summer shots (and a thought on retro)

If I take my Holga down to the beach I usually load it up with slide film so I can exploit the brilliant blues of the ocean and the sky, which come out beautifully with some cross-processing action (like in these ones I posted a while ago). But this time, I decided to use some old colour film just for something different. I didn't think I'd love the results, but I really do! The wonderful fading means the yellow of the sand is tonally very similar to the blues, which I think makes for a lovely, harmonious image. And the cute factor of little Cash certainly helps the photo's appeal!

I guess this shot is somewhat boring, but at the same time it's pretty classic: the unpretentious shoreline of the seaside town in which I grew up. Actually, that's not boring at all.

So I needed to use up my film here because I was near the photo place and wanted to drop it off for development. I've long had a fetish for city-sky-gazing, so I thought I'd just get this slightly dated skyscraper on this slightly dated film. One thing that is interesting about this, which is due to overexposure on my part, is that the sky was totally clear - a brilliant blue. The washed-out result here, though, somehow suits the building I think. Nothing brilliant about it - which in this case is a good thing.

Before I ventured into the city and looked to the sky, I was out visiting a friend at North Coburg. I had never really been there before, and like a lot of older (un-gentrified) suburbs, it has plenty of visual quirks. So I shot these while waiting for the tram. I didn't realise that they would overlap - but this is a happy accident that often happens with the Holga, et al.

I joined them together just to get an idea of what the whole image looks like. I'm not sure if I prefer them separate or together! But I do very much like them, regardless of their presentation. In the first solo image, and in the joined image, I think the repeat of the 'O'Gormans' signage, at different scales, is pretty charming.

I wonder about the validity of photographing these kinds of kitsch artefacts; I mean, it's not exactly original. But I tend not to overthink my photography, so worrying about being original or otherwise is never at the forefront of my mind. Rather, if something appeals to me visually, and I can envisage it as a photograph, that's all the justification I need. However, if I was forced to justify these kinds of images as more than just trading in on the retro-cool factor of the objects, I would say that living in the inner north, too often beautiful remnants of our childhoods and markers of a suburb's character are demolished to make way for something that will one day be a childhood remnant, and come to define the suburb anew, for someone else. It's sad, but it's inevitable. The reality is, these things in the photo(s) will one day be gone. Even the generic beach shot above depicts a shoreline that will undoubtedly shift with the changing tides and coming seasons. And what is photography for if not to capture a time and a place - to prove that it existed and to prove that we were there, and to hold onto it and value what we have here and now?


more from the beautiful wedding of sarah and creg (aka craig)

I recently posted ten unconventional wedding portraits from the wedding of my friends Sarah and Creg (I just can't bring myself to call him Craig, though for the record that is his name). Some of those images are pretty out there in terms of capturing something that is in fact really traditional. But I did actually take a lot of more photos, many of which are much closer to 'wedding photos' (but I still like to think they have something of a unique flavour). While I adore the oddball shots I posted last time, I wanted to share some of the others from the day, because the day was, and the photos are, very beautiful.

It's a special thing to be around when a group of really close girls prepare to send one of their own down the aisle, into a new chapter in life. There are so many quietly touching moments, whether it's the bride putting her shoes on, or drawing a diagram of the altar set-up.

These two shots are particularly gorgeous. Sarah looks so radiant interacting with her flower girl (and now niece). And the second shot shows Sarah embracing her mother for the last time as an unmarried person. In addition to depicting a lovely moment, I think the natural, warm colour tones make this photo pretty special.

I was staying at the same house as Creg the night before the wedding, and when I got up the morning of, I found the kitchen of this normally very busy household empty and exceptionally quiet. Except for him. Sitting at the computer, writing his vows. I just had to take the shot.

And then it happened! They got married. What a stunning couple.

The chapel and reception venue were on a hill that overlooked a beach sunset, which made for some excellent photo opportunities. The whole thing was very modest, in a perfect, charming way.

This is Creg and his best mate and best man, Andrew. Such a lovely photo. If you look closely, it's kind of out of focus. But I don't think it detracts from the image. In fact, it adds a lovely softness to it that almost suits the golden glow that the setting sun is bathing them with.

Then it came to one of favourite parts of weddings, in terms of both photographing them and partaking: the party. It's always a good time to get uninhibited shots of the guests, leading to some gorgeous, vibrant photos. The last one, of the groom and his men, is one of my highlights from this part of the event. It was late, everyone had had a big day and a few drinks. It's fitting, then, that there are closed eyes, funny faces and selective blurring. But it's still so beautiful because it captures the closeness, and the connection (or mateship), that obviously exists between these guys. And even though weddings are about two people making the ultimate connection, they are also, crucially, about celebrating the important connections you share with everyone in your life. And judging by the day they had, Sarah and Creg have many very special ones.