Archives for category: Southern Portraits

paristo012-001sep16-copyMuhammad and Paristo, North Wollongong, January 2016.

I met Muhammad and Paristo as they were heading home after body boarding at the beach in North Wollongong. They agreed to be photographed and this portrait was made on the street where they live. They told me they were from Persia and explained that they felt the word ‘Iran’ often brought too many negative and complex associations with it.

These are the first posts on this blog for some time – I’ve been busy with many things and it’s been a bit neglected.

I moved to a new suburb of Wollongong, south of Sydney, late last year. Having finished (at least stages of) a couple of projects, I wanted to spend some time wandering around the streets with a camera. I’ve always enjoyed doing this a great deal – even if no images are made for extended periods. It lets me be in the moment and, apart from other things, think about photography, what it is, how it works, why it might be worthwhile to take pictures that pretend to be a record of a place at a particular time. A lot of those thoughts meander into considering how any such exercise is very subjective and prone to personal selectiveness and chance – and therefore how it can be very naive to think that one is adding to a ‘document’ that has some kind of relationship to the ‘truth’.

Without expanding on those considerations for the time being, below are some other images made while wandering around my own nearby suburbs. They really form part of a memoir – and also contain details that, no doubt, are of some value in a historical archive (sometimes despite the actual aims of the photographer).

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Shaneequa, January 2016. Shaneequa was working in a carnival style amusement park at South Beach, Wollongong that had been set up on January 26th for what’s observed by some people as ‘Australia Day’. She was operating a ‘Win a Prize’ basketball game.

Berkeley, January 2015. Teenagers cool down while their parents pack the car after a picnic. The day was very hot and there had just been a downpour of rain.

Prayer during Eid celebrations, North Beach, Wollongong. I was wandering near the beach on one of the last days of 2013 when I saw a large group of people, food stalls and amusement park rides – it turned out that local Eid al-Adha celebrations were happening after being cancelled on earlier dates because of bad weather. I was allowed (and generously encouraged) to photograph the males as they prayed in the direction of Mecca; I was told not to photograph the women.

Tomorrow morning I’m heading off to Peru and Ecuador for a few weeks. While I’m away I want to write a little about what to photograph (in my case) and why: cliché, self censorship, portraiture, intervention, many other things.. I will share if it turns out to be vaguely interesting!

These scans are pretty rough and not worked on at all.. right now it’s better that way!  Hope all are well.

New Year’s Day, North Beach 2014

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North Beach  January 2014