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
Paperbarks Margaret River, hand printed 16×20 inch silver gelatin
Paperbarks Margaret River this wonderful stand of old paperbarks are located near Wallcliffe House, on the banks of Margaret River. This image was made just weeks before the Margaret River fires razed the Prevelly Park region in November 2011, resulting in the loss of many homes and historic Wallcliffe House. The area surrounding these trees was badly burnt and denuded of all vegetation, but a few of the older veterans pictured here still remain. The photograph is high in contrast due to the dappled sunlight and deep shadow. Additional exposure was given to open up the shadows and development was reduced. Film was 4×5 Tmax. About hand made silver prints.
Granite Canal Rocks Yallingup hand printed 16×20 inch baryta based silver gelatin print
Granite Canal Rocks is a detail study of the many rock formations which characterise the area. Canal Rocks Yallingup has remarkable granite formations and canal like structure that form a massive bulwark against the pounding Indian Ocean swells, creating dramatic plumes of sea spray. The area is characterised by cliffs and rocky headlands and some small sandy coves. Canal Rocks weathered granite formations and coastal cliffs provide a range of potential compositions. Some shapes and patterns look like they are just ripe for a sculptor to release them into some free form. The patterns and shapes of the rocks combined with the heaving ocean swell are mesmerizing and it is easy to lose track of time watching the endless swell lines marching towards the impenetrable rocks. Tmax 400 4×5 sheet film with a 210mm nikkor lens with a cut in exposure and additional development. About hand made silver prints.
Walking dog Canning River Perth, hand printed 11×14 inch baryta based silver gelatin print
Walking dog Canning River Canning River Perth. There are several good pathways plus two pedestrian bridges within the Canning River Regional Park. In the early morning and evenings the pathways are popular with local residents exercising their pets. This image was made one particularly cool morning. There had been some overnight rain that cleared to a cold night. In the morning a light fog developed, enveloping the flooded gums and paperbarks in a soft light. I was near the pathway and had my camera set up looking towards the misty river when I noticed the man and dog walking below the tree lined path about to be bathed in bright misty light. HP5 4×5 sheet film, 4×5 wooden field camera, 300mm lens f45 1 second. About hand made silver prints.
Canning River woodlands mist Perth hand printed 16×20 inch baryta based silver gelatin print -sold.
Canning River woodlands mist Perth Western Australia. The open woodland track near the Greenfield Street bridge follows the banks of the Canning River. In the cooler months the mist gathers in the open fields and becomes dense around the river. On this morning there was a slight breeze and you could see the mist gathering. Standing beneath some flooded gums I pointed my camera back towards Greenfield Bridge, framing an old tree in the foreground. If I remember correctly I used a 300mm lens on my 4×5 field camera. Film was HP5 and the exposure was 10 seconds. I had forgotten to bring my watch so I had to count to 10 to time the exposure. Just to make sure I made a second back up exposure at 1 second using a wider aperture. The first exposure was the better as it had greater depth of field and was a good density. About hand made silver prints.
Seaweed Cape Leeuwin, hand printed 11×14 inch baryta based silver gelatin print
Seaweed Cape Leeuwin Augusta Australia. One advantage of a 4×5 field camera is the bellows extension. Most field cameras will have a bellows which will extend out to approximately 300mm. With a standard focal length lens of 150mm this bellows extension can theoretically provide sufficient lens extension for one to one image magnification. It was just this set up that I used in this image of Leather kelp on the beach at Cape Leeuwin. The movement of front or rear standards can assist in optimising the plane of focus. In this image even the white grains of sand show clearly. About hand made silver prints.
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 contemplative light is perfect for contemplating subject shapes, textures and forms. I pass this tree nearly every day, observing its slow process of decay. It first shed its outer bark layer, its fibrous texture littering the ground around the base of the tree. Slowly the silver like glow of the tree’s internal wood structure was revealed. At various times of the day the wood glowed with different intensities. So often the harsh direct sunlight hides textural details as our eyes struggle to adjust to the wide contrast range between bright sunlit areas and deep shadow details. Although the light was rather flat I gave the negative reduced exposure and additional development to increase the contrast between the tree and background. This image was made within the city bushland of Canning River Regional Park, Perth, where I will be this weekend, running a photography workshop.
Granite coastline Albany region south west Western Australia comprise of cliffs and boulders, impressive both in scale and in their protracted war they wage against a restless, pounding, Southern Ocean. The windswept coastal heath above these rocky shores consists of highly specialised plants, adapted to survive in harsh conditions. Salt residue from sea spray coats their leaves, their root systems barely grasp these slopes made tenuous by shallow soil, and the lack of protective soil contributes to the plant’s thermal and water stress. The harshness of the conditions is often masked by the heath’s varied display of plants and wildflowers, set against the grandeur of a rugged and isolated coastline. This isolation and ruggedness combined with other recreational pursuits draw people to the coast. But we are in danger of loving it to death.
Four wheel drive tracks along sensitive areas of coastline are increasing in number and severity of their condition. Frequent use of tracks by vehicles quickly leads to erosion, which is further aided by water run off, cutting deep channels along the wheel paths and making them unusable in parts. The drivers’ solution is to create new tracks around difficult sections, thereby creating an ever widening excoriation of the coastal heath, leading to further damage to the plants that stabilise the top soil.
The worst examples of damaging 4WD are actually rather short in distance, usually radiating from a more established track directly down the heath slopes before stopping just above the cliff lines. For the short 30 or 40 metres of vehicular travel they “provide” they become large visible scars cutting directly down the slopes. Erosion from rainfall is at its maximum potential with orientation of these “tracks”. The remoteness of many of these locations means this damage is often proceeding unchecked, out of sight and out of mind. The 4 Wheel Drive Clubs in WA and Department of Parks and Wildlife need to get together to discuss and action a plan to minimise this type damage in National Parks. Or maybe we will leave things as they are to continue, then ask Lotteries West for funding and a bunch of volunteers to eventually carry out some type of “vegetation rehabilitation” on our scarred coastline? Prevention would seem a better option all round.