Now it has been nearly 4 weeks since my last post, but far from sitting around and just doing nothing myself and the myriad of staff here at the head quarters of the global juggernaut that is Paul Amyes Photography have been remodelling the commodious facility. Endeavouring to maintain our cutting edge style we undertook the massive task. At times I must confess that it seemed like a Sisyphean task, but now basking in freshly designed and decorated centre of operations , I can say that it was all worth it.
Having just posted after a long absence I must confess that the blog will be taking another break of 3 weeks while I go and intrepidly explore the Tasmanian wilderness. Now observant regular readers will note that it was not even 12 months ago that we visited that far off land. Well the pull of the wonderful scenery, excellent food and the outstanding beverages is too great to resist. The trip will not be all beer and skittles though, no my shutter finger will be getting a very strenuous workout as I endeavour to capture the beauty that is ubiquitous in Tassie.
So see you in three weeks.
Wandering around with some time to kill is always a good excuse to do some photography. Photography gives me the perfect pretext for being nosey and I love roaming down alleys and back streets just in the hope of finding something interesting. I was attracted to this scene because of the big slabs of intense colour. The greens of the wall really made the blue of the rubbish bins vibrate and pulse, and the red accents of the bin lids really set the whole scene off.
We have become so familiar with colour photography that we don’t realise how powerful colour can be so visceral that it’s like being punched in the guts. I first became fully aware of this when I saw some photos of a bull-fight by Ernst Haas and now whenever I think of bull fighting those images are so indelibly etched on brain they come to mind immediately and bring up the raw emotions I felt when I first saw them. At this time I was shooting black and white film because that is what serious photographers did and I really didn’t make the connection between what I was doing photographically and what Haas was doing. Shortly after I started subscribing to the English magazine Creative Camera and that introduced me to the work of American photographer Pete Turner. That had the profound effect of making me buy bucket loads of Kodachrome and Fujichrome 50 RD – the precursor to Fujichrome Velvia.
My earliest successful purely colour photograph was taken while on honeymoon in Amsterdam in January 1986. I can still remember taking it as if it were yesterday. Shortly after a trip to Santorini in Greece and the discovery of polarizing filters and I was completely hooked. When we moved to Australia I found the intensity of the light could make your eyes hurt while looking at certain colours and that’s when I coined the phrase “retina ripper”.
I wasn’t very happy with the first slide show I did of photos from this years FotoFreo. It was unfortunately a rush job and the work wasn’t really up to par and it has been bugging me for a while. Today I sat down and re-edited and I’m much happier with the result.
Over the last week I have been covering FotoFreo for a photographic magazine. It has been a blast, lots and lots of fantastic work and people. I’d like to thank the festival director Bob Hewitt for all his help in making it possible.
A frantic day today. We traveled down to Fremantle to hang my exhibition and that of my partner. Thankfully both were hung without hitch. Here is a slide show of my exhibition:
Nemesis is an autobiographical narrative about how an accident causes change. It explores the loss of innocence and the struggle to come to terms with life in an altered physical and emotional state and how with perseverance and persistence it is possible to over come those circumstances. The story is told over a series of ten monochrome photos which combine text and imagery. The title for the story and the captions, came from actual conversations with people as I went through this experience. While the telling of this story has been cathartic it has not provided instantaneous emotional relief and self-awareness. In the same way a pebble when dropped into a pond causes ripples that slowly spread and then dissipate, the accident and its consequences have played out over a long period of time. I count myself lucky, many are not so fortunate.
Nemesis is part of the FotoFreo 2012 Open Exhibition Programme. The exhibition is being shown at the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, 16 Phillimore Street, Fremantle and is open from 16th March to 13th April 2012. I hope as many people can see as possible.
My partner Helen has curated a group exhibition entitled FotoVisPo and this being shown now at The Fremantle Library.
For more details of FotoFreo 2012 visit www.fotofreo.com .
Phillip Bloom showing us his new Canon C300 and giving the audience a major case of camera envy. A seminar hosted by the Film and Television Institute in Fremantle and run in conjunction with Røde Microphones. Olympus Pen EP-2 with 14-42 mm lens. 1/30 sec. at f5.6, ISO 6400.
Well yesterday was a bit of a monster. To start with the temperatures hit 40˚C, or 104 ˚F for the non metric readers. The second reason was that I attended a seminar by video guru, superstar and all round nice guy Phillip Bloom. The day was pretty full on as the air conditioning was non-existent and the venue was packed full, and the depth and range of the topics covered was considerable. I think that not coming from the film industry and not knowing my codecs from elbow it meant I was going to struggle at the best of times. Combine this with the torpidity inducing climatic conditions and I was in real danger of not comprehending a single word. Thankfully Phillip is a born entertainer, open, friendly and willing to share his expertise so he carried us all with his relentless enthusiasm.
Now a day later sitting in the air-conditioned comfort of my office I’m trying to see where all this fits in with my work. There is no doubt that to do video well not only are you going to have to be prepared to drop shed loads of cash, but that it is probably beyond the scope of a single person. Really there needs to be two people working together on a project at the very least as there is just so much keep on top of. Editing and post production should really be handed over to an experienced editor. For short web-based projects it may be possible work as a single operator, but I think that to do a good job and if the clients budget could stretch to it I’d want to bring in someone else to ensure that everything runs to plan.