Sunday, July 10, 2011
D. Darian-Smith was a South Australian photographer (1900-1984). From what i can gather, he was very very good at what he did. I came across him in my research of the Capri Theatre in Adelaide, Smith was the first photographer to document the theatre and the only one to do it well! The top four images above are of the Capri in 1941 when it first opened(bottom two- Theatre at Glenelg and a aerial shot of Adelaide), my favorite shot is the inside of the cinema, showing the screen and the seats. Every shot is bathed in beautiful light, which is very hard to achieve in the pokey theatre, he was clearly very skilled and precise in his work.
Darian-Smith's life collection is owned by Atkins Technicolour-1000s of negatives, glass plate and all- and they have made a web site where the images can be brought in different sizes, all money going towards the upkeep of the collection. The web site is very disappointing as the images are only shown quite small and when viewed larger there is a giant copyright C across them, and the quality isn't very good at all. These where the only 6 good quality images i could find on the internet of his work.
Darian-Smith photographed everything, from cinemas to proposed air field sites to images for home and garden magazines and (my favorite) he also did aerial photography. From what i can see his aerial shots are amazing, in their composition as well as the way they were taken. Darian-Smith would stand on the wing of the airplane and set up his camera (LARGE FORMAT GLASS PLATE CAMERA, THAT IS), with a leather strap around his waist he wouls set up and take his photographs, whilst giving hand signals to the pilot . It is amazing he got anything at all in focus and didn't DIE at the same time!
I have so much respect for this man as he has done so many things that i want to do myself. Id love to use glass plate, do aerial photography, document theatres and do it all with such beauty! i love that he worked and lived in South Australia, i want to find out more about local Australian photographers, rather than European and American ones all the time. I recently ventured to a small town in the Kimberly (Derby) and went to their library and looked through their collection of photographs. There were amazing images of Indigenous people going about their everyday life before the town was built, as well as documentation of the town over the years. It was really amazing to see these photographs and i would have like to have known who the photographers were. I think there is a real art from that comes from documentary photography, especially when it is documenting really mundane things, like the construction of a road or a building.
D. Darian-Smith seems to be a very interesting person and a superb photographer. I would really love to go down to Atkins and get my hand on the original glass plate negatives that he took...
I want to find more local photographers..I want to be just as good as them all..i wish i could stand on the wing of an airplane and take pictures on my box brownie..I wish i could have met Douglas and got some tips from him..he is a big Enemy of mine.
Monday, July 4, 2011
Okay so this is a local Adelaide woman's work- Amy Patterson. I have come across her work a few times now in exhibitions around Adelaide. Her newer work (the top 4 images) are very interesting, I haven't been able to find much information on it, I am not 100% but i believe they maybe images Patterson has come across on the internet and has then put them through Photoshop to give them the washed out- oil painted look to them. When i first saw the work i thought that they where actually hand painted, then when i realised that they had been worked in Photoshop I began to not like them. But I have time to think about it now and i believe that they are amazing unique pieces of work. I like that they are unconventional.
They each tell their own story that doesn't really connect with any of the other stories, but they all work well together.
What i like most about them is what has been left out of the image. I bet if i came across one of the original photographs i wouldn't even recognise it as Patterson has changed them and made them her own. What she leaves out of the image by darkening or fogging the image helps lead your eye to the important parts of the image and helps create the story.
The mood is a little creepy and seems to always be from a on-lookers point of view, that isn't involved with the action at all.
But what I am most interested in, is Patterson's earlier work,I have seen it before at the Samstage (last year?) and LOVED it. As i just love clouds- and guess what this work is called? 1001 clouds. I believe originally they were Polaroids which have been scanned and re printed slightly larger and then all 1001 placed together to create a Monster cloud extravaganza!!
I came a cross a great quote that Patterson stated, not sure who originally said it:
"how to describe a world that evades us, not because it is un-graspable but, on the contrary, because there is too much to grasp"
this is how i feel sometimes, (not trying to sound heaps arty-farty-emotional) but it is often a thought of how am i going to portray a certain landscape or tree through my work, when in reality, it is already so beautiful. When there are just too many things around me that i want to capture with my lens.
There are so many things i like about this work, The size, the intimacy, the documentation of the sky, the list goes on. I think it is just nice to finally find someone that is as interested and intrigued by the sky as i am.