he last few weeks have been extremely hot and dry with high winds, culminating in the worst bushfires Australia has seen in recorded history on Saturday the 7th (now being called “Black Saturday”) where the temperature reached over 46º C and many fires broke out, involving vast swathes of the State and in some cases totally obliterating some townships. Nearly 2000 homes have been destroyed and over 180 people so far have lost their lives (the final numbers are not confirmed yet, but I suspect it will go higher) My family have been fortunate, despite living in area surrounded by many forests, national parks and wooded catchment areas and the like, danger has so far passed us by, but we remain on alert and have important paperwork, photos (and for me, cameras) packed and ready to go should we need to abandon our home in the face of a dangerous threat. Of course our children and our lives are the main priority, so we must be prepared to lose those material things, if need be. So far the weather has settled and we are just waiting for some rain, but early last night as we were preparing to get the kids to bed and relax when we received a few phonecalls in quick succession from concerned friends and relatives, as a fire had broken out just ‘down the hill’ from us. Thankfully it was contained with alacrity by our brave Country Fire Authority volunteers and other emergency service workers who have been tireless in their dedication to protect the community.
I suppose this leads me to ponder on the transience of ‘things’ and the importance of photography in our personal lives and the construction of our reality through our memories. Often the first material things people try to preserve in the face of disasters like fire are their photo albums. I know that looking through my photographs of my wife and children brings me great joy and sparks recollection of happy times that often get buried below the surface of consciousness by the ongoing events and concern of everyday life.
n a lighter note, the French publisher Editions Allia has kindly sent me 5 complimentary copies of the booklet of Andalusian Poetry featuring my Polaroid abstract on the cover. This is my first Book Cover!!
ic Nichols of Four Corners Dark has an interesting interview with hideki ohmori of powershovel you know Powershovel, the cool people behind the blackbird,fly camera – this is part one, so I am looking forward to reading the next installment – update: pert two is here: interview with hideki ohmori of powershovel part two. Thanks Nic! Speaking of the BBF, the latest issue of Lightleaks magazine (Issue 22) has a review of this fine camera by C. Gary Moyer (as well as many other tasty lo-fidelity photographic content)