December 28, 2006

Kevin Jones on Art

Filed under: Thinking about Photography and Art — Tony Bridge @ 4:31 pm

Kia ora tatou:

One of the reasons I moved to WordPress was this essay on Art (or is that art) emailed to me by Kevin Jones, which is LOOONNNGG. There was no easy way to post something this valuable and thought-provoking….until now. He writes:


I read a review of John Carey’s forth-coming book, “What good are the Arts?”, and immediately ordered a copy. I waited with eager anticipation to learn about a mystical subject that had eluded me all my life because the author is a recognised critic and writer who, it was claimed, was not hindered by conventional thinking. I looked forward at last to being informed on the fundamentals of art appreciation and the secrets of discernment.

The book arrived and I was profoundly disappointed. (more…)


Unbelievabull-roadmarx finally settles to nest (maybe)

Filed under: Shout out — Tony Bridge @ 11:40 am


Kia ora tatou:

Welcome to the new nesting place for Roadmarx. I made the move because WordPress blogging software offers me features Blogger did not, and resolves some concerns that were becoming obvious, namely my long articles chewing up too much screen space. It also allows me to import the posts from Blueprintx along with the comments, and generate separate pages. I welcome your feedback.

A few things you should note:

  1. The posts are shortened to consume less space on the main page. At the end of longer posts, you will see a more…. sign. Clicking on this will open the full article in a separate page.
  2. All the posts have been put in categories, which are available in the sidebar to the right of this page. Select a category that interests you and all the relevant posts will come up. You can then browse through them as you wish.
  3. Commenting continues unmoderated. Please have your say. Some of the regular comment posters are starting to feel lonely/embarrassed.
  4. There are new blogs of note. Foodies should check out Ilva’s blog- guaranteed to have you salivating
  5. The calendar at the bottom of the sidebar is a calendar of postings, not the date.

Finally, I am still coming to terms with the software. It’s rather more geeky than Blogger, the price one pays for flexibility. If you want to start your own blog, then I recommend Blogger. It is much simpler, if a little strangled.

Ka kite ano


December 26, 2006

Upcoming Seminars

Filed under: Workshops and Seminars — Tony Bridge @ 4:44 pm

Kia ora tatou:

A number of people have mentioned to me that they would like to spend some time brushing up on their technique and getting to grips with digital photography (or just building on what they already know).

For that reason, and since I will be in Christchurch most weekends this January working on weddings, I propose to hold a series of one-day seminars looking at some of these aspects. So here with, may I present(tahdah)

The Summer Sunday Workshops.

They are as follows:

January 14. Digital basics. Venue: Castle Hill Basin. Time:0600 ( no, I am not joking)-1600

In this workshop we will look at issues of lens choice, exposure, use of the histogram, and implications of ISO. We will look at issues surrounding shooting in JPEG or RAW and how to get the best possible file for later processing. We will look at how to analyse a scene, and what corrections to apply for a later working-up of the file up for a finished print. Basic technique is something we all need to revisit from time to time, so there should be something here for everybody, whether you’re an absolute beginner or more advanced. You’ll need to bring lunch, your equipment, and a tripod.

January 21. Digital Darkroom Basics. Venue: to be advised (but somewhere in/near Christchurch). Time: 0900 to 1600.

The seminar follows on from the digital basics workshop. In this workshop I will talk about processing files (with particular reference to Lightroom), the difference between raw converters and how to prepare your images for either print or projection(there is a difference).We will look at issues such as sharpening, saving and archiving. I will attempt to demystify Lightroom and show you how to develop a workflow using it. If you have a laptop, bring it along. The seminar is aimed at all of you have find the darkroom (or should I say Lightroom) side of digital photography a fraught process. This would be of real help for those of you who are looking at submitting images for projection in competitions.

January 28. Previsualisation: a creative approach to the landscape. Venue: Arthurs Pass. Time: 0500-1600

This workshop follows on from what we learned in the previous two (not that you need to have done the previous two to take part in this one). Following on from what we discussed in the previous two, I want to spend time working with you in the field, considering a live subject (if you can consider the landscape alive!),considering what it is he want to say about that landscape, identifying the features that you want to include, and thinking it through to the finished image, whether that be print or projection. In a previous post I talked about the concept of previsualisation; in this workshop I want to show you how to approach the subject and a methodology that will guarantee predictable results. You needed to bring equipment, lunch and money for coffee!

Workshops one and three are limited to 12 participants; workshop two is limited to 20.The fee for each of the 3 days is $100.

These seminars would be great preparation for the upcoming April and July workshops in the Maniototo, which will focus on creativity and developing personal style.

If you would like to be involved, e-mail or phone me (021 227 3985)


Ex gratia

Filed under: Shout out — Tony Bridge @ 4:34 pm

Kia ora tatou:
2006 has been a monumental year for me in all sorts of ways, both personal and professional. It has been a year of transition, of leaving a comfortable if unchallenging life to one which has moments of pure terror and unbelievable exhilaration, of wonderful companionship and extreme alone-ness; it has been and is a transition which is still a work in progress and has yet to find some sort of concrete conclusion.

Throughout that time I have kept afloat, buoyed by the warmth and generosity of friends both here and abroad. I have been fed, sheltered and shared the lives of people in the remotest parts of Aotearoa and South Africa and constantly humbled by the kindnesses I have experienced. I have seen unbelievably beautiful landscapes and shared stories of great price. Your aroha and friendship has made this year a truly humbling experience, and your comments on this blog( to which i have not been nearly diligent enough in replying) have both encouraged and informed me.

Without you all I doubt I would have made it this far or achieved what little I have.

I am deeply grateful. I am truly humbled.

And I thank you all.

Christmas is a time for families, for togetherness and for those of us with Faith, a time of celebration. But it is special, a once-in-a-year event of great wonder. May I wish you all the very best for the season and hope that you have great happiness.

Of positive and negative space

Filed under: Thinking about Photography and Art — Tony Bridge @ 4:33 pm

The camera will never compete with the brush and palette until such time as photography can be taken to Heaven or Hell.
Edvard Munch
Photography has always reminded me of the second child.. trying to prove itself. The fact that it wasn’t really considered an art that it was considered a craft.. has trapped almost every serious photographer.
Richard Avedon

It had been raining and it was going to rain. We sat in a comfortable trough between the voluminous skirts of one front and the impressive splendour of the next. For the time being the weather was charging its batteries, taking stock, lining itself up for the next charge across the district. (more…)

An inconvenient truth-why you need to see it

Filed under: The environment — Tony Bridge @ 4:32 pm

Kia ora tatou:
Last weekend, I went to see Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth. I am still somewhat in shock after seeing a potential future for the planet, our planet, laid out so graphically and chillingly.

I spent a couple of days trying to find the flaws in it. I want to see the flaws in it! But so far, zip.

And it has me thinking about my position on windfarms. So before I shoot from the lip again, I want to do my own research and think a position through.

In the meantime, read, Roger Ebert’s review in the Chicago Sun-Times. Then go and see it for yourself.
And someone tell me (please) how and where he has got it wrong! (more…)

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose

Filed under: Technical posts, Thinking about Photography and Art — Tony Bridge @ 4:31 pm

There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
-Ansel Adams

Considered logically this concept is not identical with the totality of sense impressions referred to; but it is an arbitrary creation of the human (or animal) mind.
-Albert Einstein

Kia ora tatou:

A number of you have posted, asking if I would share a few of my secrets involved in making my images, or more specifically, what techniques I use.

Well, there aren’t any. Sorry, but it’s true. (more…)

Alex Speaks

Filed under: The environment — Tony Bridge @ 4:30 pm

Alex (16, and new to photography) wanted to post this image and make his own statement about it. He would appreciate your comments.

Personally I do not believe in God, but after taking a picture like this I can’t help believing God exists. When we reached the top of the hill and had a look around, I realised that this would be the only chance I would ever have to capture this, because there would never be another moment exactly like it. At no other time will things look exactly the same as as they did when I pressed the shutter; the light, the clouds and very soon the landscape. For me it’s worth a 2 hour drive up rugged tracks just to be able to get a picture like this. To put 176 wind turbines in a landscape this heavenly is murder.

Micro-exhibition-a requiem to the Lammermoors

Filed under: The environment — Tony Bridge @ 4:28 pm

Tawhirimatea kept his promise, and he continues to do so to this day. Sometimes he is content to listen to advice from his parents and forgive his siblings. On those days the weather is fine, clear, and calm.

But sometimes he is reminded of the pain his parents endured when they were separated and the longing they still have for each other. On those days he sends tornadoes, hurricanes, and cyclones to bring havoc to his brothers’ lives and to hound their children.

-Maori myth

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
Pablo Picasso

How can anybody in their right mind to do this? (more…)

Four photographs-One day

Filed under: Thinking about Photography and Art — Tony Bridge @ 4:27 pm

Many Photographers are concerned only with the subject and they seek to render it as it is. Often they fail to observe that the lighting and the atmosphere adorn and transform even the most humble and commonplace objects.

Leonard Misonne (1870-1943)

As a photographer you enlarge or emphasise certain moments, making it another reality. In the photograph you can scrutinise all kinds of details, you can see things you would normally not pay so much attention to.

Rineke Dijstra (1959-)

The weather was shuffling the cards. After days of warm Norwest winds, the whole district knew a change was on the way. Everybody was talking about it. The whole district was holding its breath. As so often happens here in New Zealand, weather is a sure-fire topic of conversation. You can use it when you meet someone for the first time, or as a space-filler when you short of something to say. It’s a Kiwi thing. Up here in the Maniototo weather has a much greater significance, a much greater importance, plays a more significant role in the life of the district. It’s a rural community and life on the land turns on the whim of the weather.

What was coming became obvious late on Thursday evening. The sky was sinking into a kind of grey mournful torpor. The wind had died away, and the light was taking on a grim sombre appearance. Down at the end of the valley the storm was gathering, sizing up its foe before it struck. Then, as day and night changed guard, the storm raced into town. I went to bed and lay there, listening to it plucking spitefully at the building.

By morning it was gone. A blue hole had opened above the district, and only the remnants of the previous night’s ferocity prowled along the hills surrounding the basin. But there was more in store. We all knew that.

I couldn’t help myself. I hadn’t made a picture in a week and my 10-plus-a-day rule was well and truly broken. I needed to get out, to be along the land, to look at what had happened, what was going to happen. I packed the truck, so keen to get out that I didn’t bother with breakfast. Somehow I wasn’t hungry. The expectation more than filled me up.

The truck slithered and slurped her way along the yellow gravel roads out towards Wedderburn, occasionally waggling her behind coquettishly in the soft slushy surface and revelling in the fine yellow mud that quickly coated her flanks and wheel arches. I had driven this road often but always in the opposite direction. Now, in the early morning light, I saw it in a completely different way. I’ve noticed that. You can drive the same road for years and everything looks the same: drive it in the opposite direction and you get a completely new take on it. For that reason, when I’m exploring, I frequently check my rear vision mirrors; the perspective can often be quite surprising.

This particular leg took me out and across the flats at the head of the Valley. Instinct suggested I should take the narrow road to the telecommunications repeater on the top of Little Mount Ida. By the time I got up there, some 1500 feet above the valley, the Norwest wind was picking up. It was arm-wrestling the remains of the southerly storm and, from where I stood, I could look out across the entire valley and see almost out to Cromwell. It was breathtaking being this high and this close to the Hawkdun mountains The sun was doing its best to make a statement, but the high cirrus cloud held it in check. Nonetheless I managed to make a number of pictures before hunger and the soft light drove me back into town.

Although I had things to do, my weather eye was on standby. As I often do I walked down the end of the street and looked to the south. I knew something was coming. Then I saw it; a blue black presence along the bottom of the horizon, and drifting curtains of rain. Above me the hole in the sky was slowly but surely beginning to close. It was time to go out again. There was something new in the weather that I hadn’t seen before, that I wanted to capture.

I headed west across the valley towards the Rough Ridge Range, all the time watching what was happening to the South. Cumulo-nimbus clouds were gathering above the Rock and Pillar Range, giant roiling masses piling up thousands of feet, the advance guard for a storm that was only a matter of hours away. The light was beginning to shuffle in fitful patches across the landscape; the effect was both ominous and eerie.

I worked my way south photographing as I went, until somewhere near Patearoa I ran into the front edge of the storm and the rain on my windscreen turned me back towards Ranfurly. As I came into town, I could see a wall of rain slowly but surely advancing like a line of infantry towards the town. I drove out the other side and climbed onto the hill above the golf course, where I could look back across the town and watch it come. The wind was already beginning to shake the truck as I got out. Above the town, a huge blue black cloud was shambling along like some mythical Oliphant, dragging curtains of rain behind it, a thing of vast and terrifying beauty, a beast of war. I watched it ain awe, then, at almost as an afterthought, reached for my camera. I managed about six exposures before the first heavy drops of rain began to strike me in the face.

As I retreated, the full force of the hailstorm threw itself at the town. Within minutes there was a layer of hail 2 cm thick blanketing everything.

It was 4 pm; time for lunch.

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