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The Spirit in the Place

I was wondering around today, feeling as if the exercise of image making was pointless today. I saw a tide cave in Rapaki, Taking my time, enjoying the spirit of the place, and the stillness, set the camera up.

Finally with an image of the cave and pausing to inspecting the rocks, the tide slowly moving across the sand, I hear a shout.

An older Gentleman is running over the sand and breathlessly asks if I own a Toyota that is stuck. I say no I own a Saab, he says,” do you own a Toyota”?
I realise he is deaf, and shout, “No I own a Saab”. The man looks disappointed and sits on the sand breathing hard and says, “Oh no point in running here then”.

He looks at the Camera, and asks if I am making a study.
That’s a great way to ask, I think.
I answer yes, smile and say, “making pictures old fashioned way”, meaning the 5×4 camera and taking my time. The man smiles at that.

He sits and shouts, “Hey what’s that in the water”? and points.
I look around expecting a dead seal or similar but see a rock. “That’s a rock”, I shout back.
The old gentleman smiles and says, “funny I have lived he 30 years and have never seen that”.

So I take the moment, and photograph with the rock in the picture. Almost as if he was suggesting I took the picture.

That’s why I think Rapaki is spiritual.

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Marks of Man

This image is a bit obvious for me with my working title.
Makes think of an old tutor of mine, Martin Parr, yes when he was broke and not famous he came down to my Art School and showed us his work, and his Nikonos for the wet weather pictures.
Even sold us a few books, of course we all thought he was great, though still as posh as ever. I have no idea why, I guess it just made me think of him.
Nikonos, now there’s a good name, better then Digital Rebel, gives me a lisp, digital wrebbel. Nikonos reminds me of that old kids program “Stingray”.
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North Westerlies

Well this was a hard day, we had a North Westerly. In the South Island this means heavy head, heavy air. I went out in pain, was really disappointed with the ground glass screen.

As much as Edward Western must have been excited by the screen, in his diaries.

It was hard to see in my new Toyo view. The scanning back didn’t like its connection to my Laptop.

I was wondering what a Colonial photographer would have made of the view.

Got home feeling as if the trip was a waste. Then I took a look and thought it was not half bad, with all those scanner patterns in the water. I had in mind Wynn Bullocks water images from the 1940′, so was not sure even if it would work in colour.

The other picture was a surprise too, even with the soft background.

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Pictures are experiences for me, I have spent a lot of time in galleries looking at pictures, the eyes of those painted, the human look, the gaze.

I would like my images to be the other way round. A look through my eyes, with my prejudice and sense of time. Give a sense of the time it physically took for me to revisit this place and make a picture.

The chore of unpacking, setting up, keeping the dog out of the picture, getting out of the way of walkers and answering questions. Then in the end looking inside myself to make a picture in a moment of calm.

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Landscape is about place and conditional experience.

Photography John Maillard

Landscape has been boiling inside me for 30 years of
searching for its reason to be a relevant genre, rather then a decoration for motel and hotel walls.

Its difficulty has been our technological success and an inability to understand, me included, that
landscape photography should be a state of interpretation of the land, the understanding and projection of the thoughts and ideas of the photographer, through the images.

Whenever I walk into a book shop, it is almost with trepidation that look at the coffee table books on sale for the tourists here in New Zealand.

Usual themes, blue sky, mountains in the distance, seascape with lighthouse.
The images are good, high quality, professionally competent, but they say little to me about New Zealand, photography, the photographer and the audience.