Michael Reichmann remembered

Just recently I was saddened to read of the death of Canadian photographer Michael Reichmann. I had been a regular reader of Michael’s website, Luminous Landscape, practically since the beginning. LuLa became a daily must-read as I wondered about switching from film to digital photography. It was a daunting prospect, there seemed to be a huge amount of new techniques and information to master. And being a darkroom person, making prints was a must, so there was the whole other topic of inkjet printing.

At that time around 2000 – 2001, digital photography and printing were in their infancy and Luminous Landscape was one of the major forums for discussing this new technology and how to get the most out of it. A major debate raged: Will digital photography ever be as good as film.

In May 2002, Michael wrote in one of several reviews of the Canon D60 dSLR:

“35mm Photographers: If you’ve been waiting to make the move to digital but haven’t felt that the cost / quality / image size equation worked for you yet‚ well, I think the time has come…”

And with that, the decision was made. I purchased a Canon D60 from Michael’s Camera store in Melbourne shortly after and began the long process of learning digital photography and inkjet printing.

Michael excelled at giving other photographers space on his website. Through Luminous Landscape I ‘met’ other photographers who have helped me with advice or timely information or just entertained me through the years; Mike Johnston of The Online Photographer, master printer Ctein, Jeff Schewe and Melbourne photographer Joshua Holko. All have played a part in my development as a photographer and printer.

In March 2008 Michael visited Melbourne. I was privileged to meet him in person, shake his hand and thank him for all of the free information and advice he made available through Luminous Landscape.

Rest in peace Michael, you are one of the greats.

Posted in influences, opinion, Photographers

Ice lagoon Exhibition Aftermath

My exhibition of images taken at Jokulsarlon, the Ice Lagoon, in Iceland is over.

The prints have been removed from the walls and the Point Cook public art space has been handed over to a new artist. All the purchased images have been delivered and the rest put away.

Thanks to all who came to see my prints and a big thanks to those who purchased one. I sold 19 prints making it my most successful exhibition ever. And I am now in the Wyndham permanent collection and the Encore Events Centre art collection.

A very special thanks to Megan Evans and Nicholas Boseley for their advice, encouragement and support. Wyndham City provides a lot of resources to support local artists and thanks to all in the Wyndham arts projects team for the great work that you do to make Wyndham an artist friendly place.

Ice on the Beach at Jokulsarlon, Iceland

Ice on the Beach at Jokulsarlon, Iceland

Posted in art, collection, exhibition, Iceland

Daily, Nightly

Just outside of my home town Geelong, there is an area called The Dog Rocks. This area has been a great favourite with local photographers, such as Laurie Wilson and his beautiful monochrome Dog Rocks series held at the National Gallery of Victoria. The last time I photographed there was at least 35 years ago.

Just recently long-time friend Phil Thomson asked me to join him there for a sunset photo walk. The first thing that struck me is how close housing has encroached on this area that I remember being out in the country. Fortunately the top of the hill has been preserved.

I enjoyed wandering about the rocks and photographing the old trees again as the light faded. So much so that I returned during the day to see just how different the images would be.

Dead tree at Dog Rocks

The windswept tree during the day

Dead tree at Dog Rocks

The windswept tree at sunset

Posted in explanation, How I shot...

Ice Lagoon Exhibition

 

Invitation

My next exhibition features images taken at Jokulsarlon, Iceland over several visits. The prints will be available for sale in editions of 5 only. Each one will be matted, signed, dated and numbered.

Jokulsarlon is a glacial lagoon on the south coast of Iceland. It is formed by ice breaking off the Breidamerkurjokull in the Vatnajokull National Park.

The ice floats out to sea through a narrow channel and is often washed back onto the black lava sand beach by tides and storms.

This area is frequently battered by wind and heavy rain and received a lot of ash and dust from the 2010 eruption.

The images in this exhibition were taken over several visits: never in good weather. They are my interpretation of the wild beauty in this ever-changing landscape of rock and ice.

If you are in the vicinity of Point Cook, please drop in. My thanks to the people at Wyndham Art Spaces for this opportunity.

Posted in exhibition, Iceland

What’s that Skip? Another exhibition?

Yes, the good folks at Wyndham Art Spaces have offered me another exhibition to be held in February 2016.

The exhibition will feature images I have taken at Jokulsarlon, the Ice Lagoon, Iceland during several visits. The images will be A2 inkjet prints (printed by me on Canson Baryta Photographique), and they will be for sale.

Thanks very much to Nicholas Boseley and the art team at the City of Wyndham for the encouragement and opportunity. This is a great community initiative to support local artists.

This is a sample image from the set that will be in the exhibition.

Ice on the Beach

Ice on the Beach, Jokulsarlon, Iceland

Posted in art, exhibition, Iceland

Looking back

From time to time I go back through my store of images; looking for usable ones I missed the first time, or ones that I can extract more from due to new tools, more knowledge or just a different idea.

Recently I revisited images I took in the South Australian town of Marree during a trip in 2012.

At the time I was after a strong evening summer sun look, but wasn’t very happy with the colour in the shots. I have revisited them with new tools and some different techniques and managed to get them to be much closer to what I envisaged at the time.

Don’t forget to go back through your archives to find the hidden gems.

 

Marree, South Australia

Marree, South Australia

Marree, South Australia

Marree, South Australia

Marree, South Australia

Marree, South Australia

Marree, South Australia

Marree, South Australia

Marree, South Australia

Marree, South Australia

Posted in art, changed thinking, discussion, explanation, opinion, Travel

A wall in Wangaratta

On a recent trip to the town of Wangaratta in the north of Victoria, Australia, I walked down Victoria Parade, a narrow street near the centre of town.

It was late morning on a bright, sunny day and the shadows really stood out on the blue wall. As usual I had my walking around camera, the Olympus E-M5 with the 12-40mm lens.

Wangaratta, Australia

Wall, window and shadow

Wangaratta, Australia

Three windows

Wangaratta, Australia

Door with shadow

Posted in explanation, How I shot..., Olympus, Travel

A visit to Dubrovnik

It’s been a little while since I said anything here. During September I was traveling in Europe after attending a wedding in Poland, a great experience.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

The roofs of Dubrovnik from the wall

The trip included a week in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik. The old town and port have been restored and rebuilt after a umber of tribulations, most recently the 1991 siege following the breakup of Yugoslavia.

The old town is surrounded by a high wall which, for a price, can be walked. I can recommend that this is done early in the morning during the season, before it gets too hot and too crowded.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

The tiled roofs of Dubrovnik

Staying in the old town is an experience, though getting to my accommodation in this car-less city included a climb of 83 steps up the hill to the apartment between the St Ignatius church and the music school.

Sunset Dubrovnik Croatia

Evening in Dubrovnik,

The evenings were warm, just perfect for sitting in an open air cafe in a small square. I can highly recommend a visit.

This trip I traveled light, only taking the Olympus E-M5, the 12-40 f2.8 lens and the kit 40 – 150 zoom. It performed flawlessly the whole trip.

 

Posted in Olympus, opinion, Travel

New Gallery

I have just added a new gallery of images to the Galleries menu. All of the images were taken at Jökulsárlón, the glacial lagoon, in the south of Iceland.

Iceland_jokulsarlon_exhibition

The lagoon sits between the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier and the sea. Chunks of ice collect in the lagoon and eventually make their way out to the sea, where wind and tide can wash them back on to the black sand and ash beach.

A lot of people take lovely images  of the ice lagoon with bright sunshine and clear blue skies. I however, have only seen rain, heavy overcast and drifting ash from the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. This did make for some dramatic images.

This set of images may become my next exhibition.

 

 

Posted in opinion

The making of a book cover

My clever step-daughter, Dr. Alix, has turned her doctoral thesis into a book, and it has been printed by Brill, a well-known publisher of scholarly books.

Her book, Problematic Identities in Women’s Fiction of the Sri Lankan Diaspora:
“…offers an insightful reading of nine novels by women writers of the Sri Lankan diaspora: Michelle de Kretser’s The Hamilton Case (2003); Yasmine Gooneratne’s A Change of Skies (1991), The Pleasures of Conquest (1996), and The Sweet and Simple Kind (2006); Chandani Lokugé’s If the Moon Smiled (2000) and Turtle Nest (2003); Karen Roberts’s July (2001); Roma Tearne’s Mosquito (2007); and V.V. Ganeshananthan’s Love Marriage (2008). These texts are set in Sri Lanka but also in contemporary Australia, England, Italy, Canada, and America. They depict British colonialism, the Tamil-Sinhalese conflict, neo-colonial touristic predation, and the double-consciousness of diaspora. Watkins examines the problematic identities in this fiction, revealing them as notably gendered and expressed through resonant images of mourning, melancholia, and other forms of psychic disturbance.”

I was very pleased and honoured to be asked to provide a cover shot for the book. Alix wanted the cover to suggest the themes of Sri-Lankan women and colonialism, which is how we wound up on a very windy St Kilda pier early on a Sunday morning. The pavilion at the end of the pier had the look of a colonial-style building and made a good background; early morning put the sun in the right place for me.

After dealing with wind, flowing hair, people wandering about on the pier, people fishing in inconvenient spots and the odd stray dog, we made a book cover. And as a bonus, I got to photograph the elegant and charming Chatu Gunaratne.

The cover image for my step-daughter's book.

The cover image for my step-daughter’s book.

 

Posted in art, explanation, family, How I shot...