Swamp sheoaks hesperantha falcatta Canning River, hand printed 16×20 inch silver gelatin- sold.
Swamp sheoaks hesperantha falcatta grow in the low lying moist areas around the Canning River, Perth. The sheoaks trunks range in colour from a dull brown to a dull grey, depending upon the season, and are marked with bright white flecks and spots. The white carpet of flowers which dominates the sheoak understorey in Spring, is hesperantha falcatta, which originates from South Africa. Sheoaks are common along the Canning River but the flowers are invaders. This image is frequently mistaken to be from the northern hemisphere. While the flowers appeal to our notion of landscape beauty, they potentially displace indigenous plants and reduce biodiversity. They are a contemporary sign of our changing environment hence the reason I left the clue in the title. This image was exhibited in my solo exhibition “Dissociation” at Heathcote Museum and Gallery. It was also discussed in my blog. About hand made silver prints.
first published in “Lost in Suburbia” in 2013, “Dissociation” 2015 Heathcote Museum & Gallery exhibition catalogue
Canning River oxygenation trail, hand printed 11×11 inch baryta based silver gelatin print- sold
Canning River oxygenation trail, Perth, Australia. Bubbles from nearby oxygen tanks pumped into the river to alleviate anaerobic conditions exacerbated by low water volumes and algal blooms. There are oxygenation tanks on the banks of the Canning River between Nicholson Road bridge Kent Street Weir. Large black polythene tubes run from the tanks into the river, snaking there way down stream just below the water’s surface. Oxygen is released from the pipes and percolates up through the water, leaving a trail on the surface. The Department of Water released a report in 2013 stating that anaerobic conditions existed in the river most times of the year, meaning that the water is deprived of oxygen to support aquatic life. A third oxygenation tank was completed in 2014. The Department’s report also highlighted elevated levels of toxins and reduced rainfall due to the drying of the climate. It was reported that desalinated water had also been pumped into the river to maintain it. About hand made silver prints.
Oxygenation trail Canning River Perth 11×11 inch hand printed silver gelatin fibre based print. First published in Lost in Suburbia in 2013, then Circuit Magazine and Heathcote Museum & Gallery exhibition catalogue “Dissociation” 2015.
Soft muted colours of a winter morning. With clear winter nights those chilly mornings are upon us again (chilly in Perth is when it drops below about 5ºC !). The samphires in the wetlands around the Canning River change colour this time of year from dull green grey to a soft mauve or pink. See if you can spot the two little fellas out and about for an early and chilly breakfast.
On this morning I was carrying in my pocket a small Canon digital camera. Doubtless, if I had my 4×5 by the time I was set up the ducks would have moved, hence the expression ‘the best camera is the one you have at hand’. What I really enjoy most about this image are the soft muted colours and tones in which the ducks are almost camouflaged. The image is a jpeg straight from the camera and matches the quiet and stillness of a cold winter morning at day break.
I’m getting in early to let you know that I will hold a photography workshop, here in Perth, in early August.
Like earlier workshops it will provide an introduction to using a 4×5 view camera. What’s different is that I have increased the workshop time to two full days. This allows you to spend the first full day learning about and making actual large format photographs. The second day offers you the opportunity to experience the darkroom techniques and procedure to bring those negatives alive, by making your own silver gelatin print from one of your negatives. Numbers are strictly limited. For full details visit my website.
The hard summer dryness in the parkland around the Canning River is slowly softening. Yesterday morning there were signs that the seasons were changing with our first mist for the calendar year. The daytime air is still warm but the sun is getting up a little later each day. I took an early morning stroll with my camera, the landscape enveloped by a gentle glowing light, something we don’t see too frequently here in Perth. A few early morning joggers and walkers were out enjoying the cooler air, but mostly I had the misty forest and pathways to myself, it was a quiet and peaceful morning of a long weekend. You could barely believe that this regional park is bordered by suburbia, shopping centres and highways. For those of us who live near the Canning River in Perth, we are just so lucky to have this wonderful asset at our doorstep whilst being in the middle of a city.
Living in Perth I am lucky to be so close to the Canning River and its reserves. There are kilometres of cycleways and walkways traveling up and down the river, passing through parklands of flooded gums and sheoaks, were you can always find some peace and quiet. Then there is the river itself, which is wonderful to paddle your canoe or kayak on. Upstream near my neighbourhood, the Canning River diverges into many leads with dead ends. The river banks are covered with bushland, giving you an impression you are anywhere but in the city. There is a multitude of bird life from ducks and swans, even large kites.
This image of the swamp sheoaks, Casuarina obesa, was taken during Spring, just on dusk. The little white flowers (Hesperantha falcata) open up only in the full shade or very late afternoon. Like so many of our most successful weeds, Hesperantha falcata originates from South Africa, and it literally carpets sections of the Canning River reserve. In previous years during Spring, I have resisted making a similar image, because I did not want viewers to misinterpret these as wildflowers native to the park. Eventually, I decided to work amongst the swamp sheoaks over the course of a 12 month season, recording the changes in their immediate environs: from sombre deep winter tones to abundant white of spring flowers, then to the stark black charcoal from summer fires. Even though the photograph may not show an ecological ideal of native bushland, it never the less offers a glimpse of its seasonal state during these times.