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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wellington street life

Months and months ago, I was standing outside Farmer's Department Store on Lambton Quay waiting for a bus, when I noticed this gentleman taking photographs, apparently at random.  I was intrigued to see what caught his interest, so when someone famous came along (as happens often in Wellington, New Zealand) I said to him, "You should be taking a photo of him. He's famous." And the gentleman  replied, "But I'm not interested in famous people or iconic things.  I like to look for the quirky."  Which led to a lively and -- may I say it? -- quirky conversation, during which he gave me his card, which announced that his name was Julian Ward.  "I publish books too," he said.

And lo, I see in the DomPost that his latest book is out.  The paper calls it "Glimpses of our great city."

"A local street photographer has captured moments in the heart of Wellington in his new book, Wellington Streets," it begins.
Julian Ward, with 40 years of photography behind him, says his latest book is a collection of quirky and humorous glimpses of the inner city and its inhabitants.

"This book is uniquely Wellington. It's a celebration of Wellington and it's also a celebration of photography," Ward says.
The images were chosen from hundreds of street photos taken over a five-year period between 2009 and 2014.
Ward says he is not trying to look for photos or tell stories with his work.
"The book is really a collection of images that balance against each other. They are about the moment.
"I wait for the photos to come to me . . . it's about recognising them when they come.
"All I'm doing is photographing life in front of the camera, predicting what might happen, sometimes its funny, sometimes slightly disturbing."
Describing a photo of two dogs in Waitangi Park looking up at the same time, he says, "It was like a gift from the gods, the owners of the dogs were just standing there and there were these two dogs dressed up. I knelt down and waited and waited and then they both looked.
"When you're a photographer you're always on the look-out for these little magic moments."

I wish him luck, and will be looking out for his book.  It's a nice project, and meeting him is a nice memory.

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