Civilisation Photography, Now

Chris and I went to a photography exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery on Sunday. The gallery write up describes the exhibition as

The exhibition illustrates our increasingly global, connected society, and encourages viewers to consider where we live, how we consume, and how we travel, learn, explore and control. 

Auckland Art Gallery

Drawn by the promotional photos led by Mike Kelley’s Flughafen Zurich 28 and 16 and others, it seemed like the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I did not get very far from the entrance of the exhibit. Olivier Christinat’s Figurations II completely captured my attention.

Standing there looking at the faces of people crammed on an escalator is strangely mesmerising. I guess in a real world situation, it is extremely impolite to look at someone face to face for more than a split second. The faces of the people on escalator were life sized. I stood there and just stared. Did they know they were being photographed? Everyone looked so expressive and yet so natural. How does my face look like when I go about my daily life? I suspect I excel at the resting bitch face…

Go check out this exhibit if you’re in Auckland. Tickets are required but it is so worth it.

We did not have to go far to once again stop. I would never dare ask anyone for a portrait shot. So maybe what scares me is what captivates me.

You would think I would at least take a photo of the artist statement to credit the photographer…So dumb. but what is not dumb is how much these photos and more have made me think. It is one thing to capture nice shapes, light and shadows and people to show scale. However, how do I capture a story? It does not have to be a story with scale and drama. It can be a simple story of here and now, admiration of someone’s creative expression through structure and form or an ordinary day in the life of me being me.

More photos from the day.

Panic Stations

My form of street photography involves a patient eye and blending into the background, preferably not seen nor heard. I take my shots and avoid any form of confrontation. I like this style of photography as it allows me to observe the world from my little corner of the world. Embarrassingly, it is stalker-ish.

So it came as a huge surprise when these two chaps waved to me and asked me to take their shots. I took the shot but I must admit I was so surprised that I could do no better than press the shutter. There was no art to it other than their cool posing.

You won’t see me act all brave like other photographers and ask if they can take a photo. I’ll run a mile. Things are slightly different when I’m prepared and have the time to slowly build up my courage and wriggle myself into position to take the photo.

Maybe some day I’ll gather enough courage or get over my own self erected inhibitions to respectfully take photos of people face on with their consent.

A good run

Something’s up. Sun is shinning, I’m feeling positive and grateful. After a tough last week, I’m glad to have this stretch of good days to hit the streets and take photos. Let’s hope this consistent run of good vibes carry on.

Speaking of consistency, I thought I try shooting with the same film recipe to see if I can achieve the same look and feel to my photography. It’ll also give me a chance to understand the effect of pushing my jpg with different aperture, iso and shutter speed variations on the same file recipe.

A month ago, I discovered that the car park across the road from my office was a gem of a photography location. However, I think that I only scrapped the surface of possibilities. As such, I thought I change my usual approach of walking around town to exploring what I can do at the car park. It is multi storey carpark with an open air top floor. Here are the results of this afternoon’s shoot.

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