Photos of a Festival, 2015.

An account of my experience photographing for Luminate Festival, Takaka Hill, New Zealand. January 2015.

This was my first official photo assignment and I have to say it wasnt what I thought it would be. It occured to me after the first day that I was actually tasked with trying to showcase the festival through the eyes of the organisers, and to show the dream which they wished to express to others. I found myself neither having the correct gear nor the experience to capture those glorious all encompassing photos one normally sees of festivals, and after days of rain and problems with using slow manual gear and trying to catch the everchanging action day and night, I found myself reverting to what felt natural for me, and I learned a lot more about photography.
The following collection are photos which I feel have a sense of joy or mystery. I feel honored to have been able to capture friends and strangers in their blissful, sweaty, muddy, expressions of themselves high up in the fields of Canaan Downs with the sink-holes, the blaring sun and crisp icy nights, the bellowing Bedfords and the sacred fires burning and pulsing with drummers until the dawn.
Grange and Andria lighting white sage to bless the ceremony.
I love this photo because it reminds me of an old european medieval market scene as is often depicted in paintings. Everyone is up to something interesting or mysterious, theres dancing and laughing, along with others standing alone in thought or anticipation. At the festival, this was when everyone gathered in a large natural amphitheatre characteristic of the landscape at Canaan Downs in anticipation of the lighting of the main fire.
All stand back from the blaze, apart from this fire goddess.
Carrying the flame to the outer fires.
A special fire for dance and drumming, burning day and night for 8 days.
Inki. Feathered staff in hand. Taking watch as guardian of the tribal fire.
Jimi Dale, teaching African Drumming to all comers.
Amy Grace.
Yeshie Reiners in the green room teepee about to take the stage with his beautiful Ngoni made by our mutual friend Jeremy Cloake.
Elliot Orr.
Monica Evans.
Jono Heyes, Ganga Giri, and two of the local hosts.
After the rains, at the smouldering fire.
Night falls over the marketplace.
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