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New Zealand and photography

New Zealand and photography are strange bed fellows. The history of this remote country is about survival and making do. New Zealand went through a period of unusual home made left wing politics, that made it hard to import any item not made in part, in country.
That led to the Kiwi make do attitude, which of course is the same in many countries around the world. The man in the shed making do, is reflected in Britain and other places.
Unfortunately the idea has gone a bit far here in New Zealand. In my exhibition I had a perfectly reasonable and intelligent man who came in a few times to view a picture. He then went to the same location to recreated the photograph. Yep lots do that, but to do it repeatedly and still wonder why the result is not the same as mine, surly would lead a person to ponder, that it takes more then a location and camera to make a good photograph.
What I think is missing is the realization that education and immersion into the context,
both culturally and historical, of photography on a world stage and in new Zealand would lead him to image enlightenment. I feel many people here shy away from the idea of arts based study as too namby pamby, and real men just go into the bush and get great pictures by osmosis. Next time you visit New Zealand take a look at the tourist photo books and compare them to the landscape you see around you, once you have scratched the surface visually and culturally. This might account for the notion that photography, especially digital photography is not art, attitude is still resident in these fair islands.
After all you have to do is buy a camera from the high street, what more do you need, to emulate the greats in photography?

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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.