I’ve been exploring the potential of new photographic projects. Most excited about really exploring black and white photography in the Blue Mountains. I’ve set up a sub-page here, Deep Mountains, to explore this idea further.
Sure, other’s have done wonderful monochromes of Blue Mountain scenery, real experts, but I feel there is more to capture. The spectacular monochromes of my Hawkesbury River skies should work just as well for the mountains. I love Geoff Smith’s pictures (Geoff is a well-known art photographer from Blackheath). I am also interested in the minor details and small things found in the bush. Banksias for instance offer great density, detail and texture. Those below were photographed on the Blue Mountains TAFE campus at Wentworth Falls as part of my photography studies on my Sony Nex-5N.
Am also thinking of trying to get back to my Pentax 35 mm film camera, long out of commission. It is possible to get Ilford 400 black and white film at The Camera House in Katoomba, and a couple of places still do processing and printing in Sydney. But the results on the Sony Nex-5N are pretty satisfying. More news on this project soon, once I am able to get around again (after knee surgery).
Which leads me to another project. I came up with the idea of documenting my knee-replacement journey under the title “Right Knee”. I thought many people might have already done something like this but it doesn’t seem so. But there is one famous case, of photographer Charles McQuillan, who documented his own open heart surgery (here). Well, that’s going a bit far. Nothing so drastic in mind. But once you enter into the world of surgery a whole different dimension of images and experiences opens up. I won’t be photographing my own knee surgery but there are lots of diagrams of damaged knees. There is something very beautiful about the interior of joints. Love these two from olden times Gray’s Anatomy (first published 1858 – not the TV show). Don’t you just love those names: the Tendon of Popliteus and the Ligament of Wrisberg are special favourites.
In the course of my researches I found that there is a whole professional practice in medical photography, which involves all kinds of interesting photographic adventures. You can read all about it here.
Don’t think I’d ever become a professional surgical photographer but there is something compelling about the narrative and documentary potential of this project. I guess it’s a kind of elaborate version of the selfie. I was hoping to be able to photograph in the pathology and imaging labs when I was at the hospital the other day but it seems photography is not permitted. I might have another try on the I-Phone next time I am there. LATER: As it happens I took a few snaps but nothing worked as far as the leg was concerned, but I liked the image of my very dour and serious nurse.
And I became addicted to Diagnosis Murder, it was the highpoint of my day. I still watch it today. Love Dick van Dyke and his hunky son.