Whilst visiting one of my favourite parts of the world recently, I was reminded that it is often useful to actually open our eyes and look for a different way of interpreting the ordinary, the commonplace or the familiar.
There I was in Queenstown, Central Otago, New Zealand, visiting my good friends Jackie Ranken and Mike Langford; when I decided to take a trip to Kinloch to see the tree that Jackie had made famous via her photography. It was my intention to re-pay their great kindness by mocking “the tree” with my own photographic interpretation – such is the crassness of good friends! Kinloch is the site of one of Mike and Jackie’s Photography Workshops, and as such is not only in their back yard, but well known to them. Jackie, current New Zealand Professional Photographer of the Year, is known for introducing objects (including her hand) into the frame of her photographs – and these have become known as Ranken-hand shots. Whilst attempting to mimic this style, I was struck by the fact that having visited this beautiful spot several times before, I had never “seen” her interpretation.
I resolved to attempt to start looking at banal, mundane and familiar objects and locations with as much creative enthusiasm as Jackie does in her travels. Always carrying a camera and documenting what she sees through enthusiastic eyes – these traits make her the talented and awarded photographer that she is.