Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Another hero of the Great South Road

[There's a distressing number of wonderful people who haven't made it into my forthcoming (May the 17th; final proofing at the moment) book about the Great South Road. One of them is Stowell. This is a fragment of his story. I'll post tomorrow about another hero, whose name is Quigley.]

Stowell refused to resent his task. He knew that the other photographers at work on the calendar had tickets to Rotorua, to Queenstown, to Haast Pass. He imagined Renee and her Canon EOS, the wide dopey eye that ogled and flashed models and rugby players’ wives, as a chopper dragonflyed them over the mountains, as it landed on a glacier. He imagined the after-shoot party in the ski resort, moonlit snow out the windows like free cocaine. He saw Chris in Rotorua, getting a few lazy shots then wrapping, and heading out on the lake for lunch.

He had no ticket, no room in a resort. He had been sent to the Great South Road, to Takanini Strait. The editors wanted an ‘urban’ shot, to sit amongst the glaciers and lakes and geysers, to make, through its very dullness, its ugliness, the rest of the calendar resplendent.

But Stowell refused to resent his task. Anyone could photograph the vulgar architecture of the Alps, Rotorua's erotic mud. Takanini roundabout, though, required discernment, craft, inspiration. He wiped the drizzle from his camera's lens, in the careful way a father wipes tears from a son's eye, then knelt again. The puddles on the Great South Road resembled a series of silver trays, abandoned by distracted waiters.

6 Comments:

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Blogger Richard said...

This is good also. Some good writing "dragonflyed" is good and other parts. Altogether very good...

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