Monday, 26 February 2007

The Golden

I'm off to Nelson today (to be more precise I'm actually off to Christchurch to pick up a car so I can drive to Nelson today) to help an overseas photographer (this guy in fact) fill in a few days. So here are some shots I took last time I was in the city (of Nelson) - on a day trip when I was working for that nasty corporate a few years ago (the one nice thing they did for me, he says somewhat bitterly).

Two vernacular sites and one iconic.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

The Uncle

Cos this blog is all about me, I had to use that title (it's in the smallprint, near the bottom, honest), but you've probably seen more than enough of "The Uncle" here to last you a lifetime, so here are some a pictures of my niece, born yesterday about 6.30pm. Yay.

Her exhausted Mum and excited big sister.

Oh okay, here's a shot of me too. And in case you were wondering, I can confirm that it is quite difficult to take photos when you're holding a new born (but having talent as great as mine helps - sort of).

Saturday, 24 February 2007

The Reference

I'm not sure why, but I've always seen this as a Peter Peryer shot - with a William Eggleston minor. Regardless I like it.

Friday, 23 February 2007

The Dog

I like icons - sometimes. The amount of times I come across a memorial or monument or public structure I would like to photograph and discover that the people who designed it clearly weren't thinking about the needs of photographers when they designed it is staggering.

Case in point. This dog. All information clearly specifies that this is not a memorial to James McKenzie's dog Friday, but for "working collie dogs, such as Friday". You can read this for a bit of light entertainment about McKenzie. Go on, I dare ya.

See what happens when the can't control things!! The bloody dog walks out of frame.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

The Opera

Back in 1998, I spent a few days in Sydney, between my return to NZ from my African odyssey to attend my bro's wedding (pictures of which may be posted at a later date), and my return to the UK to continue my escape from any sense of grown up responsibility.

Above is the utility atrium in the hostel I stayed at. It struck me as being somewhat Mondrianian - but with the added bonus of a horrible fluoro green . Or maybe Mirovian - but formalised.

It was hard to escape the odd icon though. And I'm not one for shying away from my responsibility as a tourist.

Ooh, look, the Opera House.

Interestingly, a couple of days after I left NZ the first time around, Crowded House played their "last ever show", on the stairs of the Opera House in front of 150,000 people. Bastards. And they didn't invite me. Boy was I tempted to forget flying to Hong Kong and doing Sydney instead.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

The Butler

On our way from Christchurch to Ahuriri, Nic and I, at my insistence, detoured slightly up the Rangitata River to pop in on old Samuel Butler. He wasn't in, but it was a nice drive all the same.

This is the valley, a little past the Peel Forest, where you first hit the valley proper.

At the end of the road you find Mesopotamia settlement. Butler lived around here somewhere, a bit of a walk from the road we were on though, so instead I photographed the school.

And the AA sign.

It was while living around here that Butler wrote Erewhon. You can read it here - if you like.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

The Casal

In London, there's this club called the 12 Bar Club. To say that it's small but intimate would be to state the blatantly freakin' obvious. Being a bit of a music appreciator, I'm always on the look out for new artists. Amongst those I 'discovered' during my time in London was Neal Casal. Although an American, Casal played London - the 12 Bar Club to be precise - while we were there. It was a great gig from memory. People who can do the solo voice and guitar thing, do it well, and do it entertainingly are few and far between.

I don't know why, but I'm sure I had a great reason to take my camera along. Consequently, I took some photos. The first of only two times I've done gig photography.

As you may be able to make out, the club is on two levels - one about six foot, three inches above the other!! Small but intimate, see.

The opening act was a six or seven (or eight) piece band called Lincoln, from memory. (Look, I'm not going to go rifling through my old journals and scraps of paper just for the purpose of fact checking okay!) They could barely all fit on the stage, but they also put on a damn fine show.

As it happens, I bought my first Neal Casal CD late last year - it's a good one too, complete with DVD. And while on the topic of DVDs and people who can do the solo voice and guitar thing well, check out this one.

Monday, 19 February 2007

The Domesticity

A few days ago David posted this. Looking through my folder of images to post here, I rediscovered this.
Not as crafted or as lovely as David's, it has to be said. The window is from my old bedroom in Lower Hutt, in the house Mum and Dad owned for a few years, and which book-ended my world travels.

Crappy as the photo is, it brings back good memories. And really isn't that what a good photo should do? Evoke and emotional response in the viewer.

So does that now mean that this crappy photo really is a good photo?

Sunday, 18 February 2007

The Lookout

Sometimes it's not the view but the lookout itself which is really interesting. Case in point, this one somewhere along Lake Wakatipu.

Some indecipherable, to me, Asian grafitti. While I wouldn't want to encourage more people to deface our precious rocks, I did like this scrawl. In fact, I liked it enough to take a photo of it.

Oh and here's the 'real' view for those of you interested - looking north-ish.

Post Script: This just in

To labour over last week's disgusting theme (and thank god that's over), this is funny - but you'd probably expect that (especially if you like this guy as much as I do).

And I would like to point out that Friday's uncharacteristic posting was the result of a far too restless mind, too much alcohol (well not too much, more a really pleasant quantity), an inablility to sleep, and damned bloody women - always trouble, one day I should actually listen to my Mum who keeps reminding me to steer clear of them at all costs.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

The Twizzer

There are times when I turn up to a new town (okay the town generally isn't that new, but it's new to the present me) and I'm just not inspired, but I feel an obligation to try and get a photo or two, just cos it's somewhere I've never been, or at least not been for many years, and don't know when I'm likely to be back there, and I have this need to place my mark on the town, create an image of it that is about me - the photographer, the tourist, the artist, the witness - as much as it is about the town itself.

Twizel was one of those towns.

It was probably the third visit before I kind of 'got' anything. In fact, I 'got' this.

Then a little later, probably a day or two later, I got these.

Again with the continuing motif.

Friday, 16 February 2007

The Personal

It's been a strange week, what with relationships founded, and relationships reinvigorated, and it being Valentines and all. Love in all its guises has been the over-riding theme.

Then there's the ongoing, and somewhat enlivened, battle between the romantic and the cynic, the optimist and the pessimist. And the wonderful rediscovery of music that seems to have been made for weeks like this. (Great Lake Swimmers has to be one of the best ever band names too, and with great lyrics as well, even ones that fit this week's optimistic pessimism - sleeping is the only way sometimes / to live in a perfect world - you can't go wrong.)

One of those reinvigorated relationships has been with my old friend Jodi. We haven't spent a great deal of time together over the past couple of years, but she's been in Wellington this week working on her latest show, and we've been able to hang out and spend valuable time together. And it has been wonderful.

I, well the cynic in me anyway, wanted to move on from the ghastly romanticism of the last few posts, but it seems I'm stuck in this pleasant headspace, surrounded by love. Long may it continue!!

Thursday, 15 February 2007

The Tulips

Continuing with the Valentines Day kinda thing (you know, hearts and flowers and that kind of stuff), these tulips were shot in my flat in Hornsey/Crouch End, London in 1998.

Clearly I had no idea what I was doing. This, above, is the only decent shot amongst them!!

But they're nice flowers, and behind my cold, hard, cynical exterior, I am actually a bit of a dumb romantic at heart.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

The Valentin

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

The Couple

This week I had the pleasure making a new friend - well we met a year ago, but didn't really hang out any that time. It was lovely. It was surreal. It was funny. It was sad.

Sad because she doesn't live on these shores.

By odd coincidence, as regular viewers may have noticed, I've been scanning my London stuff. For some reason the same woman (though not the one mentioned above) keeps making appearances in the shots. I'm still trying to work out exactly why. Maybe it had something to do with us going out, I really don't know.

Anyway here are some of the more interesting ones. I hope she doesn't mind.

Monday, 12 February 2007

The Queen

After a week in the Ahuriri, with trips out to Twizel and Omarama, I decided it was time for a roadtrip. I was heading to the Matukituki Valley. But went via Queenstown - cos I needed some new tyres, and thought that'd be the best place to get them.

I did get a new set of tyres. I also got scared - honestly, literally scared (it was rather bizarre really).

Consequently this is the only photo I got of Queenstown. As you can see, it is rather iconic, while continuing one of my motif collections.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

The Monopolist

When I was living in London, years ago, I started a project. It was the first proper photographic project I ever started. And it set the pattern for subsequent photographic projects, i.e. a massive and gross failure to progress happily towards anything verging on a satisfactory completion.

Needless to say, this project was rather uninspired, as was the day I started photographing. But here are all the images - in the order taken, which is not the correct order, but I'm too lazy to do that, especially when there are images missing, and some duplicate locations.

Always start as you mean to go on I always say.