starting over again

This was one the first colour photographs that I made after my return to photography in the 1990s.  I had stopped making  photos  whilst I was doing my PhD in philosophy at Flinders University  of South Australia. I started the doctorate in the late 1980s and finished the PhD around 1998,  then   started to work as an academic on a casual basis.   During the 1990s Suzanne, Fichte and  I would sometimes  go down to Victor Harbor on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula coast on the weekends to stay with Suzanne’s  mother (Majorie Heath) at her place in Solway Crescent.

This photos  is  representation of the granite coast  west of Petrel Cove and east of Dep’s Beach at Victor Harbor.   It was made with my Linhof Technika 70   using  a  6×7 film back.  This  modest and intermittent photographic restart would have been around the mid 199os before  Majorie Heath died in 1997.

sea + granite, Petrel Cove

I had put  all my large format cameras in a cupboard, stopped using black and white film for medium format, and only used b+w for 35m until I lost the Leica M4.    I was inching back to photography  using the  old Linhof, a camera, which  I am still using over 20 years latter. I was impressed by the coast, thought that it was an interesting  location, and a good spot to pick up the pieces and make a modest return to  photography.   

The 1990s were a time when cultural theorists responded to the emerging digital culture and the new image technologies  in terms of  the loss of  the real,  or the emergence of the post photographic. At this time I was having my coloured negatives developed and scanned by Atkins Photo Lab,  contact sheets made,  Eventually  these scanned  film  images  were loaded onto a cd disc by Atkins.  The only difference to what I had been  doing in the 1980s in Bowden was photographing in colour and  using  Atkins  to develop the colour negatives instead of me developing my black and white negatives in a wet darkroom.

It was during  the first decade  of the 21st century that I started to embrace the digital technology. .   Atkins  had started scanning my  negatives onto a  cd disc and  I started  uploading the scanned images  onto the PC’s  hard drive using  Google’s Picasa’s  post-processing software  which was made available around 2002. People  had started using digital cameras around that time.  I bought a Sony DSC-R1 digital camera around 2007,  a MacBook using Intel processors in  2008,  and  Adobe’s   Lightroom post-processing software in 2009. I joined Flickr around 2009.

quartz + granite

My understanding of these technological changes was limited to  the digital darkroom replacing  the wet darkroom, which I’d given up,  rather than the displacement of  a traditional film-based photographic practice by the use of a disruptive,  digital technology.   Nor did I  see that the emergence of  digital technology was an epochal change causing  the crisis of the real,  the shift to the   post photographic in our  visual culture,  and changes in the way the world was seen by us.

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One thought on “starting over again

  1. Pingback: Salt Creek, Coorong | The Bowden Archives and Other Marginalia

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