I recently taught an advanced printmaking workshop at Central Art Space. The idea of the workshop was to give participants tools that they can then use in their printmaking to add detail or colour. It was a fun workshop, a small group of participants enthusiastic about their printmaking. In the lead up to the workshop I did a lot of pondering about when do you know that you have done enough in any creative endeavour. To me, with printmaking, a good analogy is coffee - if y
After a bit of a break from social media I have decided to write, again. Motivated, in part, by lovely feedback I received for an earlier post that had really helped someone and, also in frustration about a particular issue. The issue? A tendency for some people to focus on the brand of camera that you use. Now, hear me out. I am as guilty as the next person of tagging my camera brand in posts. It is something that I didn’t really think about …until, feedback on images s
Where do you get your inspiration from? For me, it is any number of weird and wonderful places - something that has come up in discussion, something I have been 'studying', something that intrigues me. The little godwits that migrate from Alaska each year, ending up in beaches across NZ (even going as far south as the SubAntarctic Islands) are a good example. I'm not immune to writer / artist / photography block though and have developed a few strategies to get me through.
When I started writing these blog pieces about my journey in photography and art I didn’t think that I would share personal information. However, it turns out that I can’t separate self from artist as the thought that goes into my work is personal and, for photography, my camera is an extension of myself and doesn’t operate in isolation from me. A few years back my old school decided they wanted to feature me in their end-of-year magazine. A bit of background; I didn’t have
The Irish comedian, Dylan Moran, once did a brilliant skit about writing a letter rejecting a rejection letter. For anyone on the receiving end of a rejection letter his sentiment was spot on. When you put your heart and soul into something, whether it is a new piece for an exhibition or an article for a journal and receive back one or two lines saying your work isn’t required it’s a bit soul-destroying. Especially, and this is what Moran was getting at, if you have no righ
My introduction to printmaking came one evening in a church hall in North Dunedin and it’s fair to say I have been hooked ever since. The first piece was a still life of a bowl of fruit and it took me ages. I drew and cut and rubbed (a technique to see which parts of the lino have been removed and what haven’t) and drew and cut and rubbed. It was such a neat feeling when I applied ink for the first time - seeing the image come alive under the cheap, tacky ink was so fulfi
Many, many years ago when I was lecturing in Nursing I read a paper, the concepts of which have stuck with me. The author wrote about her feelings of fraud or impostorship, she described standing in the wings listening to someone else introduce her and as her long list of accolades were read out thought “oh, that’s not me, they’ll see through me”. (I may be paraphrasing, the article was read about 25 years ago!). If anyone is interested in the original nursing article you
Like a number of people across New Zealand (and the world) I was captivated by the return flight of the godwits. These long-haul flyers take off from NZ, have a short stop off in China or North Korea and then land in Alaska, they make the return flight (non-stop) to NZ in spring. They are truly fascinating birds - in preparation for the long flight they ‘convert’ their internal organs (those used in digestion) to reduce weight during flight. This is the exact opposite to m
I’m a restless sort of person, liking to get out and do stuff. In the past that was getting beyond NZs borders and seeing the world; this was often driven by work requirements and I always appreciated the opportunity to pack my camera along with my business suit. Staying local has made me rethink my photographic bucket list. Here goes, it’s a short list: Top 4 things to capture: a kingfisher, in flight, sunlight reflecting off it’s wings, eye in focus a fern bird, in focus,
I enjoy the work of a number of incredible photographers and, it may be controversial, but I have a thought about the 'norm' of sticking with one genre. Most known photographers are known for the genre that they shoot and there are obvious advantages to that - expertise takes 10,000 hours (according to Malcolm Gladwell) so if you want to be an expert in more than one area then that's, well, a lifetime before you would be 'good enough'. It could be the way that my brain is wir
I am not naturally a rule follower (which is why I would be unlikely to darken the doorstep of a photography club) and while I can see the benefit of some of the rules in photography some of them are a little boring (and possibly a little old). It is still a good rule not to ‘cut off the top of someone’s head’ in portrait photography, nor to have someone out of focus in a shot; yet, one of my favourite photos is one I took recently of a friend. We were laughing and having a
The normal use of clickbait is to divert our attention away from whatever we are looking at on the internet to something (generally) that is a whole lot less productive. I get distracted by a different sort of clickbait … camera clickbait (you probably saw that segue-way coming). In particular by my desire to avoid the clickbait that saturates social media (“that Wanaka tree”, or noxious weeds / lupins around Lake Tekapo). I am a contrary sort of person - if its really, r
I'm about to embark on a week-long photography retreat, fair to say, I'm a bit excited. Hanging out with fellow photographers, talking, planning, shooting. Awesome stuff. However, the preparation for the week has made me reflect on why I value being with other photographers so much. The answer is a bit simple - there's safety in numbers. Invariably, when I am out (by myself) taking photos some helpful soul will feel the need to say things like "oh, you are taking photos"
I follow an American photographer, #JoelGrimes, who has a very distinctive style (and also presents incredibly personable videos). Watching one of his videos on how you price photography intrigued me. Obviously, the prices that photographers can charge in the US is considerably different to what a New Zealand buyer would pay (although the skill required to take an exceptional photograph does not differ depending upon where you live). The question really is - how do we 'val