Respite

In a year which has felt increasingly bizarre, it seems bizarre for me that I have spent so little time making images in the traditional sense. Most of what I have worked on this year has been done from in front of my screen, documenting and responding to the world in a style more in keeping with Doug Rickard, or Michael Wolf, who have worked more as curators of images, rather than makers of images.

The workload has been no less than if I was out working on a more traditional photographic project, and has had the advantage of allowing me to be physically present with my wife and two young children, even if I have felt less mentally present. But that is perhaps a post for another time.

When I have used my camera this year, it has largely been for personal projects in my own local community. I have documented the MaoriLand Film Festival, and local sports teams amongst other pieces of work. As I like to be close to the things I photograph, these community projects have given me an excellent opportunity to understand better the place where I live, an important point given that so many important stories, and issues, cannot be found in mainstream media.

Above is a small selection of images I made last weekend of my local Rugby League team. Whiti Te Ra are a phenomenon. Too strong for the regional competition, this year they made the jump to the stronger, Wellington league where they expected to be competitive, but perhaps not to the extend they have been. Whiti haven’t lost all season, and last week comfortably took their place in the Grand Final after a win over the competition’s second place team.

I don’t fully understand the game, which means I am not always in the positions I need to be for images. I generally position myself behind the end Whiti are playing toward though, as that tends to be where the action is. I often watch a player through the camera, and wait for the ball to come to him, which means most of the game is occuring outside of my line of vision. It’s an odd way to watch a game, but then it’s probably an odd thing for a middle aged man from the UK with no background in league to be doing anyway. Which suits me just fine.

 

 

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