Tomorrow I go to Fiji. It’s not really a holiday,
I’m not sure if I take holidays. It’s primarily
a trip to see what new photos I can find,
I would be happy with just one, it’s always like
that for me.
What makes this trip different is that I am
taking an underwater camera and it will
give me the chance to explore a whole new world.
I’ve never used one before.
Not that I should be too fixated on going underwater,
it is important to focus softly so to speak, there may
be a new photo on dry land, staring me in the face
but unrecognised because I am so determined to head
for the beach.
In my planning I’m being careful.
I’ve booked accomodation for just the first two nights
so that I can freely follow up any leads that might
come my way. I caught myself out a couple of days
ago. I was telling a Fijian born Indian,
here in New Plymouth, that I wanted to circumnavigate
Viti Levu the main island while I was there. He looked at
me a little quizically and asked how long was I staying.
‘A week’ I answered. He looked sceptical.
Still I love my new underwater camera, not that apart
from testing it out in a rock pool nearby
when I had to summon up all my courage
in order to plunge it below the surface, I have not
used it since, apart from photographing some clocks in Whangarei.
I want to make the best possible use of it
as a tool for helping me to find a new image,
one precious to me.
I’ve been studying the history of
this genre and was recently introduced
the work of Jean Painlevé 1902-1989, that’s him
in the photo above.
The son of a mathematician and a politician,
whose mother died as a result of giving birth
to him, he became an important maker of
science films, more than 200.
One, 14 minutes long, is called Les Amours de la Pieuvre
(The Love Life of the Octopus) I recommend it.
He knew many artists living in Paris at the time, Man Ray, Andre Breton,
and Alexander Calder for example. In the 50’s he filmed Calder
performing his Circus.
Wish me luck.