Unlike many photographers (both earnest and cynical) I don't find B&W tremendously compelling and I think I might have stated this before.
While perfectly cognisant of its ability to liberate an interesting composition or texture, there's something too easy about going greyscale. It's like a uniform, a polyester tuxedo for bossy visual arrangements, humping your eyes with its unimpeachable respectability. Look; I'm doing it right now.
Most of these images were drossy for one reason or another but whip out the colour and hey hey- serious photography.
ABOVE Black Backed Gull, recently deceased. There is a decent resident population of these magnificent blanc et noire pirates around Port Chalmers, centred on Goat Island where they breed every summer. Autumn and winter always take their toll, particularly on subadult and elderly birds with winds challenging wings not yet at full strength or perhaps riven by accumulated stress.
Injured birds will march along Back Beach road and past our house on their way to the quietude of Mussel Bay beach, where they succumb to the elements with a strange degree of dignity. This bird did the same, already emaciated when I passed it on a walk a week or so ago.
I did question its resolve and it assured me of its desire to join its ancestors in the accustomed manner, so I did not intervene.
If the birds are otherwise robust, we catch them for the SPCA. If you're ever tempted to do this yourself, watch your eyes- their beaks are sharp and their aim is unerring.
LEFT cypress shade on tarmac, Meridian St.
RIGHT detail of the plank and wrought iron door in the alley beside what used to be Ralph Hotere's bank building on George St, the main drag. He executed this himself, I believe. My partner worked for Ralph before he was hit by the stroke preceding his death a few years ago; I met him myself not too infrequently.
ABOVE heavily-munted clinker dinghy or lighter hauled up on a trailer, Back Beach. It's a shame about the condition of this vessel but I suspect (or at least hope) that it was headed for some much-needed attention. Port harbours a great array of private and historic small craft and the bastard offspring thereof; long may they live.
BELOW LEFT block steps, Meridian St.
BELOW RIGHT spotty driveway, somewhere nearby.
BELOW Stucco and roller door, Meridian St.
RIGHT There's a lot of rail in Port Chalmers, the narrow gauge dissecting and burrowing and swinging past on a Victorian schematic, engines chugging through the fundamental breccia like large, segmented annelids. I don't love them when they're droning for hours on the trunk line in front of Sawyers Bay or shunting endlessly at three in the fucking morning (why?) but I'd miss them if they weren't here.
This one was doing all of 5 km/hour towards me, so while I could claim to be a punk rock chicken-playing rider at the gates of dawn with this shot, that would be a lie. Falling on my not inconsiderable arse and being nudged sluggishly along the tracks by a braking locomotive while people gathered to laugh and take pictures was a definite concern.
Death before dishonour.
BELOW God I love this strapped up clinker dinghy; R and I walked past cameraless and I panicked and marched back round to shoot it before it was either stolen or removed to parts unknown, but I think now it's probably there for the winter. Awesome.