Some time ago, when I was on a surfing safari between Coffs and Moffs, an elderly gent who was rock fishing on a headland in the middle of nowhere and I got chatting about photography and light and films. I had been seriously attempting some landscape shots with a $4000 digi-rig and a tripod. Despite my aRt school training, my pics were crap - the hard light, the wrong angle - numerous excuses. So we talked. He wasn't catching any fish but having a crack and enjoying being outside the house he lived in 20 minutes drive away.
We talked about light and the old masters like Dupain and Cotton, who were an item a long time ago, when monochrome was the only option. We talked about old films you can't get anymore like Kodak Infra-red and we talked about medium and large format - an easy, casual connection of like-minded souls.
He wasn't sure what his life would be like now that his wife had passed away and there was nobody to share his imagery with. Instagram hadn't been invented yet and he didn't sound like an online kind of guy.
Later that day, he ended up giving me a Nikon F80 film camera with a zoom lens.
He wasn't sure if it still worked but understood I was a fellow traveller on the backroads of creativity. I put a number of rolls of C41 colour film through it and here's some with the colour desaturated.
Otherwise, there's no manipulation. What's the point if you're shooting with film?
"there are heroes in the seaweed"
BIG thanks to my anonymous hero in the seaweed. Long may you run, brine brother.
We're only three weeks past winter and already the humidity is stifling. It's raining somewhere in between a drizzle and what Nana Brine would call "cats and dogs" (I must ring her). By 1100am, I've failed badly in my attempt to make Sunday technology-free with no photoshop, no Instagram, no FaceBook. I better go get some groceries while my sick wife rests up.
The local supermarket is jam packed and surprising as there are plenty of carparks. Must be on foot. Nothing else to do. There's a pensioner couple in front of me. What are they doing here today when they have all week? Or do they? Maybe they are the face of the underemployed and the new working poor - old and crusty and broken by mortgage foreclosures.
A courteous young lass with a name badge signifying Elizabeth runs my avocados and onions and bananas and lactose free yoghurt and ham past the scanner and into five plastic bags
Trolley boys wander and wrangle 30 metallic beasts at a time through the throng outside the grog shop. I used to do that last century. Wrangle that is not loiter outside grog shops.
Over at the shopping centre's Italian cafe (called Valentino's) I join a large queue of caffeine junkies salivating at the thought of a hot strong coffee on this sorry attempt at a Sunday. I notice the other cafe has zero customers, so decide to share my financial love with the Asian barista. Despite her broad Aussie accent and my broad Aussie smile she fails to reciprocate with any attempt at what Dale Carnegie would call customer service. It happens in the 21st century. At my age I should be happy to even be noticed by a shop assistant! I console myself with the fact that she's probably had/having a hard life. You never know the burdens people have to carry.
Bosko & Honey
A short young tough follows me down the ramp (the escalater is broken again) I'm slightly freaked out after the dream I had last night. I tell myself I'll douse him with my scalding mocha if he tries to nick the wallet in my back pocket. It's only got $15 in it but around here they'll smash your car windows to grab less.
I make it to the car and lock it. My right ear is ringing from an old roadie injury ie too much noisy rock back in day when pub fights didn't end up with manslaughter charges. Funnily enough there's a voucher for a discount dinner at the local pub on the back of my shopping docket. (These things have become road maps of 21st century economics.) I ponder if the high rent suburbs advertise fancier stuff than pest control (plenty of vermin here), cable TV (nothing to do all day), driving lessons (gotta get out of this place) and discount pub dinners.
The mocha is scalding hot and rather good. I nestle it in the little tray thing that was cutting edge when this car was new 13 years ago and turn on the radio. There's either heavy metal, disco or local football wrap up. The CD player will only play Michael Bublee. Why couldn't it have got one of my CDs stuck in it like the Stones, Bowie, The Who, The Cream or any of those Manchester Brits (except Oasis)?
Cambodian Space Project
Motoring homewards, past the soccer fields where the games have been cancelled, the streets are awash with fallen Spring blooms and people trying to make a something day out of a nothing day. Back home and a certain smell reminds me I've forgotten the white vinegar (even though it was on The Shopping List). Probably doesn't matter, as yesterday's vinegar dousing hasn't even dented the onslaught of mould. Come back sunshine.