First Roll

I paid for the camera and Paul included some expired B&W film as well as a screw on yellow filter and I set off down the steep hill towards Lonsdale into the heart of the Melbourne CBD and tried some street shooting.


 First frame, Melbourne, 2009.

First frame, Melbourne, 2009.

I never saw myself as a street photographer but I was on the cusp of starting to experiment with it back then. The excitement and anonymity of being in a new city, where I felt hardly any self-consciousness of shooting gave me the opportunity to try it.  Overall I found Melbourne welcoming, a place that didn't feel like a big city at all; just a splash of adjoining suburbs each with their own identity. Apart from CBD which was the hub, there was a perimeter of outlying low level suburbs that surrounded it. To go to Brunswick, South Melbourne or Praharan was to go a micro hub and each place had their own pace, style and culture.

Using the Hasselblad was a completely new photographic experience akin to one that I had never experienced before. Looking down the waist level finder was a novel joy, albeit pretty disorientating because on a Hasselblad everything is backwards. Because there's no prism to re-orientate what you see, the left hand side through the viewfinder the right hand side of reality.

And still, even after all these years there is nothing like the sound of that glorious pop when the shutter sounds.  The crank of the lens winder mechanism and the internal hidden moving parts working in complete unison and precision as the film winds on ready for the next frame still is a sound to behold.

It was difficult to learn and orientate in the streets but I started shooting immediately, the first half a dozen of which are completely forgettable and I'll upload them simply to illustrate that. There is one that is half interesting but only because it is well exposed and in focus. The others are either out of focus, underexposed, uninteresting and mostly have all of those variables all at the one time. I'll refrain from using the word qualities because that would indicate a certain aesthetic achievement which they completely devoid of.

I'm still not sure what happened to the other six from the roll. No evidence in my archives suggests they were even ever taken, not even strips of blank film.

Melbourne, October, 2009.

On Arrival

On Arrival

Travellers and workers crissed crossed in front of me as I stood outside and breathed in that crisp Australian air for the first time, the victory of which seemed reticent despite all the energy, detours and dreams to finally get here.

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