Hills Hoist: playfull black and white photography


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Creative country inspirations in black and white

The icon of country living still stands strong and resilient like our forefathers. Houses may crumble, families move on, life is lived but the Hills Hoist is widely recognised as one of Australia’s most iconic symbols. Artists often employ it as a metaphor for depicting the essence of Australian suburban life during the 1950s and 1960s.

Its significance goes beyond just being a clothesline; it represents a way of life, a cultural snapshot of that era.

Such is its importance that the Hills Hoist has been designated a National Treasure by the National Library of Australia. This recognition underscores its historical and cultural value to the nation. As a National Treasure, the Hills Hoist embodies a tangible link to Australia’s past, providing insight into the everyday experiences of Australians from a bygone era.

Abandoned buildings can be a fascinating subject for black and white photography

There are several creative approaches you can take to capture their eerie beauty and tell a compelling story. Here are some ideas to spark your creativity:

  1. Focus on the intricate details of the building’s decay, such as peeling paint, cracked walls, and rusted metal. Black and white photography can emphasize texture and contrast, making these details stand out.
  2. Abandoned buildings often have dramatic lighting conditions, with sunlight streaming through broken windows or casting interesting shadows. Experiment with different angles and times of day to create striking compositions.
  3. Try to convey a sense of the building’s history and the stories it holds. Look for objects or remnants left behind, like old furniture, graffiti, or personal items, and incorporate them into your compositions.
  4. Don’t limit yourself to shooting from eye level. Climb stairs, crouch down, or use a wide-angle lens to capture unique angles and perspectives that showcase the building’s grandeur or its decay.
  5. Long exposure photography can create a dreamy or surreal effect, especially when shooting in low light conditions. This technique can soften moving elements like clouds or water and add a sense of timelessness to your images
  6. When editing your black and white photos, consider using different monochrome filters to enhance specific tones or details. For example, a red filter can make the sky appear darker and clouds more dramatic.
  7. Instead of just taking individual shots, consider creating a series of photographs that tell a story or explore a theme related to abandonment. This can provide a more comprehensive and engaging narrative.
  8. To add a sense of scale and emotion to your photographs, include people in some of your shots. They can help viewers connect with the scene and provide a point of reference.
  9. If you have access to a film camera, using black and white film can add a unique and nostalgic quality to your images. Film grain and imperfections can enhance the mood of abandoned buildings.
  10. Don’t underestimate the power of post-processing. Use software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop to fine-tune your images, adjust contrast, brightness, and apply selective edits to bring out specific details.

Remember that creativity knows no bounds, and experimenting with different techniques and perspectives will help you develop your unique style in photographing abandoned buildings in black and white. Keep honing your skills and refining your vision to capture the beauty and mystery of these forgotten spaces.

Find more great subjects like this in Dust and Good Bones Discover Abandoned Australia Section

Location discovered during my Brisbane to Hay photographic road trip

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