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Selwyn Times: April 18, 2018

12 Wednesday

12 Wednesday April 18 2018 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Our People SELWYN TIMES Triena Graham Behind the lens of Ellesmere’s The Ellesmere Camera Club is the only group in Selwyn registered with the Photographic Society of New Zealand and has been running since the 1950s. Georgia O’Connor-Harding spoke to the club’s president – Leeston resident Triena Graham CAPTURE: Triena Graham has a passion for photography and took on the role of Ellesmere Camera Club president last year. How long have you been in the camera club? Seven or eight years. It is kind of one of those things you get into and you don’t notice the time moving. The start of last year I became president. I was the competition co-ordinator for about five years and so president is quite different. I am really enjoying the challenge of taking the club and we are trying to move into a new direction. For quite a while the club’s focus has been competitions. That is great, we learn a lot from entering competitions and we get outside judges to judge our work, but last year, at the end of the year, we were asking what else members wanted out of the club. A lot of the answers were more fun trips, a lot more opportunities to use the camera within the group rather than doing it on our own. This year we are looking at more trips – day trips, fun activities – and trying to tie it in with our competitions as well. One of our trips will be to a local graveyard. We are going to bring some lights down and, hopefully, everyone will get some really good photos with the moon and the graveyard. Do you have any trips planned further afield? Yes, again at the end of May we are looking at a trip up to the St James Walkway and we will make it that people can choose just a day trip. But we will also look at getting accommodation at the Boyle for those of us who maybe want to make it an overnighter. Where are the best places in Selwyn to take photos? Taumutu Beach. It is about 16km past Southbridge and it is very stony. It goes down to the lagoon, which then of course the Rakaia River comes out at. It is quite rocky, you get some tremendous large waves. That is quite moody and can be dramatic. I will head out to New Brighton or Sumner. It is not quite Selwyn, but you know. The Port Hills are amazing to get shots across the plains and get beautiful sunsets. There is so much bush and just that natural beauty going up there. What is your favourite photo that you have taken? I have got a few. I did this really nice one off Banks Peninsula looking out at Lyttelton and Diamond Harbour. It had just rained and there was a half rainbow and the sun was setting. The colour is a really deep gold and this little half rainbow is slithering out over the hills. What do you prefer to photograph? I actually really love getting a group of people, getting a whole lot of props and creating stories. One of my favourites was we had to do photography inspired by an artist and I did a photoshoot based on Jack Vettriano. He did some amazing paintings in the 1920s. He had his subjects in ball gowns and tuxedos dancing on the beach, or having a dinner party. One of my favourite photoshoots was trying to recreate some of those images. If I am not going all out with props, makeup and costumes, I really like macro. I am not so good with people unless it is telling a story. I am not great at just straight out portrait type work. What are the other members of the group like? We are quite a small group which is really nice. We are all very informal with our club nights. We are really lucky. We don’t have super massive egos within the club. With anything, if you get the bigger clubs you quite often do have those sort of stronger personalities coming through, but we love chocolate biscuits, we love a laugh. Do you have a favourite trick as a photographer? It’s hard. What I want to say is it is not so much about your camera or your processing equipment. But it is more about the person and what they see and how they see things rather than all the gear and stuff we have. Sometimes, when you are first starting out, as long as you have got the ability to see something slightly different from how others might see it, that will take a great shot. Have you had any photo disasters? My daughter also does photography and we did a friend of a friend’s wedding. It was pretty bad because the groom got totalled and so we were trying to hold him. We got members of the group to hold him so he looks awake and upright. We quickly took photos in the settings and then lay him down. He was vomiting and it was pretty messy. It was very frustrating. Thinking Schools, Think Medbury You are invited to attend the MEDBURY SCHOOL OPEN DAY Tuesday 8 May 9.00am - 10.45am The Headmaster will speak at 10.15am Academic, Boarding & Music Scholarships available for 2019 03 351 6169 www.medbury.school.nz Medbury School 109 Clyde Road, Fendalton

SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Wednesday April 18 2018 13 camera club president BEAUTY: A sunset over Banks Peninsula is one of Triena Graham’s favourite photos which she has taken. (Right) – Her photo of dancers on a beach was inspired by Scottish painter Jack Vettriano. Then we also had to be almost like camp mum. We were then hugging the bride and telling her it is okay and working through her grief and drama. Out of probably 500-600 photos I think we had about 60 that worked. That was really bad for them because they didn’t have a lot. There was a lot of post-production as well. Just hours and hours spent trying to remove the hand of the person holding him up. At least they got 60. Are they still together? I’m not sure. I know that the end of the night ended up with him jail for the night. I have no idea. They are not local. It was uncomfortable for everyone. What would be your most successful moment as a photographer? The most sort of ‘wow’ moment for me wasn’t last year but the year before. I had a very successful audio visual slide show I submitted for the Ellesmere Camera Club competition. A couple of the club members who enter into the national competitions of various forms were really pushing me to put it in to the national competition run by the Photographic Society of New Zealand. I put one I did a year earlier as well. I got a merit and commended. For me that is huge. I always look at my work and go “it is not that fantastic”. And I certainty wouldn’t have put it in if the other club members hadn’t pushed me and kept emailing me going ‘come on have you done it yet?’ I was really grateful for them. In their belief in what I had done. It comes down to telling stories. That was in 2017. What photographic themes did you have in your entries? It was a love story told by feet. Every image was pretty much from the knees down telling a love story. I managed to tell a whole story from when the couple met, to a couple of dates, being proposed to, having a raunchy night and getting married all in the audio visual. That was set to Josh Groban’s Romeo and Juliet, which is just beautiful. The second one I did which got the honours, it was based on music by Evanescence’s Whisper. For me it was quite different – stepping out from my comfort zone. It was a lot darker, a lot more depicting mental anguish and the loss of someone you love. For me, it was quite dark and worked in with the song really well. Have you got any exciting projects coming up? I have got a couple I have got to work on for this year’s audio visual competition. One I haven’t really nutted out yet. It will be using angel wings I have made. They won’t be white and fluffy. I am going to spray paint them with bits of grey and red, striped with bits of black. I am hoping to get a male and female and use the wings to somehow come up with a story. I am still looking for inspiration. The other one is going to be a love story again. But I really want to do the homosexual side of love stories. I have got the song to that. Looking forward to putting it into place. The music is The Neighbourhood’s Sweater Weather. I want to push the boat a little bit by depicting a homosexual relationship. For me, pushing my boundaries, pushing how I see things and twisting them a bit. What makes the Ellesmere Camera Club special? We are quite unique, we are quite small. Last week, we actually had an amazing guest speaker – Carl Street. He travels all over the world. He came last night and we were so lucky to have a look of some of his amazing iceberg photography from Greenland. We put it in the paper. We actually got some people coming from Lincoln. They were like, it is really cool to know there is something in the area. I understand you quite like making people feel uncomfortable through your work? How did you work that out? I think after I did the dark one with Evanescence’s music. When it finished the whole club just sat in total silence for 2min. I really love the fact they were thinking about it, they were absorbing it and each of them kind of took their own take on it. They had memories of anguish or grief and were putting their own kind of thoughts on what I had done. I thought ‘wow, I actually like rocking the boat a bit’.