This was one the first colour photographs that I made after my return to photography in the 1990s. I had stopped making photos whilst I was doing my PhD in philosophy at Flinders University of South Australia. I started the doctorate in the late 1980s and finished the PhD around 1998, then started to work as an academic on a casual basis. During the 1990s Suzanne, Fichte and I would sometimes go down to Victor Harbor on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula coast on the weekends to stay with Suzanne’s mother (Majorie Heath) at her place in Solway Crescent.
This photos is representation of the granite coast west of Petrel Cove and east of Dep’s Beach at Victor Harbor. It was made with my Linhof Technika 70 using a 6×7 film back. This modest and intermittent photographic restart would have been around the mid 199os before Majorie Heath died in 1997.
I had put all my large format cameras in a cupboard, stopped using black and white film for medium format, and only used b+w for 35m until I lost the Leica M4. I was inching back to photography using the old Linhof, a camera, which I am still using over 20 years latter. I was impressed by the coast, thought that it was an interesting location, and a good spot to pick up the pieces and make a modest return to photography.
The 1990s were a time when cultural theorists responded to the emerging digital culture and the new image technologies in terms of the loss of the real, or the emergence of the post photographic. At this time I was having my coloured negatives developed and scanned by Atkins Photo Lab, contact sheets made, Eventually these scanned film images were loaded onto a cd disc by Atkins. The only difference to what I had been doing in the 1980s in Bowden was photographing in colour and using Atkins to develop the colour negatives instead of me developing my black and white negatives in a wet darkroom.
It was during the first decade of the 21st century that I started to embrace the digital technology. . Atkins had started scanning my negatives onto a cd disc and I started uploading the scanned images onto the PC’s hard drive using Google’s Picasa’s post-processing software which was made available around 2002. People had started using digital cameras around that time. I bought a Sony DSC-R1 digital camera around 2007, a MacBook using Intel processors in 2008, and Adobe’s Lightroom post-processing software in 2009. I joined Flickr around 2009.
My understanding of these technological changes was limited to the digital darkroom replacing the wet darkroom, which I’d given up, rather than the displacement of a traditional film-based photographic practice by the use of a disruptive, digital technology. Nor did I see that the emergence of digital technology was an epochal change causing the crisis of the real, the shift to the post photographic in our visual culture, and changes in the way the world was seen by us.
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