Saturday, 28 June 2008

The Synchronicity

Some days are just weird.

The other day, for example, I was downtown doing stuff, nothing important, library, po box etc. I decided to pop into Photospace to have a chat with James.

Who should be there when I turned up, but David ex-NZCP. So we have a chat.

Then Catherine and Simon from Thermostat pop in - big surprise seeing as they live in Palmie. Catherine asks me about this thing I applied for a while back. Funnily enough I'd received something from those people that very day. So I open the envelope to find the (completely expected) rejection letter. Oh well. There's always next year.

Then Gabrielle turns up. So we chat.

And all this time James is thinking about the shoot he has to do later and probably wondering why everyone choose that day to pop in.

And then I get a phone call. About a job - a real job - for which I'd been interviewed a couple of days before.

And I leave and I still haven't managed to have the conversation with James I went there to have.

What makes it even crazier is that the same day I had my job interview here, a good friend had a job interview in Palmie. And on this particular day we were both offered the job we interviewed for.

It seemed like the universe was lining things up for us. It was kinda weird. Kinda cool.

Then a couple of days later I got offered a short-term position and suddenly I've gone from having too much time on my hands to not having enough time and not being able to continue the paid work I've been surviving on for the last few years. Ironically, the last few weeks have been quite good work-wise, and the work I'm set to do (probably) won't be as financially rewarding, just more regular.

So despite my best efforts I ain't going to Berlin this year, or Venice next year (though you all knew about that). I am, however, going to The Terrace and to Vivian Street for a while.

Cool. And awesome. Maybe.

Friday, 27 June 2008

The Resignation

Dear Sir,

I hereby resign from this organisation effective immediately.

You have never been one for wanting to properly and effectively confront issues within the organisation but I feel I should offer some explanation as to the reasons for my departure.

1) In the seven odd years that I have been vaguely employed by this organisation I have seen workload and productivity drop. Consequently I have seen a drop in income by the organisation. You may argue about the productivity drop, but it feels as if there has been a dramatic decline in actual productiveness despite the fact that product is still making its way into the public realm.

2) As a boss you suck. You often wile away your time unproductively in front of the computer, spending far too much time reading and writing blogs, or sitting in cafes reading newspapers and drinking coffee. You do not spend anywhere near enough time developing your knowledge base, researching new products, or expanding your market share. If you are not willing to do the work required to see the success of this organisation perhaps you need to delegate more roles to other people within the organisation who are more able to complete the tasks required.

3) Due to the downturn in workload, productivity, and income, the money offered is ridiculous. Some weeks it's a struggle to buy groceries, let alone pay bills - which just build up so when we do get paid well most of that money goes to pay off the debt created when you decided not to pay us very much. So when an organisation came offering a regular, steady income I felt it would be silly to turn them down. And when another organisation also came offering a regular, steady income, albeit short-term, I felt it would be silly to turn them down also.

Now I don't have time to work for you and fritter my life away - except maybe on weekends and evenings.

I wish you and your organisation all the best. I truly hope you can survive without my presence, though I strongly suspect you won't.

Don't call me, I'll call you (maybe when the semester is over).

Screw you, Andy.

It's quite fun resigning from your own self-employment. Almost as much fun as resigning from a 'real' job.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

The Bloom

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

The Self-important

I'm feeling particularly uninspired at the moment - at least as far as writing this blog goes. Swings and roundabouts etc.

So you get two self-portraits. One recentish. One very not recentish.

I can hear you all now exclaiming "Oh the joy. Oh the excitement.".

Sunday, 22 June 2008

The Hug

Random people.

On a random street.

In a random city.

By a random photographer.

With a random camera.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

The Factory

It's an old photographic cliché the photographer photographing their shadow. Sometimes it is the reason for the shot. Other times, like this, it just happens to be the right (or wrong) combination of subject placement, sun placement, and photographer placement.

I probably could have arranged myself slightly more artistically.

Or I could have walked away and shot the building from a different angle.

Oh look. I did.

And in case you're wondering, though you probably aren't, the factory is across the road.

From the building in these photos.

Not from my place.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The Road

Those of you who have been lucky enough to have gone to Catherine Russ's (owner of Thermostat) house may well have seen a similar picture to this. Not identical by any means. But similar.

Catherine took hers on a similar stretch of the same road, at a similar time of the day. But on a very different day. I like her shot. I like my shot too.

This shot got me in trouble. We were away on a shoot. I asked the photographer if I could bring a camera. He was hesitant in saying yes. Later I heard he felt it just wasn't done for the assistant to take a camera along too. Ironically I think if I'd shown the photographer the film I shot he may not have been so annoyed.

You see I only got one shot on the film. The last shot. This shot. The one long(ish) exposure. The lens was stuffed. It's shutter wasn't working properly, so those 11 daytime shots of the mountains etc shot at around 1/125 - 1/15 (probably) didn't come out. Cool.

Anyway, that was all years ago and it hasn't affected our working relationship or friendship. But it's all kinda funny.

And in other news:
1) a friend sent me this the other week - an interview with Henri Cartier-Bresson. I started watching it but it's an hour long, so I gave up. Thanks for the link Gabrielle, I will watch it sometime.
2) and in podcast news, I discovered this the other day - Magnum stories.
3) and this, from Lenswork - over 400, mainly short, chats about things photographic.

Friday, 13 June 2008

The Conglomerated

Cambridge apparently.

There was the possibility it was Amsterdam.

But this kinda rules that out.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

The Rural

Monday, 9 June 2008

The House

Saturday, 7 June 2008

The Fuel

Once again we visit the magical year of 2000.

Once again we visit an "Editorial" assignment. This time an actual editorial shoot.

I shot Fuel. Espresso.

I got top marks for the assignment.

I spoke to a journalism student.

She approached Cuisine about doing a story.

They said "we've done a story on coffee in each of the previous three issues, so thanks but no thanks."

So these nice photos have the pleasure of being my first rejected photos.


And my latest review of a nice little artists book is online too.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

The Super

Yet another bloody idea which I got bored with. Or something.

Actually with this it was partly because I broke my projector while pretending to fix it. And partly because I sent my camera swimming out at Titahi Bay, and it took ages to find a decent replacement (which I don't think I've actually shot anything on). And partly because I got bored.

From memory the reason I was trying to fix my projector was because it wasn't turning properly. The film slowed to the extent that the projection bulb melted it. That's why I ended up with fragments of length to play with. And being a hoarder I couldn't exactly chuck them out.

The idea was to shoot lots of Super 8 and make still images from portions of meant-to-be moving film.

Okay, so it's not exactly a new idea. And I only ever made these two images. But it's still an idea. And one I may revisit again sometime.

Once I get my projector fixed.

If I can be bothered.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

The Fellas

The other week I did some really bad scanning for a friend. Really bad cos she gave me film that wouldn't fit any of my film holders - it was some old stuff.

I've got no idea who these guys are, but I like the image.

Anyway her pictures got me thinking.

About this.

And how I ought to actually follow through with my promise. So now, eighteen odd months after its launch, we get the exciting second posting.

It's going to be simple. No title, just images, labelled either Palmer or Houghton. The label relates to who took the image or where the image was sourced from. Generally the Palmer photos were taken by George Palmer, and the Houghton photos were taken by many different people. I've currently got over 1500 images to post, and that's likely to grow. I'm going to try to post daily but there's no saying that'll happen.

Some of the images are pretty cool. Some pretty crap. I know some of the people in some of the photos. Some are relatives, who I may or may not know.

Hopefully you'll find it vaguely interesting too.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

The Discoverer

I'm working on new stuff at the moment.

It's kinda fun. It's kinda frustrating.

One annoying thing about photography is that you actually need something to photograph. You can't just create the entire image from your imagination.

So I've been wandering around trying to find suitable subject matter to reflect how I imagine the image(s) to be.

And it's not that easy.

But, somewhat abstrusely, I have discovered a couple of things.

1) In My Father's Den is the best New Zealand film ever made.
2) Shayne Carter's Straitjacket Fits lyrics are works of wonder.

I've now seen Father's Den four or five times. I saw it at The Embassy on release and was astounded. Astounded by the story. It was moving, mysterious, and completely unexpected. And the acting was so real, so natural, so unacted. I bought the DVD. Each time I watch it I marvel at the film making. How they pieced the thing together, dropping in moments which hint at the end, without giving anything away. It's a movie of subtle brilliance. And it's a huge tragedy that Brad McGann succumbed to bowel cancer last year after completing just one feature film - albeit one of subtle brilliance.

Shayne Carter on the other hand is still going strong. Hail, Straitjacket Fits first album, is twenty years old this year! (The older I get the nearer the past seems to be.) I've been listening to the Fits for most of that twenty years. I'm quite familiar with the tunes. But just recently I've been rediscovering the lyrics. (Do I need the qualifier that I'm talking pre-Blow here?) I couldn't tell you what most songs are about, because Carter use of words is more to create mood than tell a story. There's complex rhymes, nonsensical couplings, and general lyrical brilliance - in a David Lynchian kinda way. I wonder at how the young rapscallion from Bored Games and DoubleHappys seemed to suddenly become Shayne Carter. I've long thought that, sad as it was, the death of Wayne Elsey was the impetus that allowed Carter to become all he could be. My recent discovery adds weight to my argument. It also gave us the utterly brilliant Randolph's Going Home - one of the best 7" singles to ever come out of this country.

I've also discovered that 800 ISO film is incredibly grainy. Especially when underexposed. So grainy in fact as to make those shots nearly unusable.

And for a change of tact, I've just been listed at Kiwiology - a growing list of New Zealand blogs.