This afternoon we closed the doors on the exhibition that has run for the last fortnight that combined painting by my wife and photos by me. The title of the exhibition was “Life’s little moments” and as such my images mainly fell into the genre of “street photography”.
Now that the exhibition is over I can share the images with a wider audience. While the digital images look good there is nothing like seeming them in white mattes on the wall of a gallery. The images are presented in the order that they appeared on the walls of the gallery.
Petone is a small centre at the northern end of Wellington harbour. When the first settler boats arrived in the 1800’s they landed here and the first settlements were established. The area has a lot of very old villas and its main street escaped most of the strip mall development of the 1970’s to retain a very old character.
Each year in February the Petone Rotary Club close off most of the main street and set up a street market. Somewhere around 400 stalls sell or promote their services to around 30,000 people. It is therefore a great place to practise a little street photography or to simply enjoy people watching.
Last weekend was Wellington Anniversary which meant we got the Monday off work. As such it appeared that lots of events were planned to occur and the Saturday was particularly popular. In addition to several beach related sports event, there we two large scale festivals. In Civic Square there was “Out in the Square” which was a celebration of the gay community and at Waitangi Park the Wellington Pasifica Festival was held.
The events had appeared in a number of facebook posts with the comments from those going that it was a great event especially if you liked to shoot street photography. So camera and a couple of lens we headed into town and the first stop was Civic Square.
At first glance the event had all the elements that you tend to associate with gay events, namely lots of colour and drag queens.
Now flamboyant people are great to shoot and those that are entertainers I have no qualms about photographing them. But as I walked round the festival and talked to some of the stall holders I just got the feeling that it was not appropriate to simple shoot others on this occasion. I do not know why but I thought that there was almost a risk that I was trying to capture them as if they were a freak show, whereas in fact they are perfectly normal people.
I know that there is a bit f an argument that goes on in Street photography in terms of whether you should ask someone whether you can take their picture. On one side is the thought that if you are going to invade their space then you should be polite and seek their permission. Countering this is the equally strong argument that if you ask then they will pose and that destroys the candid side of the image that you want to create.
I am a little in both camps. For some images I will simply take the image, but generally if I want them looking straight at me I will ask permission.
We then moved onto Pasifica after a slight detour through the city.
Pasifica was very crowded and it was a little difficult to shoot the craft being worked on without other people getting in the way.
Finally on the way back to the car a street performer was entertaining the crowd in front of the Te Papa museum. In the case of street entertainer I will normally shoot them first and then pay them some money.