Results tagged “project”

Road Trips, PhD, and an Iphone

2011-01-11-map1-600px.jpg

Yesterday, I took a drive. A drive that was intended to last until the sun had gone down. It did.

I drove for over 300 kilometers. I had no real direction in mind other than the general area I outlined on this map.

I didn't follow it, the map exactly, I used a bit of follow your nose approach with some new school technology and old school technology thrown together. Despite the huge amount of rain I encountered, I saw some wonderful locations and managed to make a few pictures, some on film, 3 rolls of 120, and about 80 or so iPhone pictures. Some of the iPhone pictures were intended as simple documents of place, to be used back home when loading them into Aperture, others 'on the fly' little 'artistic, creative vignettes' that alluded to where I was geographically, and metaphorically. Some of the creative vignettes, were uploaded to multiple sites, as I went, those sites being, tumblr, posterous, and instagram.[instagr.am is an unusual site, you actually NEED an iPhone to access it, the web site is just a small footprint of the larger experience, which adds another layer of complexity to my in situ editing and uploading choices]. The light was a bit hit and miss, and as a consequence, I plan to revisit these places, when the light is better.

This was my first successful attempt at mapping myself using these technologies. The first in Sydney last year failed, more because of the tools I was using than anything else I think.

Anyway I am pleased I have made some headway in my efforts to put together a body of work, both on the fly, and in situ, and using hindsight and reflection.

My biggest concern on the day was not having any mobile reception, or rather enough reception. As it turns out, there are some dead spots much closer to the city than I would have thought and areas like near the Heathcote/Graytown National park surprisingly well serviced, go figure?

The red dots are the markers placed by the software, I use to organise photographic projects, in conjunction with my phones built-in GPS coordinates. The first thing I have learned is that, I need to make more pictures more often, and perhaps working alone, especially in a car may not be the best way to work.

One aside, late last year I was bemoaning my options regarding a new iPhone blog I wanted to get off the ground, well it is up and running and in full swing, I hope to continue to upload an image a day, every day for the foreseeable future.

Inspiration?

Mt.Sturgeon at Dusk

I recently spent several days in a location that would make many photographers weep. Mt.Sturgeon at the foot of the Grampians in Western Victoria, is a spectacular Sandstone outcrop, at the Southern End of the range.

When I was first inspired many years ago to take up photography seriously, Photographers like Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, were big influences. Grand vistas, fine prints, sharp and in focus images made on big cameras, to me these were all REAL photographs... then.

This location seemed to be a perfect spot for making some good images, like that, of truly a spectacular landscape. In 4 days I shot, 35 frames on a borrowed Pentax K100d, 20 or show shots on both my digital low rez devices, a roll of 127 and 2 rolls of 120 on my Hasellblad. Uninspired doesn't begin to explain how I felt. Why?

The light swept across the peak in an incredibly dramatic way that at the right time was positively breath taking. The peace and tranquility made it a cinch to 'switch' over to 'photography' mode. there was no reason NOT to be inspired. Yet I wasn't. I remember in 2000, when we were on our honeymoon in New Zealand, I started to question my need to make images that were not remarkable, we were on 10 day tour in a rental car, and weren't stopping for any great length of time anywhere so good light was elusive, and time limited my options to explore composition. So why bother making images at all? I guess we all move on?

Ever since my Uni days, I've tended to operate on at least 2 levels of varying approaches and ideas to photography, I guess this place just didn't fit into either notion, currently, I would argue that, low rez digi, is one of those levels I'm exploring and my maps idea is another.

Online Projects

Magenta has published it's latest magazine and offers sections for free download, an interesting if somewhat fence sitting approach to 21st century publishing.

What I find interesting about this issue of the magazine, is the project by Jeff Harris. Jeff Harris documents his own life and uploads a few of the photos to his website, he finds interesting after processing and printing the film. He also allows people to leave journal entries for any given date in the last 5 years. Then he chooses the most interesting journal entires and matches them with the photos he took on those days.

This quote from the magazine article on him, sums up quite neatly what I like about the project:-

Harris may be chronicling his life but, unlike most bloggers, he reveals little about himself. We can’t even pinpoint his age or occupation with any degree of certainty, let alone his tastes and opinions. Often what he is pictured doing—hanging out with friends, napping, bookstore browsing, swimming—makes his life seem unexceptional (even if he was photographed with Kim Cattrall on November 15, 2005, and some photos were snapped by Bruce LaBruce, Martha Wainwright and Don McKellar). So, instead of learning about Jeff Harris, we start reflecting on times when we were happy or sad, and how millions of people feel these same emotions every day. We are reminded that truly memorable, life-altering events don’t happen often, and many people have much more difficult lives than ours.

This project and several others, going on around the internet are the kinds of projects I could have only dreamed of in 1995 and am still excited about. The question remains though, is Western culture spending far too much time navel gazing, or to "borrow" from Roger Waters, "...is this species going to amuse itself to death?"

Self-Portraits

Self-portraiture is nothing new in Photography. Digital Photography increases the ease and speed of applying such a project. [flickr is rife with narcissistic projects like this, but what photographer isn't interested in a picture of themselves every now and again, although the 365 day project is an interesting one] This guy, has an ongoing project that he says he will do until he dies. Interestingly, he also lists several other projects that are long term documentary in nature, of the most recent internet famous one is by Noah, who interestingly only ran the project for 6 years.

The Week in Lo-Fi

Another weekend ends another week in Lo-Fi concludes

This project, has been going now for 25 weeks, the challenge, each week pick only 7 photos from the preceding week and upload them to facebook.

This week in particular proved difficult, as I went out on my day off specifically to make images with a specific location in Melbourne in mind. Not to mention a brief trip out into the Victorian countryside on the weekend just gone. I think I got lucky, the light was good for this time of year in Australia, but the choices were far, far too many.

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