Gallery Three

Isolation, August 2020

Melbourne tram museum 2016

These beautiful photographs are best seen hanging on the wall, but 2020 is far from a normal year. In a normal year, Friends of Photography Group would be preparing for the annual Group Chemistry Exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery, Fitzroy.

Hopefully next year we’ll be able to present physical prints and continue our trips making new photographs. In the meantime we’ll have to settle for looking at these photographs online.

Home garden reflected in the large format camera lens. 6x6 colour transparency by David Tatnall.


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Image above by Shane Booth
I made this image recently during a lull in my non-activity and spending two consecutive weekends away in the Victorian bush. This image was made on the way home from one of those trips at Winton Wetlands, some 2.5 hrs from home. I often drop in here, I like the expanse of sculptured dead trees dotted every now and again with a man made object which remind you that this area was once a community. On a good day at Winton you can make some wonderful images, on a bad day you just get attacked by snakes. This was a good day with rolling storm clouds clearing to produce some epic mid-day skys. On the technical side the image was made using a 8x10 camera and 121 mm lens, I made this contact print and developed it in lith developer trying to impart some of the gritty landscape in which it was made.

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Image above by Peter de Graaff: "Etched"
Murramurang National Park on the south coast of NSW, just north of Bateman’s Bay, harbours a diversity of seascapes surrounded by ancient spotted gum and cycad forests that were left miraculously unscathed by the bushfires during our last black summer. It is place to retreat and find isolation. Trekking around Wasp Head, rocking hopping just after the flood tide along the rock shelf, the morning light revealed sandstone etched by wind and waves that is hidden later in the day beneath the shadow of cliffs. 4x5 pinhole camera.

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Image above by Greg-Soltys
My partner Sunil and I were lucky enough to arrange a trip to Wilsons Promontory between lockdowns. This was my third visit. On the first two I tried unsuccessfully to get a photo that really captured the Darby River as it meandered through the marshlands. One morning we got up early to hike the trail to Tongue Point, which starts at the Darby River carpark. We climbed the hill at the start of the trail and there it was, the picture I'd been wanting to take. The water was still and created a perfect mirror for the clouds in the sky. I set up my camera as fast as I could and snapped the photo before the light changed.

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Image above by Andrew Bradsworth
An enjoyable drive along Victoria's east coast, a day just before Melbourne's stage 3 lockdown. This photograph was made later in the afternoon, with the light being quite beautiful and soft. As I was making my exposures in between the waves crashing in, I pondered the connection between the changing tide in front of me and the imposed restrictions and changes in the coming days and months ahead. Silver gelatin photograph, medium format pinhole.

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Image above by Murray White: "Welcome Stranger"
I found these two native pines after sunset and captured them as a silhouette to maintain some sky tone and emphasise their ambiguity. To me, the older tree expresses human qualities with welcoming outstretched arms, a wiry frame, and perhaps tattered clothing blowing in the wind. In this context the younger tree can also be seen in human terms, especially with its pronounced gesture of acceptance. I would have liked a little more “social distancing” between the two subjects, but moving the camera brought neighbouring trees into the composition.

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Image above by Keith Mallett
From its headwaters high in Kosciuszko National Park the Murrumbidgee River takes a long and meandering route around the high ranges before passing north through the plains and gorges alongside Canberra. I ventured out to the crossing at Urriara with the intention of photographing the tenacious River Sheoaks (Casuarina cunninghamiana) that grow on some of the exposed bedrock outcrops in mid-river. It's obviously a matter of luck and the rainfall patterns over the years that result in a few surviving long enough to get a good deep root system established and become strong enough to survive the occasional flood event. (Negative Scan / Ilford Delta 100 - 120 6x9cm.)

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Image above by Mat Huges: "Ruskin Street Bridge-Elwood, 2020"
I turn my back on the residential streetscape with its clutter that distracts and instead focus on this beautiful natural corridor that cuts across the residential suburb connecting inland creek to sea.

Almost primordial if you squint, a languid passage of water with timeless reflections. The thoroughfare of shrieking cockatoo’s and small wading birds… and bridges like lost monuments stumbled on in some far away jungle. Van Dyke Brown print from 4x5 pinhole negative.

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Image above by Danielle Edwards: "Winters Gift"
This lumen print is reminiscent of a snow crystal. This image was inspired by Melbournes recent coldest weather in 24 years. The air was icy and many places received snowfalls, a welcome distraction from the constant barrage of Covid-19 lockdown news coverage.

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Image above by Mark Darragh: "Wind scoured Sandstone, Grampians/Gariwerd National Park"
This was from the Grampians in June, the one weekend when I could get out since getting back from Tasmania. We stumbled across this wind-scoured wall during an off-track trip about six years ago. I've been back a couple of times but never taken a photo of it with LF gear. Capturing the whole wall in one shot would need an extreme wide-angle which wouldn't do the scale justice, to say nothing of the distortion. The solution I came up with was to introduce a sense of mystery and photograph just a small section, framing it with the Callitris. Hopefully, it hints at the scale and the imagination of the viewer fills in the rest. 4x5 colour transparency.

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Image above by Ian Raabe
I had some redgum wood blocks that were destined for the fireplace, but their shapes seemed too interesting to burn. When placed together they suggested a rugged island in miniature. Placed on a darkclloth, it now seemed like the island was being impacted by huge ocean swells, with brooding dark cliffs behind. Silver gelatin print from 4x5 negative.

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Image above by Stuart Murdoch
Back in 1988, I listened to a lecturer talk about his relationship to the landscape and in particular She Oak trees. That notion has stayed with me ever since. This print is a result of this exchange. I continue to photograph these trees as I encounter them. Given that many councils are regenerating their open spaces the significance of these trees is important. Silver gelatin print.

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Image above by Lloyd Shield: "Strelitzia"
Photography has many dimensions beyond image making, such as curiosity, awareness and knowledge. During lockdown, revisiting studio still life photography using local suburban flora became a viable option. One bonus of essential daily exercise walking has been the discovery of so much that is hiding in plain sight. Take Strelitzia, for example. I had no idea how abundant it is, and was totally ignorant of the cunning pollination mechanism. It was not an obligatory part of producing this image, but the act of photography expanded to became an exercise in understanding and appreciating yet another example of the beauty and exquisite functional anatomy that exists in nature. Now it seems that every garden in my 5km lockdown radius has a Strelitzia. Cropped 4x5 silver gelatin contact print.

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Image above by Gary Sauer-Thompson: Bushland, Waitpinga, Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia, Winter 2020
The back ground is that this is in a patch of regenerating native vegetation surrounded by farmland. It has been put aside from grazing in association with Landcare and Natural Resources – now the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources since 2012. It runs along side a backcountry road that I often walk the standard poodles. I started exploring this patch of bushland during the Covid-19 lockdown and then photographing it in July. The biodiversity is starting to return – e.g. the native orchids are flowering. Other parts of it are run down – the grazing has been recent by the looks of it – just straggly pink gums or Eucalyptus fasciculosa. 4x5 colour negative.

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Image above by Peter McDonald
The image was taken at the Canberra Arboretum a few days ago. It all looks rather desolate at the moment and, in some ways, it is almost as if the trees are in lockdown in sympathy. It was taken on infrared film, the effect of which I think helps to heighten the trees' loneliness. Done on medium format, scanned, and a digital negative produced, and contact printed in as an argyrotype.

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Image above by Victoria Bilogan

Life unlived
Take up the bigger space
To live the life you are meant to live
Leave it, the life unlived,
Cocooned ...
It is time to take
The first step,
Spread the wings,
To take the bigger space
As big as your soul,
To embrace what is yours.
Claim
Your space-
To Be.

(6x6 pinhole photograph)

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Image above by Wendy Currie
The cyanotype of wattle were made in the last couple of sunny days. The wattle in our front garden is just about to burst into bloom. The varying intensity of the contact brings some complexity to the images

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Image above by Bert Hoveling
Lichen. Tasmania. 4x5 colour transparency.