Photography is not a team sport in my opinion.
My preference is to wander at my own pace, to see what I see, and to make images that evoke the sensations of being in the situation as I saw it. That does not have to mean as it actually was it the time. I have spoken before about eidetic writing. I would extend the idea to images, if they enable the viewer to experience something of the same sensations that the image maker had. Yesterday I joined in a camera club expedition to White Rock on the Southern coast of Wairarapa. We met up in Featherston, and drove in a loose convoy though Martinborough and then to the South East towards White Rock. Though it is a mere 73 km from Featherston, Google Maps suggests it takes two hours. With photographers this could blow out to three.
This was a road I had not previously travelled so there were many new views to take in. Not very far from the coast, this view back the way we had come gave a good sense of a wide valley with a broad bed of river shingle. This would be impressive with the river in flood, but at present there is the merest dribble.
From the same ridge, and looking in the other direction towards the coast, there was a nice view of the road winding its way down to sea level.
and then there is White Rock itself. To quote a report from Boffa Miskell Ltd (2101) “The rocky shore platform and formations at Te Kaukau Point are uplifted layered limestone, sandstone and mudstone sediments. The White Rock Reef is the exposed end of a tilted limestone sheet that extends about 700m offshore.”
After we had taken our fill of pictures around White Rock, we meandered collectively back towards the Gladstone Country Inn where we were booked for dinner. Since I was a passenger in somebody else’s vehicle, I was happy that we had time to go to Tora, a little further up the coast. I had visited Tora before, and was quite surprised at how suddenly, the wreck of the steamship Opua had deteriorated. After being part of the landscape for about eighty years, the old ship seems to be yielding to wind and waves, and the only significant remnants above the water are her stem and the boiler.
Looking North up the coast, I was reminded of how beautiful the area is. And apart form the dinner, that was the day. I enjoyed the company of my fellow photographers and had a lot of fun with them, but I remain convinced that photography is a solitary art form.
That’s all for now.
*Wairarapa Landscape 2010 by Boffa Miskell Ltd