Wednesday, April 6, 2011

At home in Wanaka

I'm always passionate about New Zealand landscape photography, but as I look back on thousands of colour slides of same and some 16,000 more recent digital images [still not enough for the library I have in mind!] I've come to the conclusion that landscapes are always there - but it's people that are precious!

I love capturing the moment, but there are many moments I see each day, yet I'm not quite in the right location, and don't have a camera. Then when you have these two ingredients, the next important one is a strong sense of anticipation. Multi exposures of maybe 2-4 per second even strangely just don't seem to cut it. The great shot too is usually the first one, which gives credence to the concept of planning.

So today's satisfying effort was of this family, that visited my office today on a work basis...

But then there is the other photographic phenomena - the "seeing" of something in nothing. This shot, same office desk, but obviously different lighting and subject...#alttext#

On one of my recent local Wanaka walks I did rediscover a stone seat in memory of an acquaintance of long ago. Phil was a really nice guy...

Some years ago I meet his mum in another context, and remarked on the photos of Cerro Torre on her wall. As she had a different last name it took a moment to piece it all together. Anyway she had a stone seat made overlooking a beach on Lake Wanaka, and last evening I found it rather poignant.

And of course the autumn colours just get richer daily...

Today's Donald'ism:

In every event experienced in life we have two simple choices:

To view it negatively, or view it positively.

The former choice can also cause suffering in another, while the latter choice demands a smile, so we make someone's day a little better.

It seems a "no brainer" to decide which is best for our own soul, but sometimes it's harder than we think!

So take a moment to breathe in the experience, and distill whatever action we think we must take down to just the two choices! Then the final decision of positiveness, I find is easy!

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Blogger Bob McKerrow said...

Kia Ora Donald

i was quite moved when I saw the memorial stone to Phil Herron. In 1971 when I went to Mt. Cook to work, there was a young Kevin Carroll sharing the houses I lived in. He died at 18 I think somewhere in South America, and I met his Mother, not in a dissimilar way you met Phils.

While you took to landscape photography, I took to people and portraits. The problems is as I get older, I tend to be providing photos for obituaries, and someone called me recently, "Obituary Bob."

But I do have a huge array of NZ mountaineers, Antarctic and Artic people, and Red Cross workers. In these pastimes and professions, death is never far away.

April 7, 2011 at 2:50 AM  
Blogger Shirley Goodwin said...

Lovely shots as usual Donald. I'm looking forward to doing Photography 1 next term. This time next week, I'll be over your way - in Queenstown, teaching at the National Quilting Symposium, which I'm really looking forward to. Then I have a week off at home, then back into Term 2.

April 11, 2011 at 6:56 AM  
Blogger Marg said...

Hi DOnald - A very nice array of photos on your post. I agree about choosing the positive but again and again I find that is a discipline that must superceed always a pollyannish approach to life. I appreciated your comment on my last post. I think my child and sister perhaps misunderstood what I was getting at when I referred to a good enough life. I was kind of getting at what you describe- but as always the written word is on the one hand so eloquent and on the other so misinterpreted through our clumsy attempts to communicate our thoughts accurately.

April 11, 2011 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Ruahines said...

Kia ora Donald,
That decision is indeed more difficult than it would seem. I have been struggling with it for a while now, but I am coming to grips with the truth. And that is positive.
Interesting how that has always seemed very easy for me in the mountains, for instance accepting what is and simply making the best of it, the moment, the day. It has been much harder for me to do that out here.

April 14, 2011 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Donald said...

Hi Bob

Yes, very special to take people pictures, but I'd never have thought of the obituary aspect!

I do note though, with the few I've published that people seem to love the older shots of people tramping - maybe it's the iconic bush-shirts and the long-johns!



April 19, 2011 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Donald said...

Hi Shirley

Yes, it seems the National Quilting Symposium is a pretty "full on" event. I hope you enjoy it, and the teaching. I gather a few locals are attending.



April 19, 2011 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Donald said...

Hi Marg

Guess that is why such complex jargon has evolved in law and the like.

It's almost like striving for a simple life, is complex too!

I always try to bring back the simplicity I find in the hills, but note that it's only possible to be there because of the work of others [tracks, transport, shelter, maps etc.].

And now days technology really helps us enjoy what is a very wild environment, and that really is a complex terrain.

As always, or increasingly so, balance is the only answer, with a strong measure of regarding all incoming information as provisional.



April 19, 2011 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger Donald said...

Hi Robb

It's nice to read that you're philosophical as always!

The similar challenges we've identified surely are placed before us for good reasons.

I always like to think that the calmness of spirit we bring back from the hills is of benefit to those we associate with in the more busy day-to-day world.



April 19, 2011 at 9:20 AM  

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