Whilst I was on the Hopetoun road trip in the Victorian Mallee in 2017 I experimented with photographing with black and white medium format film and with making some industrial abstractions. I wanted to broaden the way that I was photographing and I thought that black and white would work quite well with some subject matter in the Mallee.
This is an example from a photoshoot on a trip to Rainbow and Warracknabeal. It was over 40 degrees when I was scoping around Warracknabeal and I ended up wandering around an abandoned flour mill site at midday looking for some subject matter in the shade. I came across a couple of old water tanks and made some abstractions synthroid price.
The black and white photos were not that successful as I failed to expose the contrasty subject matter properly, whilst the development of the negatives by Black and White Photographics was overdone. Basically, they overcooked the negatives despite instructions to do the opposite. I realise that if I am to continue to work with medium format black and white film on the Mallee Routes project, then I am going to have to develop the negatives myself. I need greater control.
The black and white abstractions of an old water tank by the abaandoned flour mill between the old railway line and ruined railway station and the road to Hopetoun at Rainbow worked the best. They offered the most possibilities for further photoshoots on an overcast day in autumn.
I started using black and white film as I was after the grittiness of the Mallee. This was one way to avoid the more obvious nostalgic and historic images of the Mallee and the concentration of the soft early morning or twilight light. I’d also seen Alex Frayne’s fascinating and impressive Mallee Series, and I wanted to move off the main highways through the Mallee to find more of the odds and ends that one uncovers by walking around areas that are off the main highways.
All in all I was disappointed with the experiment in using black and white film on this photoshoot. It didn’t come together as I’d hoped that it would.