Event Review: Large Format Group, Phillip Island

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This write up is much later than I wanted it to be and before the details of the weekend become too hazy and the write up becomes a work of fiction, I wanted to get something posted.

The Phillip Island meeting was the fifth Large Format Group event, again very kindly organised by Richard White. I had previously attended the first two in Beechworth, however due to my disappearance to other pastures for a year, I missed out on the 2014 meetings. A shame because, as I experienced on the first two, the community of large format photographers in Australia are a bunch of weird, wonderful, helpful and friendly people.

Phillip Island, located south west of Melbourne, is most renowned for its motorsport connection and, as many people didn’t fail to tell me, penguins. Sadly, I personally saw neither of those two things – well, not entirely true, I did see a single penguin… let’s just say it was sleeping – but I did see some beautiful coastal seascapes which are my favourite settings to photograph. Phillip Island offered a fantastic array of coastal seascapes, each offering something different from the next.

I visited the amusingly named Nobbies, the wreck of the SS Speke at Kitty Miller Bay and The Pinnacles and Cape Woolamai and captured a number of photographs at each, some of which I was very pleased with.

In between exploring the Island, as usual we took the opportunity to have a “show and tell” of various photographs that had been made since the last meeting. I had the audacity to take a couple of wet prints that were basically the first wet prints I’d made in over eight years (up until recently, my large format workflow was a digital one) which simply had no business being among some of the incredible prints that were shown on the Saturday.

The nature of the weekend means that the group as an entirety breaks up into smaller groups to explore on their own rather than the fifteen or so large format photographers congregating en masse in one spot. But come the evenings, we gather together to discuss the day and to talk photography. It’s a very casual, ad hoc weekend and it works very well as it does. The topic of making a more formal, scheduled weekend came up from time to time, with no absolute conclusion but I believe the overall feeling was people enjoy the weekend as it is. I certainly do.

Thanks must go especially to Richard White for taking on the arduous task of organising the location and accommodation and, personally, to Shane Booth, who kindly picked me up from the airport and chauffeured me to Phillip Island and back.

The next venue is provisionally (or definitely?) planned for Canberra and so we hope to see some of the usual crew who were unable to make it to Phillip Island.

I couldn’t not mention the single victim of the weekend, Shane Booth’s Wista which took a wind-assisted dive off one of the rocks, obviously in a bid for freedom. Respect is due as Shane took it very well.

And thanks to Shane, Richard White and David Tatnall for the photographs.

Brian, Rob & Michael6964 RW6949 Michael Gellert6972

03. Philip Island Shane Booth 05. Philip Island David Tatnall 03. Philip Island David Tatnall

04. Philip Island David Tatnall 04. Philip Island Shane Booth