Sunday, September 12, 2010

Can’t wait for the video I ordered to arrive…..

And no, it’s not one of those videos.

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about a documentary on an Australian
landscape photographer, Murray Fredericks, who was currently involved
in shots taken from the middle of their Lake Eyre, usually a giant dry,dusty
lake bed, like you see out in the Mojave, only much larger on a logarithmic

I watched the whole 29 minute video online, which by the way, can be viewed
until September 17 or 18, I believe at PBS.ORG, go down to POV and look
for “Salt.”

He has what appears to be a Surley mountain bike with 4 inch tires that pulls
a bike trailer behind holding his tents, cameras etc. Actually a lot of the time
he ends up walking alongside and pushing this heavy contraption through
ankle deep salty mud which must wreck his shoes. I can’t imagine being in
good enough shape to do something like that, but I think our friend over here
probably could. My friends please make sure you click on over to the before
mentioned site if you want to see what the “real Mojave National Preserve”
is like. In many ways, his solo journey through the byways of the Mojave is
similar to the photographer’s journey in this amazing documentary.

Being a former landscape picture taker “wanna be”, the cameras he used were
very interesting to me. I always was intrigued by view cameras, although not
enough to spring for one when I had dough and credit. Something about emulating
Ansel Adams, but the reality is that my picture taking style is point-and-shoot, letting
the camera making the decisions :-( Taking all the time required to make an 8 x 10
view camera shot would not work I guess. I noticed he had what appeared to be a
couple of digital slr’s on tripods as well as the film view camera.

It would take a lot of belief in yourself to push that bike out in the middle of that dry
lakebed in blinding sun sometimes from the glare off the salt surface, miles from shore,
as he specializes in photo panoramas where for 360 degrees around, you can’t see
the edge of the lake(I would say shoreline but evidently it’s rare that Lake Eyre fills
up). Yes, I believe that would take a lot of courage and strength of character and
self confidence, much more than I possess. 

There is a scene in the film where he is overcome with the emotion of being totally
alone, he might have been talking with his wife, I can’t remember. I felt I was eavesdropping
on a private moment.

This is the essence of the desert over there, truly wild, inhospitable but so beautiful
your eyes well up at times. This film is well worth your time and bandwidth to check out,
and if so inclined, the 22$ or so for the dvd which is on backorder,but will be shipping
out in a week or so. The dvd is in the standard and also included is the blueray format.

Just so you don’t think I am shilling this, I do not have any advertising deal with PBS
and I had to fork over the little morongobill bucks for my own copy.

I recommend that you look into this, especially you desert lovers and photographers
out there hanging out sometimes here at the backporch, at least watch the video while
it is still available.

The last 2 links are the photographer’s web page as well as an exhibit of his Lake
Eyre landscapes. These are truly a must see folks. Surreal and sublime can’t
begin to describe some of these photographs. Those of you a little better off
might consider buying a print or two, after all the holidays are coming soon.

Thanks again my friends for dropping by again to the old backporch. Next time I’ll
have a percolator going with some cowboy coffee, laced with some throat clearing
liquid if you like, and we can sit for a spell and talk about anything you want.

Vaya con dios,