February 2, 2007

Letter from Jeanette Fitzsimons

Filed under: The environment, Uncategorized — Tony Bridge @ 3:50 pm


Kia ora tatou:

Some time ago I wrote to Jeanette Fitzsimons, leader of the New Zealand Green Party on the subject of the windfarm on the Lammermoors. Today I received a reply.  Here it is in full. I have to say that my position since then has changed, that I am seeing the whole issue in a new light( no pun intended) and that I think there are bigger issues at stake… More on that later.

Dear Tony

Thank you for the link. Your photographs of the Lammermoors are really stunning.
As proponents of empowering people the Green Party are pushing for micro-generation options and the solar hot water programme is a part of this approach. (more…)


January 31, 2006

Do your soul a favour

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tony Bridge @ 9:18 am

If you had a classic Kiwi upbringing, you will have spent time in a kiwi bach (you know, green walls and castoff furniture, along with a cutlery drawer full of remainders from different dinner sets).  You will know all about being trapped there on a wet day, one of those days where you curl up and read… and think… and dream. You know what I mean. The sound of rain on the tin roof, maybe a sandwich and a Milo beside you. Time slows to a halt and you think freely and drift…
If you read any of the comments on Blueprintx, you will have seen a couple by somebody called pohanginapete. I was curious about the name. I mean what sort of person calls him/herself that?
(You may or may not know that I get to vet your comments before they go up to the blog. Well I do, so there!)
Anyway, I went searching to find out more about him/her. And what a find!
It turns out that pohanginapete is really Pete McGregor, who lives in the Pohangina Valley below the Ruahines in the North Island. Pete is a fascinating guy who has done a lot of things in his life (and is still doing them).
While it has some great photographs, it has truly inspiring observations on life. This is a densely-packed blog with a lot to offer, a sort of rainy-day-bach site, where you can take time to read, think and reflect.
Do your soul a favour. Check it out here.

December 2, 2005

Getting out of bed- and staying up late!

Filed under: Thinking about Photography and Art, Uncategorized — Tony Bridge @ 2:20 pm

The other day I saw a book done by a contemporary of mine, who had photographed the region in which he now lives. keen to see what he had made of the region, I worked my way through it. There were some lovely images, that paid a real tribute to the region ( I won’t tell you which region, because that would make it dead obvious who he is- and he knows me!).
What struck me however, were the number taken in the middle of the day, with a high sun that flattened out the landscape and hid the subtleties peculiar to that particular landscape. There were very few photographs made at each end of the day, when the light is at its most dramatic and sensuous. It was as if he was programmed to go out after breakfast and be back by teatime.
These were cheese sandwich photographs- they did the job, were very well made, but somehow overlooked the mystic qualities of a part of New Zealand that is redolent with history and dominated by one of the most powerful geographical features in the country.
Making photographs in the middle of the day is tough,photographically-speaking, and the light is usually harsh and unforgiving. It reminds me of the story told by the eminent photographic historian, Beaumont Newhall, who maintained that while Wynn Bullock’s nudes looked as if he wanted to make love to them, Edward Weston’s looked as if he just had! Working through the middle of a summer’s day is the Weston approach. All is revealed.
It is at sunset, however, that the mystery begins, at the transition from day into night that the spirits come out. Landscape photographers are like fly fishermen- the best fishing is to be had at sunrise and sunset.
The moral then is to get up early and be out where you want to be before sunrise. At the otthere end of the day, to stay out until after dark
Tip: the best sunset shots come at least 20 mins after the sun has set.
Which brings me to the shot in this post
it was the tail end of the day, at the mouth of the Okuru River in South Westland. Maybe 30 minutes remained in the day and the light was grey and dull behind the clouds. A gap remained however between the horizon and the clouds. if I waited I would have a few minutes and (hopefully) amazing light.
There was a nasty easterly wind bvlowing off the Alps and we were tired, hungry and ready for a fire and a few glasses of Shiraz. It was tempting to say “Bugger It!” and head indoors. We stayed.
And for a magic few moments it was all worth it.

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