Miss Amanda Fish

victorian photographI love the aesthetics of old photographs, the careful poses, the natural light, even the soft decay of an image.  I sometimes collect other peoples orphaned ancestors via online auctions – old photos adrift from family albums, rich in costume detail, hinting at lives beyond the camera.

This tiny tintype is, according to the back, Miss Amanda Fish.  She would probably not have been a dazzling beauty even in her own time, but she has made a heroic effort to present herself to best advantage, wearing elaborate earrings, a velvet bow with a brooch, and a top with fancy shiny buttons.  

Her gaze is wonderfully intent.  Was she having her portrait taken to give as a gift to some special man or woman?  I’ll probably never know (nothing showed up with a quick online search anyway), but I can enjoy speculating.

Miss Fish may well make her way into a drawing or painting sometime soon.

The demon truck

On a photography night-walk through the city I encountered this wonderfully lit demolition site, with the gates open to allow a truck full of debris to exit.  Went too far when processing for noise, but decided I rather liked the surreal effect; it was a pretty surreal scene.

Demon Truck

Handheld, ISO 1600, f1.8, 1/125

Photos on Wellington’s South Coast

As part of encouraging me to learn all the bells and whistles on my new camera (a Sony A580, and very nice thank you),  I joined a three-evening photography course  – the focus was land and seascapes.  But on the second night course organiser Simon Woolf provided a burning red piano, not-at-all tortured musician Shaun Preston and several perfectly photogenic models for us to photograph.  The final night of the course there was a dinner and a slideshow;  it was fascinating to see how 20 people, all in the same place photographing the same thing still managed to come up with completely different images.  Anyyyyway, these are the ones I submitted for review.