8 July 2014

The Great Wave 2014

When I was in Sydney in 2005 I took a photo of a fantastic street art version of Hokusai’s The Great Wave, I was hopeful that it would still be there but no, some fuckwit with 4 litres of shitty grey paint put an end to it.
The Great Wave

13 May 2014

In February 2014 Ambré and I were invited to a friend’s wedding in Rotorua, New Zealand. This gave me the perfect opportunity to sneak in a road trip around a previously, mostly unexplored part of New Zealand, known to the locals as The North Island.

Over 2 weeks we travelled from Auckland to Rotorua, Rotorua to Te Kaha, To Kaha to Gisborne, Gisborne to Napier, Napier to Wanganui and from Wanganui to Wellington.

I shot 16 rolls on the Mamiya 7, 4 rolls in the Xpan and 3 rolls with the Voigtlander.It’s been 3 long years since I made my last book so I thought it was about time I made another.

I thought it would be fun to throw something together from our recent trip to New Zealand. (un)Fortunately there are no smart arse comments but there are 81 awesome photos. There are two sizes available, 8×10 and 11×13. All profits will go towards the “Matthew wants another rangefinder” foundation.

Recently I uploaded my 4,008th photo to Flickr. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I fucking love stats so I thought I would share a few with you. Some of the information comes from Flickr and some comes from patchy data which started in 2012 on a dodgy 3rd party Flickr stat site, so it is what it is. A lot of info on this post is going to be clickable so go ahead and hover.

Of the 4008 photo on Flickr, 991 are tagged Xpan, 1,044 are tagged Voigtlander and 207 are tagged Mamiya 7. My most used tag on Flickr is film with 2,355 tags, tag #2 is Australia with 2,164 tags, tag #3 is Rangefinder with 2,154 tags. The Xpan tag has apparently provided 14,677 visits to my Flickr account and Mamiya 7 43mm has provided 6,934 visits. Even though there are only 31 photos tagged nude on my Flickr account (and only one actual nude photo of me) the keyword nude has provided 8,978 visits, thank you pervs! On the 15th of January 2013 I reached 1,000,000 views.

My best upload year was 2007 with 787 photo uploads, this was the year I moved to Melbourne so I had a lot more interesting things to take photos of, but far less spare time. As far as uploading goes my best month of the year is April which is 32% higher than my 2nd best month January. My best individual month was April 2006 with 151 uploads, this was just after I spent 3 weeks in Japan. My worst individual month December 2013 with a grand total of 0 uploads, Whoops! I blame GTA V. My worst month of the year is July, I blame this on Winter.

My best view day, on record, was Wednesday the 25th of July 2013 with a total of 6,569 views due to my photo More Momorangi being in Explore. Speaking of Explore I have 32 photos in Explore and I have had 69 photos removed from Explore.

My most interesting photo on Flickr is The California Hotel with 7,225 views, 136 favourites and 32 comments. My most viewed photo is My Kit 15/01/2007 with 12,313 views and my most favourited photo is Formerly the 12 Apostles with 189 favourites. My least popular photo is Hawthorn Fragments #23 with a measly 11 views.

Of the 406 groups I am in on Flickr, I am the Admin for 24 and Moderator for 7. The group I get the most referrals from is Mamiya 7 & 7II with a total of 2,347 referrals even though I only have 207 images in the group. #2 is the group 43mm Mamiya 7 with 1,560 referrals for 206 photos and #3 is Xpan with 1013 referrals for 632 photos (like I mentioned earlier the data is patchy and since 2012 only). The least amount of referrals is from the Rangefinder group, only 27 from 730 photos. Google is the #1 external referrer with 6095 referrals and #2 is my own website, fototheque.com with 5470 referrals.

So there you have it, far, far too much information. Thank you to both of you who read this.

It’s my Dad’s Birthday today so I thought I’d fast forward a little and upload a photo of us having breakfast in Scorching Bay, Wellington.
Happy Birthday Dad!

Breakfast at Scorching Bay

Warning: May contain traces of nuts, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and a whole lot of fucks I don’t give.

On Wednesday night Ambre and I got home from two weeks in New Zealand, the first time I have been to NZ without visiting Christchurch and only really the 4th or 5th time I have been to the North Island. We went for my friend Mark’s wedding and somehow I managed to squeeze in a road trip even though we only did that 8 months ago, I am going to pay for this for sure.

We started off in Auckland, we spent a couple of days there having a look around and after a 29 year wait I finally got to go to Kelly Tarlton’s (it’s an aquarium) and it did not disappoint. We also got to hang out with Mark and his now wife Olja. Then it was on to Rotorua for a few days for the wedding, which was amazing! I nearly forgot, on the way we visited Hobbiton formerly known as Matamata and Paeroa. I haven’t been to many weddings where I wasn’t there to take photos so that was nice. My friend Ben was one of Mark’s groomsmen (Ben & Mark are brothers), my friend Morgan was the celebrant and my friend Logan shot the wedding video. Their photographer was a massive bald man, I couldn’t think of Richard Moll’s character’s name from Night Court so I called him Lurch. The next day was a BBQ hosted by Ben and Mark’s parents at the holiday house they were renting, we ate and drank and talked shit, good times. I feel lucky to be friends with 3 amazing brothers.

The next day we drove to North East Te Kaha, there were some great seaside places on the way that I would like to visit again like Ohope and Opotiki. The place we stayed at in Te Kaha described itself as a resort, I wouldn’t, but it was the closest thing to a resort for at least 100km in any direction, so it was good. Even the food was good, but we had to eat early because the chef wanted to knock off early. Next was a 3 hour drive for which time itself stopped to Gisborne, Google lied, it was more like 5 hours. Again more cool seaside places like Tolaga Bay. The next leg was from Gisborne to Napier. I have wanted to visit Napier for years and it did not disappoint, mostly because my expectations were not that high but it was a lot better than I thought it would be. We stayed across the road from the “beach” and the room came with free apples, amazing, everyone should do this, apples, in a bowl, real ones. I had organised for Ambre and I to have a penguin experience at The National Aquarium and it was fun, we got to prepare their food, meet some sick and quarantined birds, feed the birds in their enclosure with an audience and then hold a penguin called Gordon, he was pretty cool. Then we went on an Art Deco walking tour of Napier and learned about the earthquake and the art deco movement.

Wanganui was next. The plan was to stay in Wanganui a night and then the next day drive to Mount Taranaki and then back to Wanganui for another night. We walked into the “city” from where we were staying, saw some interesting buildings, found a nice place to eat and walked back again. The next day day we got up and walked to get some breakfast, the weather was absolutely shithouse, there was low fog, it was windy, raining and cold. At breakfast Ambre had a psychic moment and read my mind, so we rang where we were staying in Wellington and they had a room available, previously they didn’t because of the Rugby 7s but someone must have cancelled. So we packed up and drove to Wellington. It was nice to drive through cities that I had only heard of on TV before, Fielding, Foxton, Levin and Porirua, oh and Bulls, Bulls and their Bulls signs on everything. For those of you who don’t know Bulls has these funny signs on most of the businesses in Bulls, for example, the Church has “Forgive-a-bull” on it and the police station has “Consta-bull” on it. Hilarious.

So on my first morning in Wellington I got up early and picked my Dad up from the airport and on the way I got to see a few Rugby 7s walks of shame, hilarious, because people go to the 7s in fancy dress, one girl, I couldn’t really work out what she was dressed as. So in Wellington the weather was still shit so we went to Te Papa and the City Gallery, the City Gallery was mostly closed but purely by chance there was an exhibition on featuring the works of Laurence Aberhart and William Eggleston, amazing! I have seen some of Aberhart’s work here in Melbourne but it was still good to see it on the wall and getting to see Eggleston’s tricycle in person was pretty cool.

The next day we went to Wellington Zoom where I had arranged for Ambre to have an encounter with a Red Panda, she loved it. On our second last day in New Zealand the sun decided to come out again so we went for a bit of a drive to a cafe on the water in Scorching Bay and then for a bit of a drive around the other bays. We then went to the Weta Cave and saw some Lord of the Rings crap and I got to hold a gun from District 9, it was awesome! Sadly there weren’t any Feebles there.

I haven’t even talked about photos! But I’m not really going to, you’ll see them eventually and in a month or two when I finish uploading them you’ll be sick of them anyway. The final film score was; Mamiya 7 – 15, Xpan – 4, Voigtlander – 3. There is still a roll of Ultra 50 in the Mamiya. Everything has been scanned already, so all I have to do now is crop off the exterior of the scanned frames, remove the odd bit of dust and upload. Obviously I shot with the Mamiya 7 the most but I tried to use the Xpan more than last time. I forced myself to use the Voigtlander and I think it proved a point for me, there is no point spending $2k on a digital version, especially with it’s disgusting pink vignetting. So for now film is it for me, the Mamiya gets all of the attention but I do still love using the Xpan, enough to keep it for another year anyway. Everything looks cool (in colour) and amazing through the 30mm viewfinder, I just wish I could scan colour film as easily as I scan B&W film, this problem requires more thinking or just getting over it and using the V700 again. Thanks for reading all of this crap, you are truly special to me, yes you, not those other people, just you. MJ

27 November 2013

I haven’t done a blog post in a long time so I thought I’d better do one.
I haven’t taken a photo in a long time.
I have been thinking about a large format camera.
I have been thinking about how of a pain in the arse developing large format film is.
I have been thinking about the new Sony A7.
I have been thinking about the fact that the lens I want to use on it I have hardly used in the last 2 years.
I have been thinking about how lazy digital photography makes me.
I have played far too much GTA V.
I have played far too much GTA Online.
I am looking forward to finishing my Xmas book.
I am looking forward to sending my Xmas book.
I am not looking forward to another Xmas in retail.
I am looking forward to going away for Xmas.
I am looking forward to my friend Mark’s wedding in Feb.
I am looking forward to seeing more of the North Island.
I haven’t missed being on Facebook.
I haven’t missed anything on Facebook.

The urbanlight Whole Roll Project

My friend and editor in chief at Urbanlight, ziz asked me to submit to his Whole Roll Project so I picked the first roll I ever shot on a super-wide 15mm lens from nearly 10 years ago, Check it out!

12 September 2013

Gate 3H

I was in New York for 9/11 three years ago. I’ll never forget that day. They closed three blocks around the site so it was dead quiet and a lone piper was playing. Teary stuff. Oh and the light was amazing.

24 August 2013

Bathroom Selfies
When I was in New Zealand and looking at some of my old prints it occurred to me that there is a long history of me shooting selfies in my old bathroom at my Dad’s house in Christchurch. The most recent Mamiya 7 one will probably be the last, it could be another couple of years before I am back in NZ and I doubt/hope the house will be repaired/demolished by then. I shot self portraits before people started calling them selfies, I also used to shoot photos of my feet before Instagram was invented, I am so old… school.
The cameras in this collage are:
* Hasselblad Xpan
* Yashica D
* Canon Powershit G2
* Canon EOS 350D
* Hasselblad 500 CM
* Voigtlander Bessa R
* Horizon

Me