Eight Bars Of Entertainment And Thirty Two Bars Of Music

on April 30, 2014

Those of you who have ever attended a belly dance show know what I mean - particularly if it is traditional, nostalgic, and culturally sensitive. The saving grace for a photographer of these events is the fact that if you missed it the first time, you have three more goes to capture it...

The same might be said for many aspects of photography - I mean about the repetition. I see a number of club contests that set out categories for images. The contestants are pretty good in what they do - they follow the categories and fulfil the set subject criteria - and there is a very high level of technical skill.

There is also a warm nostalgia about some of the images. Not only is the image of the rusted 1937 Ford truck* in the wheat belt paddock evocative of 1937 and the wheatbelt, it is reminiscent of every club competition since 1938, both in and out of the wheat belt.

Some of the subjects are actually the same. Mrs. Ah Wen Chung has served as the wrinkled smoking Chinese woman for club photography since 1957. It has been steady employment for her, and apart from a racking cough, has benefitted her and her family.

We are hoping for a little change in the landscape section in 2016 as the Albany Shire Council has decided to cement up The Gap. If they sell off Wave Rock to the Chinese government we may have to fall back on sunsets and Bluff Knoll. Mind you, hauling a rusted 1937 Ford truck up the top of Bluff Knoll will be a royal pain.

Still, look on the bright side - in November of this year the Albany Shire Tourist Trappers Association will be combining with the Royal Australian Navy, The Not Imperial Any More Japanese Navy, and as many of the local RSL members as can be coaxed out of the bar to commemorate the passing of the ANZAC fleet in 1914. Albany will be Where It's At. What an opportunity for he photographer to capture the scene. Flags flying. Bands playing. Coffee stalls perking. Politicians speaking. Don't worry about missing the speeches - you'll have three more goes...

* The original 1937 Ford has been replaced with a fibreglass replica. Good from the front.