Posts tagged Fujifilm
The red pin
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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
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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.

Experimenting with long exposure and ND filter
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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
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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.

'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 Photocrowd.com 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.

 

American Granite: My new exhibition opens at Photospace Gallery on June 22
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I can't quite believe it, but my first gallery exhibition opens later this month. American Granite will run from June 22 - July 16 at Photospace Gallery on Courteney Place in Wellington, New Zealand.

There is a view that taking photographs of objects and scenery somehow interferes with our enjoyment or experience of being in the moment, especially when we are out in the wilderness. How often have you heard people urge others to put the camera down and just 'be in the moment'. I even say it to myself (with some justification) on occasion. However, the reality is more nuanced than this one-sided view. Taking photographs can also heighten our sensibilities and sensitivity and increase our engagement in our experiences.  For me, walking around a snowbound Yosemite National Park in January 2017 was a truly wondrous experience. Sarah and I were amongst the last to be admitted into the Park for two days as the snow mounted up and transport options both into and out of Yosemite became difficult. Many of these photographs in this exhibition were made wandering around with a Park Ranger in sub-zero temperatures one morning. I went back to my room so cold, that I couldn’t actually move my fingers for a few minutes. I remember nervously checking my camera memory card that my fingers were working well enough in the field, that I had actually pressed the shutter when I thought I had.
My exhibition will also be supported by a public lecture on 6th July (6.30pm) at Wellington Central Library, Mezzanine Floor, entitled 'Does photography ruin our enjoyment of wilderness experiences?' I'm looking forward to talking about that too.
I've linked the Facebook event pages for both the exhibition and the public lecture too. It'll appear on Eventfinda too in the next week or so, so I'll put that link up too when I get the chance. Please note the dates in your diary and come along. And for those of you that can't make it to Wellington to see the whole thing, I'll put up an online gallery for you to enjoy once the event is over.
I'd also like to acknowledge and thank the US Embassy in New Zealand for awarding me a Public Diplomacy Grant to support this exhibition.
‘Romanticisation’ gets expert judge commendation in Photo X competition on Photocrowd
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I'm really pleased to write that one of the images I entered into the Humanity section of the Photo X 2018 competition on Photocrowd.com received a commendation from one of the expert judges on the panel. Here's a copy of the brief:

Compassion, forgiveness, friendship, empathy, charity, society, the human race. What does “Humanity” mean to you? From benevolence to our global family, inspire your creativity and enter a single image or series to respond to this brief.

This is the first time that I've entered any of my work to be judged, so I'm really happy to have it noticed by an expert judge. I'd love to get some feedback about what they liked about it. Check out the link to see what I was up against - there are some amazing entries to congratulations to those that made the shortlist for the final judging.

My new online exhibition launched today: The Fallen
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I was on my  way into my office one morning, and I just happened to have my Fujifilm x100 in my hand. I saw a flash of brown and yellow, fluttering in the wind on the ground before me. As I walked up to it, I experienced a dawning realisation that it was some kind of bird of prey lying motionless by a pole on the pavement. I wondered what to do. Was it a protected species? Was it dead? If not, what had happened to it and how should I care for it. It's wings fluttered weakly before me, being pushed by the wind upwards and over its face, shielding it from my view. One of its eyes looked half-open. It looked stunned rather than dead, but I couldn't be sure.

Still, I decided to take a few quick photos of it to see if someone could identify it, go into the office to get rid of the bags I was carrying, and come back out with a towel to see if I needed to pick it up and remove out for a while before I could get someone to come and take care of its needs, be it alive or dead.

I must have been inside for all of two to three minutes. But, but the time I emerged back onto the pavement, it had disappeared.

I did a little research after I got back inside, I called the City Council that has a team that deals with this kind of thing. They didn't know what to make of it but asked me to send in the photos that I did take , as it might be helpful to identify the species of bird. I sent the photos in, and sent a follow-up email a couple of weeks later. I still have heard back from them . Some people thought it might be a Morepork (and native New Zealand species of owl), but others thought it might be a Karearea or New Zealand Falcon. I also came across this, saying that for Karearea, the risk of electrocution is a real one.

I then recalled that I found the bird lying on the ground at the foot of an electricity pole.

To see the complete series of 5 images, please click here to go to my online portfolio. Thanks - and do let me know what you think.

Long exposures of everyday objects and scenes
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When I was in class at the Photospace Gallery the other day, we were talking about flash photography and documenting everyday reality. For some reason, this lit a spark in me to do something of the opposite: to experiment to long exposures - while in motion - of everyday objects. And also to capture this in colour, rather than documenting in black and white, which is what I tend to prefer. So here's some images I have made over the past few days, while experimenting with this idea.  

Pigeon Point Lighthouse photograph published on Stuff NZ
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It was a nice surprise to see this published on the Stuff Travel NZ website this weekend. It's the second photo I've had published there, out of the two that I have sent in for consideration. You can see the photo in context here, but here's the image I submitted. Taken with my Fujifilm X-T1 and 18-55mm kit lens, at 29mm focal length, 1/140sec, f5, ISO 200.

Absolutely Positively 100% Pure - Behind the photographs

I have been working in the area of disaster mental health as a psychologist for over 10 years. During this time, I’ve seen a few responses to emergencies, and some recovery processes too, as well as being involved in the work of preparing for disaster and understanding how people perceive risk, and actions they take on those perceptions. Or, sometimes how people discount risk so that they don’t have to contemplate uncomfortable truths, meaning they can carry on as they are rather than be forced to take action that would greatly disturb how they currently live their lives.

One way I try to represent this in this series of photographs that I have made is through our relationship with place and time. The end of the day means it is  time to be with the people we care about, to leave work and to re-connect with each other as the day draws to a close. We live in a beautiful country, so what would be better than to move to a high viewpoint to watch the sun set and the light fall on the sea, with big open skies to watch the colourful show as the stars begin to twinkle in the twilight, and to share that experience.

But to share in modern life means more than to share with just the people we are physically in that place with. It means to share with a much wider community online. And when I take the photograph with that mobile phone, perhaps I become a little less connected to the people I am physically with, and more concerned about who might be watching what we post online from afar. How will they judge what I post? Maybe I need to exaggerate the photograph, just a little, to make sure they understand what an amazing moment this is that I am sharing with them. But as the screen dims to our eyes, as it does when our eyes have been looking at it for a while, as we judge that the colours aren’t quite popping off the screen as we would like them to, we perhaps turn the sliders up to far, causing our photograph to become quite disconnected from the scene we are actually looking at.

It is this disconnection from experience that I am interested in exploring. It isn’t the making of the photograph that causes us to become disconnected. I wonder if it is because we show this to others online, to a large audience, that causes us to loosen the connection between reality and representation, to exaggerate the colours and the landscape we see, to meet with the approval and liking of others. To create a hyperreality. To me, this distortion of reality to meet the needs of the audience isn’t new in photography. It isn’t new in the study of risk perception either. Of course, it isn’t a universal experience, for example, the use of the #nofilter hashtag is a nod at least to an acknowledgement of the augmentation of images that happens more often that not.

The idea of solution aversion is one way to understand this; we alter our view of reality to be as flattering as possible. When we look at the world around us and we see problems, like climate change or inequality, people may be motivated to deny problems and the scientific evidence supporting the existence of the problems if we don’t like the solutions being proposed. Similarly, if we don’t think the scene we are witnessing is good enough to share compared to how we think it should look, or indeed in comparison to all the other sunset pictures that are being posted on social media, then perhaps we alter reality to become as flattering as possible. Because the other solution would be to post the picture as it is, and the feared outcome is that we will be ignored.

As we alter reality to avoid being ignored, and to increase the likelihood that our image will be liked, I wonder if we become increasingly disconnected from the reality of the world we live in. Instead, we unconsciously choose to romanticise the land and our experience of it as perfect, ambient, and the envy of the world. I wonder if we do this so often because when and if we take a long look at our world, we see problems that are hard to fix, and will take concerted action by individuals, communities and nations to make the difference that catalyses real change.

It’s easier to alter our perception of reality rather than to grasp the hard solutions to make real change. But, if we continue to do this romanticise our landscape and create hyperrealities, then I wonder what reality waits for us.

Titles

1. Connection

2. Romanticisation

3. Hyper-reality

4. Consequence