk. Okines Beach, Tasmania.

I’ve got no easy answers. Maybe I’ll continue with being both. Perhaps for most of the week I’ll be a modern all digital content creator, and then for a day or so get back to the craft and keep in touch with my roots. I could even shoot a roll or two of film (I found a container full of unexposed film in the freezer and an ever larger container of exposed film). The photos accompanying today’s post are really nothing to do with today’s subject and were made in an “old skool” way. Well old school circa 2005 and that is positively ancient in digital terms. They were made with my Canon EOS5d – the original 5d – and a canon 50mm f1.8 MkII (the  plastic one not the original metal mount one). I have an embarrassingly large inventory of Canon bodies and lenses that sit around unused now I’ve gone to m4/3s.  So my feelings of guilt compelled me to get a camera out of the cupboard and shoot some black and white photos just for the heck of it.

 

* New Year’s Day by U2. Another memorable concert at the Portsmouth Guildhall from the days when Bono was not considered an annoying twat.

 

U2 – NEW YEAR’S DAY – OFFICIAL VIDEO from Noisefield on Vimeo.

 

** Sheryl Crow is an artist I’ve really got into, but an old friend of mine got the album when it first came out and every time I went round to her house she have this playing full-bore while she danced and sang along so I always associate it with her and that particular summer.

 

 

*** I first became aware of Elmore James after watching The Blues Brothers, and while I prefer the album “The Sky Is Crying” this track is an all time classic and has been covered by loads of people, but the original is still the best.

 

Shelter From The Storm*

Shelter From The Storm
A mosquito shelters from the wind and rain on a leopard orchid. Dodges Ferry, Tasmania. Olympus EM-10 with OLYMPUS M.60mm F2.8 Macro lens and Metz 44-AF1 flash. Exposure: Manual mode 1/180 s at f/8.0 ISO 200.

I first got my Olympus 60mm macro in May 2013 and wrote about it here. It is an amazing lens, but I was using it initially on an Olympus Pen EP-2 with the less than stellar 12Mp sensor I really wasn’t seeing what the lens was capable of. The picture of the mosquito on the Leopard orchid above was taken with the same lens but now mounted to an OMD EM-10 with the latest iteration of the 16Mp sensor. Tripod mounted and using flash I can now see how much detail the lens is able to resolve – you can see the hairs on the leg of the mosquito. Up until this morning when I processed the shot I never knew that mosquitos have hairy legs.

Lepopard Orchid
Leopard orchid (Diuris pardina), Dodges Ferry, Tasmania. Olympus EM-10 with OLYMPUS M.60mm F2.8 Macro and Metz 44-AF1 flash. Exposure: manual mode 1/180 s at f/8.0 ISO 200.

The other thing that I’m really taken with is the Olympus flash system. When I migrated from Canon I was particularly concerned about the flash capabilities and it was one of the reasons why I held onto my Canon kit. Now I have two dedicated speedlites for my Olympus kit, a Metz 44-AF1 (which I really do like) and a newer Olympus FL-600R (which I’m still getting to grips with and will be the subject of a separate blog entry a little later on). Like most things Olympus when you initially use the flash system the choices offered are quite daunting, but once you’ve set everything up it really is quite easy to use. The remote control for off camera flash is very sophisticated and make it very easy to get good results. Its only down fall is that it is radio controlled and there are no reliable third-party TTL radio controlled flash triggers. The day they arrive the Canon equipment will go.

Trip The Light Fantastic
My Olympus EM-10 tricked out for macro flash using a Custom Brackets Mini-RC, a Metz 44-AF! flash, an Aputure TTL sync cable and a cheap Chinese no name flash modifier.

The above shot shows how I had my camera set up to take the shots of the leopard orchids. The flash and the camera are mounted to a Custom Brackets Mini-RC via Manfotto quick release plates which makes setting things up a quick and easy affair. The TTL cable is by Aputure and was only $30 and the flash modifier is a cheap Chinese no name knock off of a Rogue FlashBender that I got off eBay for $5 including postage. What I like about it is that it is easy to use either handheld or tripod mounted.

As usual clicking on a photo will take you through to my online gallery.

* Apologies to Bob Dylan

SHELTER FROM THE STORM BOB DYLAN from Rita Giuliana on Vimeo.