The recent Auckland Festival of Photography featured an exhibition entitled `The Lie of the Land`. This was at the Circle Gallery in Newmarket. Organised by AIPA, the exhibition was a visual survey of New Zealand`s native, rural and urban environments featuring imagery created by leading professional photographers from around the country. I had selected one image for this exhibition entitled `Apartment Views`. This was an image I had recently taken whilst undertaking a commercial assignment from the top of an Auckland tower block which enabled a square level view of the apartment balconies. This image can be purchased as an open edition print in either A2 or A3 sizes from the AIPA website fotopia.nz
One of the world’s most celebrated musicals, The Phantom of the Opera, is opening in the Civic Theatre, Auckland for a three week run. Based on the 1910 horror novel Le fantime de l’Opeera by Gaston Leroux, this musical tells the story of a disfigured musical genius, living in the dark shadows of the Paris Opera House. Sheltered from the outside world in an underground cavern, the lonely, romantic is hypnotised by the voice of a young soprano. He tutors and composes operas for Christine and as her star rises, a handsome suitor from her past enters the picture. The Phantom grows mad with jealousy, terrorising the opera house owners and company with his murderous ways. And still, Christine finds herself drawn to the mystery man.
The Phantom is played by Chris Crowe, who will notch up 100 performances in this lead role. Barbara Graham plays Christine, whilst Rory Nolan plays Raoul. This production is being staged by the Amici Trust bringing together professional and amateur performers under the direction of Grant Meese. There are also 150 volunteers working to make this production a success. The costumes have been made by the Royal new Zealand Ballet and the New Zealand Opera has built the chandelier.
Having attended the original production back in London 28 years ago with Michael Crawford playing the Phantom and Sarah Brightman as Christine the musical has gone a long way becoming Broadway’s longest running show and also having productions in 151 cities in 30 countries around the world. Highly recommended!
Once again I had the pleasure of photographing the rehearsals of The Santa Claus Show by Tim Bray Productions. This show is becoming something of a tradition in its own right as this year it’s the 14th production. Santa was played by the regular stalwart Tim Raby who puts his all into making this play something special for the young audience.
It seems no time since I photographed the 2014 production, it has been a busy year and I thank all my clients for their support during the year. I look forward to working with you again in 2016.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. Take care.
The Channel Magazine, a monthly publication for the North Shore of Auckland, covering news, views, events and people has once again featured one of my client’s on the front cover. The photograph of the main cast for the latest Tim Bray Production – Grandma McGarvey with Grandpa’s Slippers is from my publicity shoot where I spent a morning with the cast and crew putting together a selection of images for their publicity and promotion.
Established 24 years ago, Tim Bray Productions is recognised as Auckland’s leading theatre for children creating world-class theatre for children most often based on New Zealand literature. Tim believes live theatre is a way to engage children with literature, and to encourage reading. His shows are supported by an ever-growing fan base, being enjoyed by more than 20,000 people a year. Tim Bray produces four shows a year, housed in the quaint and picturesque setting of The PumpHouse Theatre, Takapuna. The timing of the shows is based around the school holiday.
Tim Bray also provides opportunities for children and young people to further engage and become involved in theatre through his Youth Theatre, Theatre Workshops and providing Q&A sessions with the casts and crews.
For more on Tim Bray Productions see his website Tim Bray Productions
At the weekend, I was working at the first rugby match where I did not have to shoot any of the action of the field. Instead I was photographing the behind the scenes action for Sky Television and their start of the new season coverage of 1st XV Rugby. Sky Sport has pumped up its College Rugby coverage with a new show, a new host and more games. Erin Simpson, the former What Now, Sticky TV and The Erin Simpson Show host joins the Rugby Channel’s 1ST XV coverage on match days and will front Land Rover 1ST XV Revision, which takes a behind-the-scenes look at schoolboy rugby, the players that have kicked on to bigger things and highlights of every match.
It was a refreshing change not having to concentrate on the match itself, but watch and photograph Erin as she rehearsed and prepared for the live broadcast, interviewing the team captains and player of the match plus making the necessary introductions for the commentary team.
One of the biggest sporting events this year for New Zealand was the Cricket World Cup hosted jointly with Australia. Whilst the final result did not go the way New Zealand wanted, they still managed to put in some epic performances. One of the highlights surely must have been the nail biting finish to the Semi-Final match against South Africa at Eden Park. I was photographing this event for Associated Press (AP) and as one of several photographers they had covering the various matches, had to provide real time images that portrayed the action as it happened. In the end there were in excess of 4000 images transmitted to AP over the seven weeks of the Cricket World Cup by the photographers. AP have now posted a blog with 60 of these images to represent a cross section that reflects the event. Four of my images including this one of South Africa’s AB de Villiers falling over as he attempts to run out New Zealand`s Corey Anderson feature in this portfolio.
The Associated Press Blog with all 60 images can be viewed here:
Tropfest is the largest short film festival in the world. This annual short film competition is open to anyone who wishes to enter, regardless of their background or experience. Sixteen finalists are selected from an entry pool of hundreds of entries. Tropfest New Zealand films are unique in that they have all been made specifically for local Tropfest NZ.
The Tropfest event is free to attend being an outdoor celebration complete with music and entertainment, public catering, red carpet arrivals and the highly anticipated film screenings followed by an awards ceremony.
This year the winning film was called `Every Moment` which was directed by Gabriel Reid, and produced by Maile Daugherty together with Gabriel Read and edited by Dan Martin.
The Synopsis – Life is full of ups and downs – but every moment counts — is based on a stage play `Hotel` by Thomas Sainsbury and was filmed at Hotel De Brett in Auckland. The lead actors were Aaron McGregor and Bree Peters who also won the best actress award.
Michael Jackson was 50 years old when he died and although that was more than six years ago, the King of Pop’s legacy lives on. Thriller Live, a spectacular concert created to celebrate the career of the world’s greatest entertainer, is in New Zealand for the first time. In London’s West End the show has entered its seventh year.
Unlike other tribute musicals such as Mamma Mia and We Will Rock You, this show is just over two hours of non-stop Jackson hits, which gives true credit to the popularity and success of all his music.
Sean Christopher portrays the great King of Pop in a surreal way as he performs Billy Jean with all the movements and actions associated with Michael Jackson without showing his face until the song is over.
Thriller Live plays at the Civic Theatre Auckland.
Auckland, one of the first cities to welcome in the new year, celebrated with the traditional fireworks extravaganza from the Sky Tower, the southern hemisphere’s tallest man-made structure. At midnight on New Year’s Eve, a famous eight minute firework display setting the skyline alight signalled the start of 2015.
This year I had been asked by Getty Images to cover the firework display. With the weather forecast not too promising with the prospect of rain and bad weather, I decided that a close vantage point was necessary. The surrounding cityscape would be missing but I had a better chance of capturing the fireworks should the rain arrive. So having checked the likely wind direction I found a good vantage point clear of obstruction in Victoria Street West. I arrived early to set up and to make sure of a parking space nearby to provide additional protection from the forecast of rain. As midnight approached , the sky was cloudy but no sign of the threatening rainclouds. A group of spectators joined me, assuming that I must have a good vantage point and on the dot of midnight the fireworks began their eight minute display. I shot several exposures all in manual mode with a shutter speed of around 5 seconds or so. Eight minutes passes quickly when shooting like this. As soon as the display was over and as the nearby crowd were wishing each other a happy new year I was back in the car and downloading the images to my laptop, preparing them for immediate dispatch to the Getty Images picture desk. Whilst Auckland may not have the biggest or best display it being the first usually guarantees worldwide usage. This year proved no exception, within minutes my images were appearing on the BBC, NBC, The Daily Telegraph and many major newspapers and news websites around the world.
Thanks for taking the time to visit my website and have a happy new year.
The Santa Claus Show by Tim Bray, with songs by Christine White. A magical Christmas story for the whole family. It’s the story of Alana and Kelly, named for Tim Bray’s nieces, who are very different. Kelly and Alana are best friends and decide to write to Santa Claus. Alana has just one wish for Christmas – a selfless one at that – whereas Kelly’s wish list would use a ream of paper. When her letter arrives at the North Pole, Elfie, the Chief Elf, chooses to bring her to help Santa with his Christmas Eve task. Santa helps reveal the pleasure of giving.
The Santa Claus Show was first performed in 1991. Starring Tim Raby in the title role for his tenth season playing Santa’s double and Adam Burrell as Elfie who introduces us to a Santa for the 21st century, fully equipped with email, a Facebook page and a Twitter account.
Delighting children at Christmas for many years, ‘The Santa Claus Show’ continues to bring magic and meaning to this special time of the year. Make ‘The Santa Claus Show’ part of your family’s Christmas traditions.
For more information about Tim Bray’s Children’s Theatre go to his website at www.timbrayproductions.org.nz