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Pic of the Week – Rhapsody in Blue

The landscape itself was the inspiration for the image Rhapsody in Blue. The location, Squeaky Beach, situated on the southerly most part of the Australian mainland is a popular tourist site within Wilson’s Promontory National Park. While the beauty of the location is clearly evident, the concept that I’m exploring in this image is that nature and beauty have as much to do with creating landscapes for the mind as they do with the world around us.

The image was made with a Hasselblad 903SWC camera, hand-held at 1/8 second. The film used was Kodak Ektachrome E100VS. After scanning, the image was processed through Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CS3.

The image in question is pretty much as I saw it in my minds eye. I use a basic form of the Zone System that enables me to envisage how the image will look as a photograph, or on the printed page, at the time of tripping the shutter.
Post processing procedures, such as Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, are at least as important to this end as was traditional printing methods. And, while the traditional darkroom still offers wonderful opportunities for the photographic artist, as a practitioner with many years of darkroom experience, I’m completely over it. I much prefer the ability to work my images on the desktop compared to those long darkroom sessions. While the darkroom did offer a more tactile experience, the so-called romance involved with standing on hard floors, for long periods of time, within a dimly lit, chemically sodden environment was somewhat overstated.

I’m currently involved in a series of photography projects dealing with a number of costal regions within my home state, Victoria. One such region is Wilsons Promontory National Park, which is well suited to the philosophy that underpins my photography: the desire to produce life-affirming images.

When it comes to image construction I’m a formalist. Even when working intuitively, my images are carefully considered and highly composed. I hope that my compassion for what I photograph triggers an emotive response from those who both appreciate beauty and are involved in their own search for meaning. Ultimately my work is about identity: mine, that of the subject or scene depicted, and that of the viewer.

My images deal with relatively straightforward subject matter. As far as the image in question is concerned it’s only partly descriptive of the location, because that description does not stand in time. It is, as are the tides, ever-changing. On one hand the image explores notions of beauty, freedom and nature. But I’m also using color, available to me through subject, light, film, a range of digital procedures and the printing process to explore a particular form of beauty, and a personal favorite, that of melancholy.

Hopefully, the images provide the viewer with at least as many questions as they do answers. For therein lies the value of art.


4 Responses

  1. Glenn,
    the blog site is great. I particularly love this image of a favourite place of mine.



  2. Hi David,
    I really appreciate your feedback. I’m working really hard to post as many quality articles as possible. Feel free to visit regularly.


  3. I love the texture in the foreground, it really ‘makes’ this image.

  4. Hi Suzanne,

    This was a tricky shot to make and remained a favorite for quite some time afterwards. There’s a melancholy beauty associated with blue, monochromatic color with which I really associate.


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