Earlier in the year I had the opportunity to hang out with Thomas Dworzak who would photograph every little thing along his journey in Auckland. It was very refreshing to see someone so obsessed about their environment and documenting every movement that was happening within it.
I think it is useful to think about a photographer’s immediate environment and what they choose to and not to record.
I recently visited a group of spinners in Huntly whom I spent an afternoon with where I was presented with a moment where I thought, ‘hey.. that would be a great photo,’
In our conversational circle I had a long decisive moment; The sun was entering through the window of the town hall we were sitting in, beautifully highlighting one of the very skilled ladies. Her light hair was glowing as she fed the combed out wool into the wheel while the remainder draped drown from her left hand to the floor. The purple/pink ..I think alpaca wool was so wonderfully transparent and delicate in this light.
but I didn’t proceed to take it. . I had my digital camera in its case on the floor but as I was having a conversation with the lady to the right of me I hesitated to pull it out and take the photo. I also brought with me an old canon film camera with a bunch of new lenses. I left it in the car because the battery had finally run out. If this was the camera that I brought inside with me, I would have had no problem with pulling it out to record this wonderful moment. Instead of taking away a digital photograph for my archives, my manual camera would be an entertaining conversational point between me and these ladies who did not have a great idea of who I was and what I was there for. For me, this would have been a tool to interact with them and mediate the situation. This would create a level of anticipation between now and when I return with the images and would be a nice way to express my point of view, allowing us to connect on another level.
I was most concerned about building long term relationships and I think I made a nice start while observing what this group is all about. Pru was my first contact in the group. She was kind enough to involve me by showing me how to spin wool. Instead of a photograph I brought this home. How interesting and what a great experience.