Monthly Archives: September 2009

Shadows on Sand

090712 Sun Dial Triptych_video still2

There is more mystery in the shadow of a ‘woman’ walking on a sunny day, than in all the religions of the world….. Giorgio de Chirico

Dust Storms

Inner Sydney Dust Storm, 6 am, 23 September 2009. Photo: Julia Featherstone

090923 Dust Storm06

This morning, Sydney resembled  the desert dust storm that hit the Silverton campsite, 11 am 29 June 2009.

Cats have a ‘sixth’ sense. My cat woke me at sunrise, meowing and seeking comfort. But from what? Lifting the blind, I found a blood-red sky! The phone woke me at 6am , What’s going on? By then, the streetscape was yellow.

Today, the Big Twenty, meet in New York discussing climate change. China declared 15% renewable energy by 2020, USA and Australia must win Senate approval………..

Both photos were downloaded straight from my Ixus 100IS, without any manipulation, or  colour change.

Silverton Campsite Dust Storm, 11 am 30 June 2009. Photo: Julia Featherstone

090630 Silverton Dust Storm_campsite

Umbrella di Firenze

Umbrella di Firenze Cordillo Downs, Simpson Desert 2009. Photographer: Julia Featherstone

090709 Umbrella di Firenze

I bought this umbrella in the markets of Firenze (Florence) Italy, 2006. I wanted to use this golden, practical object for my work, as the umbrella appropriated 4 iconic Florentine Renaissance buildings, in duplicate. It was kitsch / pastiche. It took my fancy… enormously!

I took this photo about 4 am, in July, on an early winter’s morning. The (almost) full moon was setting behind me, to the west. I used a Canon 1Ds, 28mm lens, on a tripod, with a long exposure and mirror lock-up. I lit the landscape with hand-held flash units, torches and the umbrella, with an LED Sony video light.

Black Crow Totem

Black Crow Totem, Innamincka 2009. Video Still. Cinematographer: Julia Featherstone

090921 Black Crow Totem, nnamincka

I’m currently editing my HD video footage  Black Crows, taken near our campsite at Burkes Grave, Innamincka, Simpson Desert, Saturday 18th July,2009, late afternoon.

I loved driving out alone among the Jump Ups, gibbers and crows, in our new Turbo Charged Land Cruiser. The Cruiser lived up to its name, cruising along like a small light car…  it was soooooo easy to handle, with all that torque!!!!! Our old 1991 Cruiser (just traded in) drove like a bull-dozer, and more…….!!

090922 Black Crow Totem-03

090921 Black Crow Totem-02

Full Moon Sinking

Full Moon Sinking, Simpson Desert 2007. Photographer: Julia Featherstone

Full Moon Sinking 1

In July 2009, I travelled with photographer /husband Alasdair Macfarlane again, to the Simpson Desert area in far NE of Sth Australia. We camped among the deep red sand dunes of Cordillo Downs  Station for 2 weeks, powered by solar panels, which ran our computers and fridge. When we ran out of food, we packed up and drove 180 km south to Innamincka. The Store was out of fresh food, but luckily a semi trailer (with supplies), was due next day. So we drove 15 km north to Burke’s Grave, near Coopers Creek. Burke, an early explorer, died here in 1846, beside a river full of fish and abundant birdlife. We thought he must have eaten poisonous food, as co-explorer King survived, living with a local indigenous tribe. I’m pleased with the photographs/video from this trip.

Now that I’m back in Sydney, I’m researching/editing my images and video to find a meaningful context, while working on a  5.1 surround soundscape in the studio – it still sounds toooooo rhythmical and dense.

I’ve just shot video (Sony Z1p HD) in the Green Chroma Key Studio, tracking around barbed wire from the Simpson Desert. The results weren’t too good. When I keyed the wire video over desert landscape video, the results were  disappointing…..  soooooooo far. I tried putting magenta gels over the sidelights to improve the separation, but this didn’t work, either.

Surprisingly……… The emotional impact of my footage/photos  appears comforting, full of colour, with interesting textures…  whereas, I thought I was visualising  the void, isolation (no people) and a wasted heartland… However, looking down at the desert floor, and not out to the far distant horizon, creates other emotions.  My Moonlight Sonata Series (one image above), feels particularly romantic!!!!!!!!????