I have lived in New Plymouth
now for ten years.

Over that time, I have
many times,
driven north
up the coast,
usually on my
way to Auckland.

of Awakino,
ten minutes drive
below Mokau ,
there is this
tree stump.

As drive past,
as I will be on
I always glance in
it’s direction.

This is one of my most
recent attempts at taking
a keeper.

I’m not sure but I would
like to see this image in
black and white.
Or, perhaps, the muddy,
dirty parts of the photo
Photoshopped and turned green
like the grass.

Taranaki Landscape

Driving down, last Friday, the beautiful coast road from
Awakino to New Plymouth, as I often do, I saw,
and noticed, probably for the seventh or eighth time
this uptorn root system.
On this occasion, although I was very anxious to get
home and had already driven past it, I
stopped the car, turned around and went
back. It took some willpower, but I’m glad
otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this post.
Notice the remains of a pa site on the hill in the background.
Time is softening the look of these sites.

What do you photograph?

Often people who I have just met, meaning well, of course, ask me this question. There is usually a second or so pause on my behalf, and probably, a slightly stricken look on my face making the enquirer fire out a couple of quick prompts as if in a play, landscape? people? for example.

I always wish that I could give them a simple answer, to help us both bridge the divide that exists at that point. Coal Miners of the West Coast would be a good one. Lighthouses of New Zealand is another. Samoan Fa’afafine is also one that I would put in there, because these third gender Samoan, hold some genuine photographic interest for me. I want to go to Samoa soon.

It’s an opportunity; if I could speak Dalai Lama responses we would both be able to make progress towards our understanding of each other.

The photograph of the roots is to provide an example of how, if I was to describe literally what I photograph, might not be too helpful. In this case,‘I photograph tree roots’ does not illuminate too much. The real subject is behind this.


Today I photographed these on a track in Pukekura Park, about 10 minutes walk away. I’ve probably photographed these exact same roots about five times now. I always stop and look at them when I pass by. If you asked me to explain why I would struggle. I feel that sometimes I photograph something in order to see what it looks like when its been photographed. In this photo’s case, it feels a step on from the previous one of which I am glad. Right in the centre there seems to an area that is glowing. i like that part.

The photograph below is about four years old. Even though superficially the subject matter is close to the previous one, they feel different in their concerns, their flavour. A friend told me about how he had seen these particular roots and how he thought I would like them. He was right. They remind me strongly of extreme dentistry of which I’ve had lots. I liked the image and exhibited it a couple of times.