Saturday, January 12, 2008

Think of a tree.....

Nothing has any inherent existence of its own when you really look at it. This absence of independent existence is what can be called “emptiness.” When you think of a tree, one tends to think of a distinctly defined object; and on a certain level it is. But when you look more closely at the tree, you will see that ultimately it has no independent existence. When you contemplate it, you will find that it dissolves into an extremely subtle net of relationships. The rain that falls on its leaves, the wind that sways it, the soil that nourishes and sustains it, all the seasons and the weather, moonlight and starlight and sunlight—all form part of this tree. And too, the particular individual view that each person has when they look at the tree.
As you begin to think more about the tree, you will discover that everything in the universe helps to make the tree what it is; that it cannot at any moment be isolated from anything else; and that at every moment its nature is subtly changing.
This particular tree is in Cologne at the back of the Cologne Cathedral. Somehow despite the importance and wonder of the cathedral this tree seemed to overpower even that. Think about it.....

Friday, January 11, 2008

Back in Paris.....

Here are some pictures I made in Paris last November. Working there this time with no particular idea in mind, but starting to think of Eggleston. In his book The Democratic Forest (1989) Eggleston writes, "I walked into the dead leaves off the road..... there was no picture there. It seemed like nothing, but of course there was something for someone out there. I started forcing myself to take pictures of the earth. There were a few weeds. I began to realise that soon I was taking some pretty good pictures.." Later someone asked Eggleston what he'd been photographing that day. "Well, I've been photographing democratically. " he replied. I like that idea.....

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Two more Auckland landscapes

These pictures were made last night in the Auckland suburb of Mt Albert, 10 minutes drive from downtown Auckland and once solidly white and middle class. I lived here in my teens and went to school at Mt Albert Grammar. Today the changes are remarkable. They surprised me. The shopping centre looks tired and old. Many of the shops are now Chinese restaurants of the sort you can find in the back streets of any Asian city. The railway line runs down the back of the shops where any attempt at maintenance seems to have been long abandoned. Yet there is life in the street. The faces (mostly Asian) are bright, young and hopeful.

Friday, January 4, 2008


My belief is that photographs fall into two possible categories. The "what the" pictures that demand further enquiry and generally have an element of mystery or enigma. And then the others that I call "so what" pictures. These demand no response from the viewer who is unmoved and left yawning. This picture- two fresh chicks - in my opinion is a low level "what the" picture. What is going on here?. You can check that out by wandering through the Birkenhead shops in Auckland where the picture was made on Wednesday night. (I like the little red arrow sneaking into frame top left.)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Auckland City - a landscape

Here is a landscape picture, just to show that I do make them.....Auckland City from Birkenhead 8.30pm, Wednesday January 2nd.
The city lights are starting to come on and you can see the Sky Tower and a flash of the harbour which lies between the dark trees in the foreground and the city in the distance. Clouds hover as they so often do.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Christmas Past......

The remnants of Christmas, tired and abandoned await their fate. The flower arrangement drooping sadly, the Christmas tree star, leaning and no longer pointing heaven-ward and the cheap and useless Christmas crackers goodies (fun for a moment) looking more like junk than at the moment they burst from their crackers. Anyway, something to photograph....

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year / New Work

Starting to make pictures in Auckland, of the city, the first for a long time. Trying to find new ways of seeing. Looking at the dark and the light. Here are the first....but not the last!