garden of eden
As you will be able to see from these photos, Nightcliff Beach - like many other beaches in Darwin - is the kind of stunning scene that you might find in cringe-worthy Australian tourism campaigns. This particular day was a perfect sunny 32 degrees (as usual) - a day just begging for a refreshing dip in the sparkling blue ocean. The sand was hot underfoot, the intense sun and warm breeze brought delicate beads of sweat to the forehead and the beach was clear for as far as the eye could see - meaning we had it to ourselves. I took this shot of Maydia with the Holga before heading down to the shore to give the F4 a workout and satisfyingly touch toe to water.
And this is where it gets frustratingly complicated. See that vast, clear, oceanic paradise above? It's deserted for a reason. Due to the combined threat of saltwater crocodiles and box jellyfish, the beaches are off-limits to all but ignorant tourists and drunken locals. This is Maydia returning after indulging in a knee-deep wade (and ignoring me squealing at her to get out before she gets eaten and/or stung to death). A picturesque place that simply can't be enjoyed beyond its visual beauty.
Of course the other thing to note here is the grand introduction of my new, non-lomo camera to the fold! A few rolls have passed behind the lens so far, but this particular photo comes from my debut experimentation with 35mm slide film. Though I am happy with the quite stunning colours in this shot, I was initially perplexed by significant grain in the film. I suspect this may be due to the relatively high speed of the film (400) for such a bright outdoor scene.
After getting used to the grainy Darwin images that appeared on this 35mm slide film I have decided I quite like the tarnished effect the grain brings to the photos - I think it suits my overall impressions of the place (but more of that in my forthcoming entry on Darwin's architecture). Although I didn't take the above shot (it is of me), it conveniently reinforces the two main points of this entry: the overwhelming emptiness of the immaculate beach; and the unique technical properties of these 35mm slide photos, with their combination of strong colour and rough resolution.
So how do I feel after introducing a new format to my blog? Pleased to be able to show you all of the things I am exploring in the land of film photography. (And also pleased that blogger has decided to maintain a uniform width for all of the images. A hint, though: click through on the 35mm shots to see the necessary detail. They get really big.)