I’ve been told that photography inside casinos is prohibited and even carrying a camera can get you thrown out. But recently I was in Auckland N.Z. where there is a casino embedded in an entertainment complex with hotels, movie theaters and restaurants. The entrance to the theater takes you on a balcony overlooking the gaming floor of the casino. I was blown away by the combinations of darkness and garish lighting, by the people hypnotized by their games and by the electric atmosphere. So I pulled out my Sony A7R and started shooting while my partner kept an eye out for security. Eventually a guard did appear and took an interest in us, but by that time I had plenty of shots. Some are blot.
Lady in a Red Jacket
Casino Floor and Bar
Two Old |Boilers and a Camera aka Julia Hobday and yours truly, are mounting the second on their ongoing series of exhibitions. It is a frantic but joyous time, racing around getting last minute frames and mounts, hanging, straightening, rehanging and chatting up the maintenance staff so they’ll be careful when they take our work down to put up a mirror for a wedding tomorrow. The gallery doubles as a wedding venue so sometimes exhibits go up only to come down.
What follows are a few examples of my work this year.
Men a Tol Stones
Exeter St, Davids 6:30am
Minions June 2015
A great many of the people we love live in New Zealand, on the North Island in Auckland and Hawkes Bay. Every year on year when England is wet, windy and dark, we climb aboard a plane and transport ourselves to summer with its long days, warm nights, fresh fruits and hours of friendship and good conversation. Unfortunately, this year’s trip had to be cancelled because of the injection schedule for my AMD treatments. Its not that I don’t like holidays in the village, but this time of year my heart wants to fly and for now it is grounded. So I did the next best thing. I went through some of the photos I took last year to relive the moments. These are of places around Hawkes Bay.
The headlands on the coast near Waimarama.
The moor in late evening
All summer I have known my vision was deteriorating. I could no longer read the road signs as I drove, reading was getting harder and computer work was a nightmare. Then on October 20 the verdict came. I have developed wet macular degeneration. A good part of my vision is lost and will never return.
Friends were with us when the letter came. I had planned to drive out to Minions to do some shooting. It was a perfect autumn day and the weather might shift any time. Everyone offered to drive me, but I wanted to go alone. There was plenty of time before darkness fell and its always easier to work when no one is waiting for you.
I arrived and set up, conscious that this might be my last solitary trip to the Minions site. There are two 3500 year-old stone circles, several burial cairns, standing stones and a vast moor. I have loved it ever since I set eyes on it.
I shot from several angles and spent a lot of time savoring the evening and the place. Dogs and their owners walked by, a buzzard circled the the day moved to an end., It was not to be a dramatic sunset, but it was the one I got.
The photos that follow are from that evening. Two are views of an old engine house that I’ve been wanting to shoot for a long time. The third is over the moor.
I was over in Ireland last month in county Galway and Galway city. I fell in love with the area and the people. Galway City was especuially rich in street musicians so I took a few shots.
Not really a musician, but he was singing away at tghe top of hs
This pair were playing folk music and charming us all.
He is a singer who told me he had performed in New York.
Streets are full of folks like this with their signs. All wear hoodies and seem buried in their electronic devices and removed from out world.
Could they be space aliens?
We were down in West Cornwall, the oldest part of the county called Penwith. Just outside the town of Madron there is an ancient holy well which probably dates back to prehistoric times. Just down the path is a Celtic Christian chapel dating to the 7th century c.e. I found simeone had placed a wreath on the remains of an altar and a memorial to a deceased father on a corner by the holy well.
The altar is on the rear wall. Someone has left a wreath of white and yellow flowewrs.
The holy well is to the left. To the right someone has left a memorial to a fallen soldier.
People come to the holy well to leave prayers and requests for healing. They tie silk ribbons and little objects on the trees. Some leave notes, which fade in the rain. All ar asking for something.
A decorated tea bag left on a limb.
A tiny purse hangs among other items.
A woman happened by with her dog and asked if I was a healer. I told her I was sorry no healing, only photography.
As an immigrant, I am always interested in English customs – morning coffee, afternoon tea, Christmas crackers and the beach. In America we go to the beach when its hot. We lay in the sun, stand in the water, drink too much beer and soak in the sun. Over here, I have observed, people go to the beach because 1) they’re near the water 2) they’re on holiday; and 3) they are too proud to admit that they should have booked a trip to Spain.
Last week I was in Swanage Dorset where the changeable August weather gave me plenty of opportunity to observe my new countrymen in their summer plumage.
This is a day when no American would go to the v but the hearty English are not about to wast a moment of hliday.
These English people are out on a sunny day, but then one can’t be too careful.
You’d never see these windbreaks in America. When the wind is that chilly, we stay home.
In all, my admiration for the English is undimmed. They are determined and will not something as trivial as inclement weather disturb a holiday. Well done.