Friday, October 30, 2009

Portraits 4

Click on image for larger view Bride's Maid Town Hall, Wellington 08.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Portraits 3

Click on image for larger view Mike Hoppley old time frailing banjo player 08. Frailing is an old style often associated with Amercan settlers and hillbilly dance music, long before bluegrass and jazz banjo. Mike studies these styles and plays a banjo from the 1830s. These original banjos (which came to America with the African slaves) have gut strings, no frets (like a fiddle) and animal skin drums. My banjo was made in 1885 and frailing takes years to master, if ever.
'You spend your whole life learning to frail then you die'.
'I'd rather be an old timey frailer than a frailing old timey'.
Listen on UTube by entering Old Time Banjo.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Portraits 2

Click on image for larger view Richard Clark film editor of Featherston 09. I talked about Richard in my post (Sept 12) below and he has become a good friend. On this occasion I was in a cafe in Carterton while Richard was in a hair salon next door. He popped in for a coffee halfway through the process with this white stuff in his hair. I instantly saw the Pope in him. Sometimes I even see a hallo!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Portraits 1

Click for larger view Lying low for a while so I thought I'd show some of my portrait work over the years. The man above is Peter Turner. I took this photo shortly before he died five years ago. He suffered from MS and often described his condition as being 'othered'. Towards the end he would often sit, smoke, drink and reminice for hours as he drifted in and out of his otherness.
Peter was, for many years, the editor of the English magazine Creative Camera (I talked about in a post below - Sept 28th). CC was about the only mag in the world (during the 60/70s) which celebrated photography as the fine art form it is. Peter was a prolific writer and publisher of his own books as well.
I first met Peter in London in 1975 where I showed him some of my work. He bluntly told me to go away and find direction which peeved me at the time, but was probably true. He came to NZ in the early 90s with his Kiwi partner Heather Forbes (also a photographer exhibiting at PhotoSpace right now, see link) and settled in Wellington. Peter became a good friend and I miss his wisdom.
I'm othered I'm buggered.
I'm up I'm down.
It's harder It's harder.
Just being around.
A verse from a song I wrote about him.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pipi gathering

Click on image for a larger view Titahi Bay Beach is a last bastion of the old Kiwi habit of driving your car onto the beach when there is a cold wind, and having a snooze. For some reason the council haven't put up signs pointing to assigned car parks, well away from the beach. When I park there something always happens.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bolder Bank and Christians

Click on image for larger view Thanks for the many kind emails. I'm home (feeling sore with stitches) after a week in hospital having my plumbing fixed. Just one more treatment next week and I should be rambling again. These two photographs were taken in Nelsen this year. The car reminds me of the French photographer LH Lartigue's (moving cars) work around 1910 when he was only 16 years old.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Before and After

Just home after three days in hospital and I have to go back in tomorrow. I looked for a photo to illustrate how I feel right now. Brisbane 1993.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

In hospital for a few days. Normal post again next week.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Click on photos for larger view I have been emailed from overseas asking if I have any photos of Maori moko. Well, yes I will have many but these two are interesting. Hawera 1982 on a film set. I asked if I could wander around and take photos. The man above only has a half face moko. I wonder if this is traditional or they were shooting him from one side only? They must have spent hours in make up. I love the photos because it reflects an innocent time, before guards at the gates would have chased me away. Imagine trying to walk onto a film set these days? I'll show some more soon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blackball Blacksheep

Click on image for larger view A photograph for Gabrielle McKone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Owhiro Bay

Click on image for larger view After five days of southerlies the south coast of Wellington was magnificent today.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Obama wins prize

I went searching for an image when I heard about the Nobel Peace Prize award. Cuba Mall 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wet Murky NZ Light

Click on photos for a larger view I love the wet light of NZ after days of rain and a heavy skies. The sodden bark on trees turns black and grass takes on a strange greyness. Objects become pronounced against the sky and patterns form everywhere. It's much better than a sunny day. Am I strange?

These three photos taken just outside Reefton on the road to Greymouth.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Picton 2009

A friend once told me to carry little mints if you want horses to throw their heads around for photographs. It's amazing how such a large mouth can slowly taste and eat such a small sweet. But they can, and they come back for more. Horses are such beautiful animals and this photo (though rather plain) still has a nice feel to it. I think it's the white paint that appeals. No, I didn't use a mint because the owner was near by.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Song for Eddie

Click in image for larger viewStill in Blackball I found this strange dwelling. It became the cover of my CD of guitar music (Song for Eddie). Eddie was a friend and fine Irish singer who died about the time, so I dedicated the CD to him.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chickens Blackball 2003

Click on image for larger view
Blackball is a small mining town about 20km inland from Greymouth. Many of my West Coast photographs are taken around this rustic area. You can see some of them on my web site.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Chicken New Plymouth 2009

Click on photo for larger view

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ohakune Rail Station 2009

Two views of the station from a road trip with my good mate and fine photographer David Fairey. Other photographs from the same trip are shown below (Aug 26)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lucky Day

Click on photo for larger viewAt last I have the tap dancing boy of Cuba Mall. You can read on my post below (Aug 30th) that I've been trying to capture him for ages. It's taken another month but today I found an angle. This is a cracker and I'm very happy.

When I do my next book he will go alongside the Dancing Indian (Aug 20th below)

Someone has emailed and asked if I manipulate my photos.
NO I don't in any way.

Friday, October 2, 2009

PhotoShop Free

Went for a walk yesterday to see the World Press Photography exhibition. I used to go to this annual show and come out on a little high. Now I am disappointed with the over use of photo finishing, or turning photographs into little paintings. I see it everywhere especially in professional photography and the NZIPP have become painters with cameras. Just take a look at their recent awards in the Photographer's Mail! Because it's all so new the clients fall for the trickery and expect it as regular work. I read somewhere that a photograph is never finished until it's been to a Photo Finishing Artist, and we are not talking about opening eyes and spotting here! Even the NZQA busary level photography blurs into design and graphics. The students are not taught about recognising a good photograph on its own merit, and ordinary images are OK because they can be dramatised with Photoshop. Don't get me wrong Photoshop can be an art form within its own right, but it's not a replacement for the real thing.
The above photo taken in Lampton Quay yesterday without any PhotoShop help.

Thursday, October 1, 2009