Thursday, 1 December 2011

A photographic challege at a unique "Farm"

Andris Apse Landscape Images

As a freelance landscape photographer I seldom accept commissions but every so often an interesting assignment is offered to me. I was phoned and asked if I could photograph "The Farm" in Kaipara Harbour, being interested in rural as well as wilderness scenery, I accepted. My partner Lynne is a little more inquisitive than I and has far wider general knowledge, she determined that "The Farm" is a sculpture park  owned by Alan Gibbs.

I expected to be photographing sheep and cattle on rolling green pasture, instead I was confronted with huge outdoor sculptures by famous names such as Eric Orr, Sol LeWitt, Daniel Buren, Richard Serra, James Turrell, Andy Goldsworthy, Leon van den Eijkel, Neil Dawson, the list goes on.

All were challenging and forced me to think of ways of showing each work at it's best while incorporating the environment of the farm. I used Canon 5D ll digital with my Leica Lenses to get the best possible resolution and in some cases used the HDR process through Photomatix Pro to extend the dynamic range.

My favourite sculpture is Richard Serra's "Te Tuhirangi Contour" Made up of 56 steel plates 6 m. x 4.58.m. and 50mm. thick. That is 257 metres long and erected on a single continuous contour. The plates are shaped to follow the curve of the contour.

This steel sculpture is a rusty red colour when dry but I chose to photograph it at dusk during light rain to give the wall a wet sheen.

Another fascinating sculpture is  Anish Kapoor's "Untitled" Standing close to the 8-storey high work, it’s gigantic character kicks in. Composed of a vast PVC membrane stretched between the two giant steel ellipses, it has a quality which Kapoor describes as being “rather like a flayed skin.”

During one of the site’s frequent westerly winds it takes on a life beyond what Kapoor could ever achieve indoors.  Entering from the west the wind  doubles in force and is amplified as it passes through the narrow waist and out the wide horizontal mouth of the leeward end. The sculpture breathes: expanding and contracting with each gust.

I decided to feature the interior of this sculpture and to give the image scale I asked Lynne to stand near the entrance. She can just be seen at the far end where the lines converge in white trousers. Because of the amplification of any wind, it was very difficult to use a tripod. The membrane bucks and heaves like a living animal.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Andy

    Amazing works of art... must have been quite technical to curve all the steel, and all the other construction aspects.

    I got here via your accepting my FB request. Figured we have a few mutual friends [Paul Roy, Simon Spencer-Bower etc.]

    Thanks for sharing.