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Blog Archive Sept 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

1970's New Plymouth 5

Click on photos for larger view Two of my keepers from the early 70s. In fact the tree below was taken in Wanganui 1971. I find that achieving two or three good photographs a year is normal. These two are in my 1993 book Face Value and the one above remains an all time favourite. Finding pictures like these are very rare events and it makes all the work worthwhile.

I'll leave NP for a while and change the subject in the next post.

Monday, September 28, 2009

1970's New Plymouth 4

Click on photos for larger view New Plymouth racecourse 1973/4

Around 1972 I came across a small book put out by a group of NZ photographers called Photography A Visual Dialect... Ten NZ Photographers. It included people like John Fields, Richard Collins, John B. Turner and Max Oettli. This book represented something other than commercial or camera club photography. It showed me that others were using their cameras as expressive tools, right here in NZ, and it changed the way I was seeing. Until that point the only good mag I could find was the English publication called Creative Camera. Sometimes it was impossible to get CC or it took months to a arrive from England. PhotoForum (created by some of the photographers in the book) began in 1974 and is still going stronger than ever. I have always been a member and my Wellington book was co-published with them. Take a look at the link to their web site at the top of this site. The little book cost $1.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

1970's New Plymouth 3

Click on photos for larger view I moved to Bell Block, New Plymouth in 1971 to work as a draughtsman in an engineering company. Bell Block was about 10 minutes north of NP and had new suburbs popping up at the time. I used to enjoy walking around and watching the changes as families moved in. 1973.

New Plymouth beach. 1972/3.

Friday, September 25, 2009

1970's New Plymouth 2

Click on photos for a larger view By 1971 my Leica was with me 24 hours a day and I was taking photographs of everything around me. New Plymouth was a fascinating place to live after leaving Wellington. Nothing has changed in almost 40 years of work and I am still captivated by the magic of making images, especially in smaller towns. I still carry my camera (in a canvas bag) all the time, even when I pop across the road to the dairy. The photo above is of a worker in the NP fertilizer works.

This photo at the Okato swimming pool.

A farm sale. In 1972 I was just starting to become aware of the European photographers Andre Kertesv and Henri Cartier-Bresson because of books in the NP library. Robert Frank's The Americans was almost impossible to buy at the time even though I had heard about it. I managed to buy one in 1988 15 years later.

This photograph taken at the NP fair ground. I made my first (home made) book of NP fair ground people about 72. I still have the book and the photographs are in perfect condition.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

1970's New Plymouth 1

Click on photos for larger viewPortrait made in 1973 with my Rolleiflex. I made a series of these close up portraits while at the New Plymouth race days. I had just managed to buy a close up filter with parallax correction. It took about 5 weeks to come from Germany. I became torn between the sheer beauty of the larger Rollei negatives and the speed of the smaller Leica. For years I worked with both cameras.

The argument was at a gala day in Inglewood. I was drawn to the people by the yelling and screaming.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Early Photographs

A person has emailed asking to see some of my early work and for me to talk about it as I don't give descriptions on my web site. I moved to New Plymouth in 1971 and it was there that I really started taking photographs. The above one (1972) was with a Rolleiflex. I was aware of Ans Westra at the time and she certainly influenced me, though I preferred to have people aware of me rather than a more candid style.

Inglewood farm sale 1972. I have always enjoyed the way she stands in the centre.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shop Window in Colour

Click on photo for larger view
Just by my favourite (hunting) bus stop on Lampton Quay (the other day) is a shop window. I have tried many times to get a good image through the glass. I think this one works because of the girl and her arm. The more I look at this photo the more I enjoy it, especially in colour. It plays with scale, breaks bodies up and yet not too obviously seen through glass.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Manners Mall

Click on photo for larger view Another surreal photograph from this last weekend. This time in Manners Mall just around the corner from Cuba Mall.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cuba Mall

Click on photo for a larger viewCuba Mall yesterday was crowded with Australians over here for the rugby test. There were hundreds of people either side of these boys, yet this moment seems surreal.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Irish Dancer


You will see by many of the post below I have a thing about dancing people (and dogs). Here is another dancer in a local cafe. What you can't see is the melodeon player to my left. I play a melodeon in a duo called Kaboodle.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Three Legged Dog

Click on photos for larger viewTwo more dog photographs from my book Wellingtonia. Above in Newtown 2002 and below at Lyall Bay beach 1998.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dancing Dog on Petone Beach

Click on image for larger view


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Falling Water

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lambton Quay Ghosts

Click on photos for larger viewI'm heading to Northern India next month and have just arrived home from getting the necessary jabs for the trip. The travel doctor is on Lambton Quay so I hung around for a while and made these photographs. These people appear to have a ghost crossing their tracks. My arm is sore.

I love these passing moments with total strangers. It's as if there is a play being put on for me. This is my favourite photograph for the day.
Bus stops are a good place to lurk because they are crowded and people ignore strange men with cameras. I'll probably throw this picture away because it's weaker than the others and has no mystery, although I like the balance between her arm and his body. Sometimes a picture can be about the shapes between objects. Getting this balance is very hard with moving people and this picture has worked well. If you click on the photo you'll see he has a gangster face and is smoking with little plastic holder.
Wellington buses (in the background) call themselves GO. How corny is that! I think there could be a little essay of street photographs with a big GO in every picture.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Richard Atlas Clark

Click on photos for larger viewDrove over the vertical moat to Masterton on Friday (911) to see the world premier of 911 911 by Richard Clark (above). Richard's film is a surreal view of New York city a week before 911 and again a week afterwards. Richard missed the events of 911 itself which strangely adds power to the imagery of New York. It's really about how the city changed in such a short time. Richard is a very fine editor and has worked with some of the best film makers. He lives in Featherston and I popped it for a cuppa on the way to Masterton. He had just come out of the shower. I'm not sure if this is the correct image of a famous film maker! You can see some of his work using the links at the head of this blog.


After I left Richard I passed through Carterton and stopped at the children's playground.
Central Wairarapa towns have a lovely colonial feel. A good place to hang around for a while!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More Rotorua Circles

Click on photos for larger viewJust developed the films (as if) from last week in Rotorua. At my favourite spot by the lake front were tourist jumping for their photographer.
And just like magic a rainbow. I always reckon rainbows look better in B&W. This picture is a little pretty but I like it.
And in the same spot (after the rain) as if by magic again 'A Rotorua Circle'. The quality isn't good because I had to run, as they instantly sprang up to do a circle dance (above).

Mine Mine Mine

Click on the photos for a larger view Even digital is gaining a history. The above picture keeps appearing in my to keep file. It is a very very early digital photograph on a 3 mb camera in 2002. I still have the camera and it has a fixed non zoom lens and a proper viewfinder. It was the bottom of the digital range at the time but with a charming lens.

This is a picture I shot the other day. Gary Larson once translated seagull calls... "mine mine mine". I reckon it's a committee meeting.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Another shot in the back

Click on the photos for larger view. To answer a question from the last post. Backs are interesting and why not? The above Nelson 2009 and below Wellington 1997

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Beautiful day

Click on photo for a larger view A beautiful weekend in Wellington. The above man was in Cuba Mall next to the Bucket Fountain!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Donkeys by the road side

Click on the photos for a larger view I found these donkeys near Otaki while driving to Wellington. The two in the middle remind me of politicians.
And these animal photos are from my book Wellingtonia (2006).
Island Bay beach. I've discovered that if you hit F11 and click on the pictures you get a very clear and large image. Hit F11 again to return to normal. These last three photographs are from film and the grain structure is lovely when blown up.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rotorua Cicles

Click on photo for larger view
I spend a lot of time (killing time) in Rotorua because my mother was in a retirement home there, and I visited often. Sadly she died recently. The lake front is a place where tourist buses stop and endless people hold cameras at arms length photographing each other. They make perfect subjects and I have taken many pictures of them over the years. The one above yesterday.


I even try to make circles of them.

Time in Rotorua

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Spending long periods wandering around.
Someone has asked what equipment I use. Simple, an entry level Canon SLR (EOS 500D) because it's light with a fixed 45mm F2.8 lens (28mm before 1.6 crop factor). I walk forward for telephoto and backwards for wide angle.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Driving and Fishing

Click on the photos for larger view Driving from Wellington to Rotorua on Monday the light was perfect (raining and grey) and I made many photographs. These three around Hunterville.

At Taupo I saw these fishermen and made the photograph through the windscreen because it was still teaming down with rain.

Just by coincidence I had been looking at this photo of a fisherman taken in Wanganui about 6 weeks ago. I like the image because it is ageless (except for the plastic bucket). The man's coat could have been 100 years old. It was also shot from the car as I drove by and the angle adds to the snap shot feel (perhaps a box brownie in the 1920s?). This is the charm of photography and this picture is really growing on me.


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