Thoughtfactory: large format

a minor blog about the trials, tribulations and explorations of large format, analogue photography in Australia

Posts for Tag: Adelaide

Globe apartments, Adelaide

This is another of the early large format  urban  photos that I did  whilst we were living in the CBD of Adelaide. It  was made around the same time ( 2013-14) as this one,  and it was from the same Rundle St car Park in Adelaide's east end  as this photo.  I spent a lot of time looking at the city's  urban textures  from the top floors of various car parks.  

 The photo  was made using colour negative film  (Portra 160 ASA),  but I converted it to black and white in Lightroom.  I wasn't photographing in black and white  then. 

At the time I  was interested in the new architecture emerging out of the old. A  provincial city in transition was the idea that informed the urban large format and I had a sense that I could photograph  urban history in the architecture. 

The Adelaide parklands

When we were living in Sturt St in Adelaide's CBD  we spent a lot of time walking the standard poodles in the Adelaide Park Lands --usually  a couple of times a day and at different times of the day and night.   I came to love being in them,  and I celebrated that they had received National Heritage Listing in 2008.  Surprisingly,  they have yet to be listed as a State Heritage Area by the state government. The latter has been procrastinating for a decade or more.   

What caught my eye in the parklands were the Morton Bay Figs. They were impressive trees, and there weren't  that many of them. There was not  enough water  to nourish  them during  Adelaide's long,  hot summer months and they often became stressed towards the end of the summer.   

There were  only  a few occasions that I walked into the southern parklands with the 5x7 Cambo monorail and heavy Linhof tripod from our townhouse in Sturt St to make some photos.  The archives indicate that I only made a few images  and  these were of the trunks of the Morton Bay Figs.

The reason for the lack of photos was that I  didn't really know what I was doing with  large format  photography in the parklands. I vaguely sensed photography’s incapacity to offer significant understanding of the historical and social narratives of place.   I did, however,  have a  loose  concept premised on  the violence in the parklands in the form of gay bashings, rapes, murders, bashings of aboriginal people and a strong police surveillance mostly against the aboriginal people. 

The loose  idea was that of  a  female body in torn clothes (not a naked female body) lying on the ground and  I would use the two above  images as "stage sets" and situate  a  female body with torn clothes in the background of the photo.  i thought that this male violence against women walking in a public space would  be a supplement to the Adelaide project, as the parklands are just as central to Adelaide's urban  identity as Colonel  Light's metropolitan design of straight and narrow.  The aim of the supplement was to counter the  old colonial  idea of Adelaide as paradise on earth.