I am not a photographer. However, there always seemed to be some reason to pull out my mobile phone to snap something that struck, confused or amused me in Port Melbourne during field work. There were also regular photographs I would try to capture, just in case I needed to be able to revisit what had been somewhere (i.e. notice boards and displays of flyers).
This all means I have ended up with quite a bizarre image record. I can show you my lunch at a VFL game, one of the first eggs from Dig In’s chickens and morning tea in Perce White Reserve at a Friends of Port Melbourne Foreshore working bee (see here for current comments on Perce White). However, I do not have any photograph I would be keen to use as representing Port Melbourne.
The image I cropped to make a banner for this blog was always supposed to be temporary, until I came up with something a little less clichéd. However, I never quite had a photo that would look okay as such a long banner and I quite liked the layers of meaning. In some ways this image of Princes Pier with the Spirit of Tasmania in the background has very little to do with day to day interaction in Port Melbourne. Yet, a concrete pour on Princes Pier was one of my first official field work activities and the refurbishment of the pier progressed (and was discussed) over the duration of my project. The pier is once again in use, but now it is used as a space for recreation.
I like the layers of stories which can be sparked by photographs. However, my paper is more than long enough and I just want to find something to give an international audience sitting in a room in Sydney a little hint of what field work in Port Melbourne has been like.