Monday, 14 January 2013

Would Australia be better off?

by Dale Neill

If this Congo Caravan could tell its story!

Caravans are a little like sausages (mystery bags). They are small, hide mysterious objects and filled with sentimental stories.

As a boy, my parents towed an old plywood caravan and parked it alongside the lagoon in Mandurah. That was when Mandurah was a faraway distant mysterious location. No toilets, no running water, no electricity. My mum caught whiting in the lagoon and fried them in butter in the frypan on a kerosene burner.

An old minimalist, artist friend of mine,  Beth Kirkland had a theory. She suggested if you want to see if you can co-exist with someone, try living in a caravan for six weeks with them. I've never tested the theory but I can see that it would be a little like swallowing truth serum.

Would Australia be better off if  Julia Gilliard and Tony Abbott shared a caravan for six weeks?

What's all this got to do with photography?? Well, I'm not much of a fan of HDR (High Dynamic Range) but when texture is involved and the light is flat I sometimes try it, like in this image. Using HDR is a little like peeling back the layers of the paintwork and revealing the stories. The critical decision is not to allow technology to lead the artist by the nose, but to match the treatment and technology to the process.

Back in the 80s I towed a caravan and took a wrong turn and was forced to back the caravan for a kilometre up a country road. I vowed never to tow a caravan again. I've kept that vow. My next goal is to get Julia and Tony into that caravan in Congo.

Want to learn about HDR? Join me in my next UWA Advanced Photography course.