Posts tagged gallery
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.




App review: Easy story-telling on social media with Article

Article helps you to tell your story in a fast and easy way, without stressing too much about design and layout. All that is taken care for you through a few easy-to-select options. You can build an article quickly through combining photos, videos, text, maps, even music and more. You can also publish your Articles to Facebook as Instant Articles, which means they are treated as native content and load instantaneously on your audience’s phones. Read my short review here on 

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.

Exhibition opening at the Wellington Regional Arts Review

A second surreal evening last week at an exhibition opening at Expressions in Upper Hutt where my photographs were selected for the Wellington Regional Arts Review by a panel of 3 judges- Andy Lowe, CEO of Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History; Katherine Morrison, textile artist; and Peter Gillie, collector of NZ contemporary art. There were 65 artists on display tonight, including paintings, digital media, textile based works, ceramics, photographs, drawings, jewellery, furniture and sculptures. I’m really pleased to have been selected, but I felt really out of my depth at the opening - perhaps a little imposter syndrome was in play for me. Other people have offered me an interpretation that this is perhaps a good thing as it shows that I am entering a challenging space for me, which will help me to grow. I have to agree with that feedback. This feels very much like another world. But I also bring my own interpretation, skills and views to this world. I am opening to learning, and yet feel secure in my own stance. It's a good place to be.

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.

American Granite: My new exhibition opens at Photospace Gallery on June 22

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

I'm really pleased to write that one of the images I entered into the Humanity section of the Photo X 2018 competition on 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.

Absolutely Positively 100% Pure - Online Gallery

Of course, I recommend you go and see these photographs in real life at Raglan Roast Cafe in Abel Smith Street in Wellington if you can. But if you can't because you're elsewhere in New Zealand or an international visitor here, then here's a link to my online portfolio, linking directly to this work, and the res of my evolving portfolio of work. The image displayed here is part 3 of this series of 4 images.


First exhibition: Absolutely Positively 100% Pure

It's an exciting day today as I launch my first exhibition today. Here are some images of the 4 photographs being displayed at Raglan Roast Cafe on Abel Smith Street, in Wellington. And here's the artist statement I have on display there too. I've put up another post here describing the thought process behind this sequence of images I have decided to explore too. This exhibition by Dr Sarb Johal opens on 26 April and is located at the Raglan Roast cafe, on Abel Smith Street in Wellington. This series of 4 large images explores our relationship with our landscape, and how we tweak the photos we take on our cellphones to get more likes for that amazingly beautiful sunset.

Instagram-able photos - that’s what lots of people want when they grab their cellphone as the sun goes down. Even better if there is a handy scenic backdrop. Pump up the colours before you post on social media, because it just needs to look more dramatic. And, of course, lots of    

I am interested in our relationship with the landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand.  In this work, I look at how we romanticise what we see, trying to create sharable moments that perpetuate our fantasy of New Zealand as we like to see it. This small sequence of 4 images finishes with questioning what might await us if we only see the Instagram-able shot; most likely fewer from the land itself.

The photographs were made on the south coast of Wellington looking out towards South Island in the summer of 2018, at the small dog-friendly park off Bann Street in Southgate. The images were edited in Lightroom and printed out on archival paper. I’m interested in bringing photos back to life by printing them - so many photos live online only. A Fujifilm X-T1 with 50-230mm lens was used to capture the images.


  1. Connection
  2. Romanticisation
  3. Hyper-reality
  4. Consequence

Dr Sarb Johal is a clinical psychologist and photographer.

Instagram: @sarbjohalphoto

Email: to buy prints

Many thanks and humble bows to Raglan Roast for hosting this exhibition.

Making photographs in Sydney, April 2018

This was a quick trip for work for two days, but I did manage to find just over an hour for a photo walk just after my meetings. I took my Fujifilm X100 over with me so I could travel light, and I tried to avoid too many of the usual pics that people take in Sydney, but really, a couple of them are irresistible aren't they? So, I started off with a quick stroll around Circular Quay.

For this little afternoon project, I set the camera to spot metering, but also had to use the built-in ND filter to stop the photo highlights from being completely blown out by the strong sunlight, both direct and being amplified by the water. Though it is a pretty standard image, I tried to use the line of the quay to lead the eye to the Opera House - though it probably doesn't need much cueing, and then beyond to the detail captured in the clouds.

I walked back around to the other side of the Quay, almost, but not quite to, The Rocks. Again, lots of light to contend with here, but shadow too. This one had a little post-processing before being posted online later that afternoon. Given that the X100 doesn't have any wifi connectivity, I'll talk about my process about how to do that another time. I really liked the texture of the tall, brick-built warehouses in this historical area.

The next stop was the Museum of Contemporary Art . I decided that I was going continue to use the light meter in the X100 in spot metering mode to try to increase the drama, but also to give some sense of the actual lighting used in the gallery - as I perceived it anyway. The first image below pays tribute to the work of Yvonne Koolmatrie and her Burial Baskets.

The way this exhibit was hung, it seemed as though it was floating in the air. The extreme contrast of the spot metering afforded me the opportunity to try to capture this illusion, as well as showing something of the texture and shadow that was an essential feature of this work.

The internal working of this clock and the reflections in the glass in both the facing and back glass windows really caught my attention. I did hanging out and wait until a figure entered the frame in the bottom left of the frame, as the idea in my mind at the time was certainly shadows and reflections of time. This was certainly a reflection of how I sometimes compare my photographs. An idea springs to mind and I try to include elements that evoke and illustrate that idea. Aside from that, the image quality from this camera - now 7 years old - is something I really appreciate.

Finally, a bit of a cheat here, but let's go back in time to the previous evening, where work was done for the day, as I took a brief walk outside before sleeping. I saw the fantastic entrance to this station and watched and waited until a couple of figures came into frame and walked centre stage. I didn't quite manage to realise the image I had in mind, but I still like it. Again, spot metering was used to create this image too.

Hope you enjoyed this little post - let me know if you like any of these images.