It’s not all beer and skittles at the huge multinational media empire that is Paul Amyes Photography (PAP), but it comes close when we get out to play crazy golf. Last week we managed to sneak off for a game at Wanneroo Botanic Gardens. The aim of the game is to have fun and I took along my Leica D-Lux Type 109 to record the proceedings. It was well suited being small and light and shooting 4K video meant I had some freedom to play around in the edit.
Well Beloved Significant Other (BSO) Helen Amyes had a stonker of a year on the croquet front and was invited to attend the Croquetwest 2018-9 trophy presentation. Yours truly was tagging along as the +1 with aim of taking just a couple of photos for her clubs Facebook page. The inevitable happened. Turn up with a camera, couple of lenses and a flash and suddenly you are the “official” photographer and taking the photos for the press and social media. As I’ve said before grip and grin is not my favourite form of photography. There wasn’t a lot of wriggle room for an alternative approach this time so it was pretty basic event photography. At least it was helped along in the form of a jolly jape where fake awards were interspersed with the real ones. Even the recipients were left wondering what they’d actually just won.
Time to promote the achievements of Beloved Significant Other (BSO) via the wonderful medium of video. I didn’t intend to shoot a croquet video. No. I was enlisted as a logistical consultant (alright driver!) to take aforementioned personage and a friend to a croquet competition at the Cambridge Croquet Club. While the event was happening I was going bird watching at the nearby ornithological Mecca of Herdsman Lake with the hope of photographing nankeen herons. Alas the herons didn’t know that I was coming to see them and weren’t at home. Couple this with the fact that I was suffering from a deadly combination of Ebola, typhoid, bubonic plague and cholera (BSO says it was in fact a head cold) I went back to the croquet club to find a quiet corner in which I could drown in snot. Somehow news that BSO had made it to the finals penetrated my fever fuelled delirium and I leapt into action to record the event. I was not really equipped to do so as although I had the Panasonic G85 with me that shoots lovely 4K video I only had two lenses. The Panasonic Leica 100-400mm a great lens for birding but a bit long for court side croquet. The Sigma 16mm f1.4 which is another fantastic lens, but being a fixed focal length not as useful as standard zoom for the grip and grin at the presentations at the end of the tournament. All I can say is thank goodness for the magnificent stabilisation which enabled me to get good handheld footage, although it was defeated by my violent sneezing although it wasn’t as bad as that depicted below.
We decided to walk along the Bilya Walk Track on the banks of the Avon River in Toodyay ostensibly looking for birds. Although it was a fine winter’s day the ground was yes wet, flooded in places, and the river very high from the winter rains.
Next Sunday, the 18th October 2015 to be precise, my wife, Helen, and I are starting to sell fine art cards, prints and other items at Southern Beaches Markets which is held at Okines Community House in Dodges Ferry. The market is held on the third Sunday of every month for the next six months. We hope to see you there. Please feel free to stop by and have a chat.
All the art on sale will be predominantly about this part of Tasmania. More details about Helen’s art practice can be found here and here.
My partner, Helen, has taken up croquet. It is not a sport I know anything about, I had a few preconceptions about it namely that it was played by the pre-senile and involved eating cucumber sandwiches on the lawn and when that got boring you hit a ball around the garden with a large hammer.Well the other weekend the club Helen belongs to, York Croquet Club, had a tournament which attracted players from other parts of Western Australia and Helen entered. To show solidarity I went to watch one of the morning sessions, the promise of morning tea being the incentive, and like the complete camera bore I am I took my camera. This time instead of shooting stills I shot video. In fact this has become the first solely video project I have done.
Has my view of the sport changed. Well the club’s motto is “Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill!” and watching them play it is very apt. If you do decide to play be warned, those genteel old ladies are merciless, prepare to be humiliated. If you are in the vicinity of York and want to turn up and have a go the club can be found at:
Glebe Street, York. WA 6302 and contacted at email@example.com .
For the technically minded the video was shot on a Canon EOS550d, a Sigma 17-50 f2.8 OS, Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS L, Rode Stereo Mic, and a Zoom H2N audio recorder. The edit was done in Apple’s iMovie.
… feel lacking in impetus? Want to try something different but aren’t sure where to start?
Well I have a solution for you. For the price of producing a postcard sized piece of work and some postage you could end up part of an international art movement, be blogged about and be part of an exhibition. No I’m not from Nigeria and I don’t need your bank account details. I’m inviting you to participate in the wonderful world of Mail Art and more particularly the Book About Death Australia project.
Now if you want a very wordy definition of Mail Art click on the link. But basically Mail Art is art you send in the mail, or post for non US readers. There are no rights or wrongs, very few rules and everyone who participates seems to be happy and have fun. It’s often said to be some sort of anarchistic hippy activity, but that seems a little bit too condescending and simple. Someone organises a project and the word spreads through a loosely organised network such as Mail Arts Projects or the International Union Of Mail Artists. Usually there is a theme but how you interpret that and using what medium is largely up to you. The projects may be exhibited, blogged about or even disseminated as an artists assembling book or any combination of those.
A Book About Death was a mail art project that didn’t want to end. Originally conceived by Matthew Rose the project was part homage to the American artist Ray Johnson and a celebration of Emily Harvey and was held at the Emily Harvey Foundation, New York, in September 2009. The project attracted contributions from artist from all over the world, some like Yoko Ono were internationally renown artists the majority were not, but they were all given equal attention. My partner Helen took part and for one reason and another I didn’t. It quickly became a global sensation and I kicked myself that I had not got involved. Then a curious thing happened, the project kept being reborn like a phoenix all over the world and I got involved with A Book About Death Omaha in 2010. The concept is still alive and kicking and is now coming to Australia.
What I like about Mail Art is that although I only do a couple of projects a year it allows me be experimental and do things I wouldn’t normally. Don’t feel limited, play with different mediums, write, draw, sculpt , collage, photograph or any combination. Nothing is wrong, everything is accepted. Above all have FUN and enjoy participating.
My contributions are already in and have been blogged. So how about it? Give it ago. Who knows what it will bring.