20 July 2013

The magpies’ flight at dawn over No. 3 Line

South of my place, the terrace drops via a steep, rough paddock to Te Awaoteatua stream. On the far side another hillside, even steeper in places and with extensive stands of kanuka, rises to the ridge you see here. Beyond the ridge, No. 3 Line follows the valley of Tokeawa stream. Birds live in this sky.

I thought briefly about cloning out the magpies — after all, they're almost indistinguishable from specks of dirt, aren't they? But they were there at that moment, and the reason I pressed the shutter at that moment was because they were there — I have several similar photographs from moments just before. That something so apparently insignificant can change a photograph to such an extent, ... well, it fascinates me. Those two tiny specks fix a precise moment; none of the preceding photographs (which are almost identical otherwise, save for slight differences in framing) can be pinpointed in time as precisely.

Moreover, arguments about whether to talk about photographs (or other artworks) will probably rage for as long as anyone's around to photograph or view the photographs, but I lean towards the view that if you need to say something extra (and that includes the title), the photograph (or other artwork) has mostly failed — the photograph should say everything that needs to be said. (I said I lean towards that view; I'm not confident enough to claim it as a belief.)

But what if the title and the accompanying words, not just the photograph alone, are part of the artwork?

(Apologies for the white on black text. When I set up this blog I didn't intend writing more than simple captions.)

[5 July 2013, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 234 mm, ISO 200, 1/500 at f8]

All content © 2013 Pete McGregor

13 July 2013

Evening, low on the No. 1 Line track

A fortnight ago the late light slid through the bush near the foot of the No. 1 Line track and I lingered there, looking, photographing, enjoying. Today, occasional cold showers passed over, and the only sunlight lasted no more than a few seconds. I reached the car as a downpour began.

[5 July 2013, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 14–45 mm at 30 mm, ISO 800, 1/80 at f11] 

All content © 2013 Pete McGregor

05 July 2013

Pohangina valley from the No. 1 Line road end

At the top of the No. 1 Line track this afternoon the cloud came and went — I seemed to be just at the level where the cloud couldn't make up its mind whether to lift or close down. I stayed a long time, brewed lapsang souchong, wrote, sat cross-legged on the wooden seat, listened to the wind and the rushing of the stream and its waterfalls far below, and thought about many things. On the way back down I found myself arrested by light and patterns, so the last quarter of an hour must have taken three times as long as usual as I stopped frequently to photograph. By the time I reached the car, evening had begun to fill the gullies.

[5 July 2013, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 300 mm, ISO 200, 1/320 at f8. The faint texture in the background is an overlay.]

All content © 2013 Pete McGregor