I’ve taken the opportunity over the last few weeks while we’ve been in lockdown to troll through my archives and select a few of my favourite photographs.
When I say favourite photographs I’m not referring to photographs that are technically and visually perfect. After all, to quote Diane Arbus – “I never have taken a picture I’ve intended. They’re always better or worse.” I’m sure that as a photographer you feel exactly the same.
Most of my favourite photographs are those that evoke special or long-lasting memories, or in some cases photographs that just resonate with me, and I think – “Mmmm – I sort of like that!”
Sure in some instances, they may be technically spot on or visually appealing in that they meet the rules of good photography.
But rules and perfection aside, here is a small collection of some of my favourite photographs, along with a brief story to accompany each.
It was a dull grey day when we visited New York in September 2014. The ferry trip across to the Statue of Liberty was cold and damp, and the mood of the day is shown in the photograph “Manhattan Skyline”. The top of One World Tower was shrouded in mist, and cloud was generally hanging around most of Manhattan’s other tall buildings.
You may have seen a different version of Voyeur on my Facebook or Instagram pages a few years ago. Shot through the window of a shop on Port Chalmer’s main street, I was attracted by the haughty look on the face of this mannequin…that is if a mannequin can have a haughty look. Unfortunately, the original photo had a lot of reflections off the window so I have tried to be a bit creative in the processing, and I like the outcome.
Istanbul, May 2018, and we took a day trip down to the Princes Islands. I was going through a shoot-on-film phase back then and Turkish Market was taken, in black and white, on an Olympus Trip 35 that I had taken with me on that trip. If my memory serves me correctly the photo was taken on Buyukada Island in the town of Adalar. Old film cameras don’t have on-board GPS to aid the memory! This is one of my real favorites as the image seems to capture a genuine old-time feel.
Edendale Crankup is an annual vintage machinery event staged in the little town of Edendale, a 30-minute drive from Invercargill up State Highway 1. While billed as a vintage machinery event, Crankup is more a fun-filled, family weekend enjoyed year-in-year-out by townies and country folk alike. Crankup is also a popular event for photographers. The Good Oil is from the 2018 show. I am a big fan of retro-styling photographs to make them appear as if they are from the analogue era. Retro-stying works on some photos – but not on others. This one works – for me, at least.
Another retro- styled image, and another one that works! I like this image. It is of an old weather-beaten, wind-battered bus shelter on the side of the main road between Invercargill and Bluff. I didn’t have this finish in mind when I took the photo back in early 2017. In fact, I didn’t even think it was a keeper. However, with a bit of help from Nik Analog Efex Pro, I have turned it into a keeper but giving it a bit of a wild west feel.
There is nothing too fancy about this one of my favourites. This is the front entrance of an old house in the centre of Invercargill city, given the Silver Efex treatment. The house and its entrance just – well – appeal to me.
Until you travel the width of Canada from the west coast to the east coast you can have no real understanding of how vast Canada is. The journey from Vancouver to Halifax takes 6 days and 23 hours – give or take – and it is a magnificent trip. Impressive Mount Robson, above, is the most prominent peak in the Canadian Rockies. The photo was taken through the plexiglass window of a viewing car on the VIA Rail train between Vancouver and Jasper. A favourite photo because of the wonderful memories it brings back.
On The Boardwalk – the final of my favourite photographs in this small collection – was taken on the Roger Sutton Boardwalk, part of a very popular walkway along the edge of the Invercargill Estuary. Taken late on a winter’s day in July 2015, I succumbed to the way the shadow along the middle of the boardwalk and the deep moody sky drew me into the image.