One of the highlights of my two year photography diploma at Unitec was learning about documentary photography. I already knew that I was keen on telling stories with the journalism qualification I achieved at Whitireia in 2004.
However, when I was writing stories there was always something pulling me towards capturing stories through the lens of a camera instead.
I had this confirmed for me during my journalism diploma when my inspirational tutor, Destina, taught us about the basics of photography and taking photos for news stories.
Little did I know that Destina and I would become good friends when I joined the
Kapiti Camera Club in 2012, and she would go on to achieve the same degree I’m studying towards this year. She continues to inspire me until this day. Below is a small selection of her photography (the top three produced as part of her Bachelor of Applied Arts (Visual Arts & Design), majoring in photography).
You can view more of Destina’s beautiful photography on Facebook at
Destina Rose Photography.
Anyway, in the final year of my photography diploma in 2008, I got the opportunity to document the cement industry at Auckland Tank Farm before it was re-developed. I thoroughly enjoyed the project. The brilliant thing with photography is that it enables you to try things you’d never usually have the opportunity to do. I got to go onboard a barge, a ship and climb to the top of a cement silo which had amazing 360 degree views
In my case, this particular project was an accurate record of the cement industry with the intention of the photos becoming historical records. However, documentary photographers who go back as far as the 1800’s haven’t always recorded things objectively. It’s an interesting genre to read about and is a very important consideration when you’re behind the lens of a camera.
A selection of photos were self-published into a book called ‘Set in Cement.’ I was stoked when I sold four copies to Sea + City Projects who were overseeing the re-development at the time. The book was printed by Momento Pro who are Wellington based. I can highly recommend them for book printing. The quality and service was outstanding.
Photos in the order in which they appear in the book:
Next time I’ll talk to you about my current body of work which is a mix of art and documentary photography rolled into one.
Bye for now,