This photo was included in the exhibition WGTN3 at Photospace Gallery in August 2000, which featured Wellington photographers Alan Wylde, Roland Idaczyk and Derek Smith. Derek had been working as a postie, and he always carried his camera on his run.
The photo was taken at the south end of the runway at Wellington Airport. At the time there was an area of reclaimed land, across the road from the end of the runway, where people would visit to experience the thrill of aircraft passing overhead at very low altitude.
The runway has since been extended and the road runs through a tunnel under it; but if the patch of land still existed there would no doubt be a security fence around it to keep people from potential harm. Things have changed quite a lot in the past decade or so. This, by the way, is what Wellingtonians did for amusement before everyone had smartphones.
As for the general discussion about photography that usually ensues at this point - well, I'll keep it short this week because the blog's late and there's much to do ahead of the gallery's 15th birthday. Suffice to say; there are two main directions from which to approach photography: assemble stuff from scratch and take a photo of it; or walk around and find existing stuff to photograph. Both approaches have long traditions dating from the beginnings of photography. The second approach (Derek's) begs the question; is it art, or just photography? I know the debate has been had, but mostly just within academia and art circles: it remains an issue in the wider arena. The first approach sidesteps this issue pretty effectively; of course it's art. What else could it be? Next week's photo will be an example of this first approach (unless I change my mind about the selection).
Photography Matters II