I spent a week at Fitzroy Crossing in 2014, acting as a relief worker for the local child protection office. It is located in lands of the Bunuba people. I arrived late morning on Monday, and departed mid afternoon on a Friday. Not the longest stretch of time.
It was very hot, but dry. I’ve always found humidity harder to manage. They put me up in a local hotel, which was very good quality with a pool.
One of the workers at the office, whose name eludes me now, told me her partner was into photography and she kindly arranged with him to show me a section of the river.
We went after work, down a 4WD section of track through the undergrowth, before coming out to the river. It was approaching sunset, and delightful colours reflected off the water.
Close by a family we’re fishing. They were Aboriginal. It looked like they were catching fish for dinner, because the kids were gutting the fish. I envied the family that moment, a mixture of calmness and family life. It made the place seem less remote, even though they were strangers.
I got some good photos that evening. Never got to try the fish though.
So, the other day, while on my daily commute home, I had cause to take the train home since I had missed the various buses home. I decided it was quicker to take the train rather than wait for the next bus.
On stepping out of the train at Perth station I had a view of the concrete block next to the art gallery. It was fading light, and normally the bland concrete would simply blend with the dull steel grey of the darkening sky. This time though, sunset light fell upon the building and delivered sharp contrast and lines against the background. The building was transformed under the orange glow, and simple concrete turned into vibrant urban visage.
At the time, I was moving quickly to get to my next train, only had iPhone on hand – at that distance a hopeless task of photography. The thought that occurred to me was along the lines of wanting a camera lens (and obviously camera) to get the shot. The actual words in my mind were ‘that’s the kind of view I want to make love to with a camera lens.’
…sigh. Yes, weird.
Setting aside the distinction between badly chosen words and paraphilia, it has in fact opened my mind to a new realisation, about my passion for photography. This last year has been about writing, setting time aside to work on writing projects. I even delayed my degree by a year to do this, but the principle casualty has been photography. It’s not that I have lost interest, or passion, but time I might take for trips and camera walks, has been set aside for literary pursuits.
I still love photography, but seeing that building reminded of desire. The desire to capture a moment on frame, whether it be film or digital. It is refreshing to be reminded of a core passion, and that moment it was about pure desire to take a photo.
I’ve still got the love.