Posts in How I make photographs
Kerala Floods Art Auction Fundraiser

Yesterday evening, Labour List MP Priyanca Radihakrishnan organised an art auction at the New Zealand Parliament to raise funds to assist those affected by the floods in Kerala - the worst that have happened there in over a century. The fundraiser event featured Chris Carter who is a former Labour Minister of Government here in New Zealand and UN advisor for the Rakhine State in Myanmar, as well as previously holding the role of Programme Manager of the UNDP Governance unit in Afghanistan. The auction featured some amazing pieces of art sold to the highest bidder by guest and very able auctioneer, Michael Wood, MP for Mt Roskill and Undersecretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities. Also in attendance and speaking on the night was Jenny Salesa. MP for Manukau East, Minister for Ethnic Communities well as other portfolios. Jacob Rajan, acclaimed playwright and actor was also in attendance and spoke about his personal connection to the unfolding disaster in Kerala. I decided to try to help by donating this piece for auction to help to raise funds for the cause: 'Connection' was recently exhibited and was shortlisted for the final of the 2018 Wellington Regional Arts Review.

It was a successful event, raising funds for the Kerala disaster assistance appeal. Here are a few photos from the evening, just to give you a flavour of what happened. Tricky light to take photos in, that's for sure.



The red pin

Last night, 24 August 2018, was the opening night of what is likely to be my last exhibition for the year. I am part of a quartet of photographers showing Point of View, a group exhibition located at Photospace Gallery on Courtenay Place in Wellington, New Zealand, until 15 September.

It was a fun evening with a good 50-60 people coming along for the two hours of the opening, including one of my portrait sitters, my local MP and friend, Paul Eagle.

Lots of great conversations too, including people wondering what paper I had used to print two sets of my photos on to, as I had omitted to include that detail on my information about the sets. Fortunately, the excellent printer I use, Oliver Zavala from Picaflor Fine Art Printing, was on hand with the information. It is called German Etching: and it performed really well for the grey scales of my urban landscapes set, as well as the deep blacks for my portraits.

The red pin in the title of this post, referee to what happens when a Paiul Eagle,  is made at an exhibition. And the reason I point this out is that this has never happened to me before last night. I had an interesting conversation about my set of photos taken at a second-hand shop (known as op shops in New Zealand), and the equipment I used to make the photographs. After talking for a time, the lovely woman said that she was really taken with a particular image and wanted to buy it. So, I'm chuffed. My first ever gallery sale. I hope to sell a few more from that set in particular, as I have pledge 10% of the net proceeds to the charity that the shop supports. Here's the set below:

I'll post each set into its own set on my online gallery in the next few weeks. Do come along and have a look if you get the chance.




New group photography exhibition: Point of View, 24 August - 15 September 2018

It's been a busy year in terms of engaging with my photography practice. With what is my third, and most likely final exhibition this year, I am please to announce that I have 32 photos as part of a group exhibition at Photospace Gallery from 24 August to 15 September, 2018. My work will encompass three different themes, the urban landscape, social documentary, and portraiture. The body of portraiture work I will be showing is a series of photographs of people connected to our home in Wellington. The people portrayed are friends, family and neighbours that visited our home over a two-week period in July and August, 2018.

For my social documentary set, I chose to make photographs at a charity shop in my neighbourhood. Op Shops serve a critical social function in New Zealand, selling second-hand donated goods at low-cost to raise money for social enterprises and charity. More often than not, staff in these shops are volunteers, donating their times to sort through the community donations, and serving people who come in to buy things. For this series, I wanted to document my local Op Shop in Wellington and the staff that volunteer there. Though part of a bigger operation, it is a small shop and very popular in my neighbourhood.

My urban landscape collection reflect upon my journey since moving to New Zealand some 12 years ago. When I first moved here, I hadn’t ever lived anywhere much other than a big city, other than a few months in an English or Welsh village here and there, and some time in village India when I was a child. I remember a feeling in New Plymouth in 2005 on a Saturday afternoon when the shops would start closing up and the hustle and bustle would vanish into the approaching night: some kind of emptiness. These photographs were taken from a bus seat, traveling from Wellington to Whanganui on a Saturday afternoon. I needed to get there to pick up our car that had broken down a couple of weeks before, ironically, trying to get back home from New Plymouth. When I showed these photographs to people, I admit that I hadn't heard about Peter Black’s Moving Pictures photographs, and I had never seen them. People told me I should, so I did. Over 30 years after Peter made his images, my feeling is that although time moves on, other things don’t appear to.

Please come along to the exhibition, and it would be great if you could come along to the opening night too.

My TEDxSydney photos published in CX Magazine, August 2018 issue
TEDxSydney mag.jpeg

CX Magazine featuring my TEDxSydney set-up photos

My photography has made it into a print magazine for the first time. I have been published online several times, but this is the first print edition, so I thought it was worth noting. It was a surprise to see my photos appear in CX magazine this month. This is a trade magazine, with an audience of trade professionals and technicians in entertainment and audio-visual across Australasia. Here's a PDF snippet of the magazine to show my photos in context. Check out the link to take a look.

App review: Photofox delivers Photoshop-style editing for your iPhone or iPad

The new version of the Enlight (now called Enlight Legacy) app, is now called Enlight Photofox. If we cut to the chase, the key feature in this powerful app is how it uses layers and blending modes to help you turn creative ideas you might have to brilliant art on your iPhone and app. And in order to help you to do so, it uses excellent tutorials that are easily accessible even while you are in the middle of an editing process. Check out my latest review on here.

Online Gallery: American Granite

If you've visited here before, you'll know that I've had my first solo exhibition showing at Photospace Gallery in Wellington over the past few week. The final day of this exhibition run is tomorrow, July 16. To mark this, I've decided to publish the images online on my portfolio site. So if you haven't aged to get along in Wellington, or if you live elsewhere, here's your chance. Please click here to view them - and remember to let me know what you think - social media and email links are on my portfolio site when you click through. It was a hard decision to know what to include in the end - and only 16 images made the final cut. I expect I'll make another gallery soon, when time allows. Thanks for coming by. I'd also like to thank the US Embassy in NZ and Fujifilm NZ in their support for my exhibition.

Experimenting with long exposure and ND filter

What with being so busy and setting up my first exhibitions in the last month, it's actually been difficult to spend any time actually taking photographs. As my Plan A on a portrait project had fallen through, I decided to go out and see what I could find to shoot. My plan was to find some interesting scenes to try to shoot on a sunny winter's afternoon at about 3pm, experimenting with long exposure and my new ND filter (from Breakthrough art 6 stops of light). I'm lucky enough to live on the south coast of Wellington, so it wasn't too difficult to find a couple of promising scenes. Here's some of the images I made that afternoon and into the evening just as the sun was going down. It turns out that something in my equipment was a bit mucky - either the lens or the filter, so there were quite a few spots on the images that I had to remove in post-processing - but it wasn't a deal breaker and it was relatively easy to sort out, though. The first shot you see at the top of this post looks out across the Cook Strait where you can see the top of the South Island: ISO 200, 25mm, f/22 at 3 seconds with the ND6 filter.

In this second shot looking south, the settings were ISO 200, at 33mm, f/22 and exposed for 3 seconds with the ND 6 filter.


This third shot on the Miramar peninsula was taken as little later on: ISO 200 at 25mm, f16 and 13 seconds, with the ND filter again. I'm quite surprised that the fisherman and the seagull stayed relatively still for that long!



American Granite exhibition opening

Last Thursday evening, I was really quite nervous as I waited for people to arrive for the opening of my first solo exhibition. With the support of a US Embassy Public Diplomacy grant and printing support from Fujifilm NZ, I put together a selection of images I made from Yosemite National Park in Central California last year. I'm so grateful for the excellent turnout of support on the evening, and from the lovely feedback I have received from people who have gone to see the exhibition after the opening night. It continues until 16th July, and I will be giving a public talk next week on the 6th July. Please go along and take a look, and even come along to the talk if you can.

Another judge commendation for 'Waiting for the Greens' street shot

Really pleased to see this morning that my market street shot, 'Waiting for the Greens' got another judge commendation in a 'Close-up bland and white candid street photography' competition. It didn't do badly in the crowd voting either, finishing in the top 10%. Check out the competition and the results here. It's interesting that the judge comments how many people didn't stick to the brief, but were popular with the crowd anyway, and he laments this fact.

'Waiting for the greens' gets expert judge commendation in Street Markets contest on Photocrowd

I'm really pleased to write that one of the images I entered into the Street Markets contest on received a commendation from  the expert judge for the competition.

Here's a copy of the brief:

"Street markets are sensory overloads of colours and shapes and spices – all combining to form an exciting and condensed snapshot of human life. Choosing what not to leave out can be just as important as choosing what to include here. Choose a point of interest and compose the scene around it. Good luck!"

It's been a great week with some of the photos that I have made being recognised in various forms around the world. It's really quite exciting and rewarding to get that kind of feedback - especially from expert judges. Big week coming up next week - but that will be all about learning and creating. First week of the Portrait Module in my Photospace 3 journey, and also off to Australia to join the photography team shooting TEDxSydney.


Selected as Finalist for biennial Wellington Regional Arts Review Exhibition 2018

I'm really pleased to write that I have been selected as a Finalist in the Wellington Regional Arts Review 2018. The photographs I entered were three of the photos in my "Absolutely Positively 100% Pure" series. They will now be shown at Expressions Whirinaki Arts and Entertainments Centre in Upper Hutt from June 23 to August 5, 2018. This is the first time I have entered a contest in where actual physical prints will be involved, so I am pleasantly surprised to have got through to the final judging and to have my photographs as part of the Regional Arts Review Exhibition. The opening night is on June 22 in Upper Hutt at 6.30pm. Tickets are $15 and are available for purchase here. Its going to be a busy time. My own solo exhibition, American Granite, opens on the same day at Photospace Gallery in Wellington.