Another long break… I’m shocked at the way this year has got away from me. A couple of project commitments, too much administrative busyness, too little space for personal work plus the usual gaps, roadblocks and creative droughts — I need to do better in future!
The high points were pretty good, though. For example, the exhibition I helped to organise — Close to Home, by members of the Australian Photographic Society’s Contemporary Division — looked really good in both venues. Yes, we hung it twice, first at ‘The Q’ Exhibition Space at the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, then again at APSCON 2012, the Society’s 50th annual conference. Organising an exhibition by 20 artists from all around Australia by email was an interesting challenge for the Canberra team, but the end result was very fine. Congratulations to all concerned — you should be proud!
Then there was the new website. Yes, this is it — welcome! A completely new look, bringing my blog, articles and photography galleries together on a single site, something I have wanted to do for ages. As always, comments and suggestions are most welcome. If anything looks odd or it’s hard to find your way around the site, I’d love to hear about it.
Camogli at Dusk
Afternoon Silhouettes, Portofino
Alternatives is an exhibition by three photographer friends – Lorna Sim, Susan Henderson and Andrée Lawrey – who enjoy experimenting with alternative capture and printing processes in our work. We happily mix and match advanced digital cameras, medium format film, basic plastic cameras, traditional chemical printing processes, digital stitches and montages, retro phone camera apps and anything else we think of in our quest for evocative images. While these processes are never an end in themselves, but only tools we use to craft our images, we have a lot of creative fun along the way.
This exhibition has been in the back of our minds at least since we were making cyanotypes together in 2010. At that stage we were thinking purely in terms of alternative printing processes (cyanotype, Vandyke brown) but over time the concept evolved to reflect new directions in our work. When we finally started selecting work for the exhibition, we found ourselves stretching the boundaries to include plastic cameras and modern, digital “alternatives” as well as cyanotypes and other traditional processes.
Susan is showing cyanotype and Vandyke prints – subtle, organic, ethereal still life studies of shells, feathers and flowers – with two jewel-like landscapes captured on medium format film with a Holga plastic camera. Lorna has combined her hi-fi dance photography with lo-fi dream-like landscapes to create images with a strong, almost surreal mythological feeling. And I am showing a selection from my iPhone in Italy series, which began as a light-hearted attempt to express my delight in a wonderful trip and somehow found its way onto my “personal best” list.
Lorna, Susan and I are very happy to present a selection of our favourite “alternatives” at Abell’s Kopi Tiam restaurant in Furneaux Street, Manuka (ph. 6239 4199).
On the Way to Portofino
I love January. It is the quietest month as summer settles in after the silly season. Suddenly there is time to catch up with sleep, friends, family, the backlog of half-sorted photos, unfinished projects, the blog (ahem!), travel plans and everything else that gets pushed aside during the busy times.
I am still sifting through my photographs from Italy. This pair were taken from the bus on the way to Portofino, on the last afternoon of the Liguria Within The Frame workshop. I love the challenge of photographing from a moving vehicle – it is a lot of fun as well as a wonderful exercise in timing and composition – and wrote about it in my November 2011 Different Strokes article, here (on page 23 of Capital Image).
My last article for the year was Holiday Tasks (here, on page 13), which takes a light-hearted look at ways to keep some photography happening during the festive season when we don’t really have time and energy to spare.