221.157 Studio I (Lens) 221.157 Studio Notes Bachelor of Fine Arts

221.157 – Session #1.2 Notes

3rd March, 2022

Photography Basics

Basic, analogue stuff

Not going to make a lot of notes on this – been doing this for a long time.

Guidance around use of tripod if slow shutter speed. Not sure I agree with a handheld if shutter speed over 1/60s, particularly for long lenses.

My own preference for hand holding: 1 / focal length is a good rule of thumb, e.g. 100mm lens, can hand-hold up to 1/100s. Need to factor in the 1.6x of APS-C, so a 100mm lens on an APS-C camera can be handheld at shutter speeds faster than 1/160s.

Also, depends on the shutter. The uber slick shutter in my X100T doesn’t move the camera, and the release is very smooth, so I can get away with hand-held shots at 1/10s if I’m careful.

Digital stuff

This is the main reason why I’m here…

Digital Noise

Film grain is more like a texture that brings to life the images. Noise is a defect of the sensitivity of the camera to the light. Noise is the result of the interpretation of the light in an image that the camera can’t capture. In digital photographs, “noise” is the commonly-used term to describe visual distortion.

The size of the grains in the film varies depending on the film sensitivity. The more sensitive the film, the larger the grains. Digital noise is always the size of a pixel, regardless of the ISO setting.

Film grain is color neutral, as it consist mostly of luminance differences. Digital noise consists of both luminance and color differences, and is most visible in the blue color channel.

In the more recent digital cameras the digital noise is quite even. In earlier models the noise had more banding and patterns. The film grain doesn’t have any banding or patterns, so it’s seen as pure noise. If the digital noise has any banding or pattern, the brain can easily pick that up, and that is more disturbing than pure noise.

Neither grain nor noise eats detail. It’s noise reduction that eats detail, as it can’t tell the difference between small details and noise. Noise reduction is used on digital noise, but it can also be used to reduce film grain.

Project Concept

Look at Days Bay out of season.

Shoot the bay and the surroundings during quiet times.

Images from recent shoots

Turns out that I do have some existing recent images that would work for this concept.

Note for review: all of the edits to images on these contact sheets were made as part of Lens.

221.157 Studio I (Lens) 221.157 Studio Notes Bachelor of Fine Arts

221.157 – Session #1.1 Notes

28th February, 2022


Getting set up in the Zoom class.

Introduction to Helen, Ginell (and Tom, on Thursdays)

Went over the basics of thee project, how to borrow a camera, etc.

Lots of the students in self-isolation, so hard to get out and shoot. Must suck – sympathies!

How to access Massey Block 6 for Mac use, etc.

Project Brief

Utilising digital photographic capture, editing, and processing software you will be challenged to evaluate, interpret and re/present your position in the world around you. You will develop an understanding of communicating using photographic images through the practice of critical evaluation of your own, and others, images.

You will identify a site in Wellington to photograph. You should consider how you engage with this site in relation to your background, where you have come from, and how you might announce yourself today through this site.

Helpful strategies might be:

  1. Choose a site
  2. Why are you drawn to this site and how might it relate to your background and your identity?
  3. How might you announce/introduce yourself ‘today’ through your chosen site?
  4. Consider a photographic strategy/genre; or explore a range of photographic genres that best describe your site in relation to your background and identity.

Following a process of researching and photographing your site, by week six you will produce a series of 3-5 digital images and one 16×12 inch inkjet print, accompanied by a 150-word statement which addresses why you chose that location, and how the visual material you have collected or created with your camera has engaged with the concepts of mihimihi. You will consider the relationship between the digital and printed images, and the possibilities offered by the different outputs.

You will be assessed based on the paper’s learning outcomes. We will assess your final and developmental work, your involvement in the class workshops, exercises, and discussions. These are to be evident in a physical workbook.

My initial thoughts

So, I’m naturally enough going to choose somewhere I can walk to, because I might end up in self-isolation.

Got to be something based on Days Bay. The beach? History?

What do I have in my recent photos that could fit into this, given that I’ve shot a lot in Days Bay in the past couple of months?

Plan: draw on what I have, then add shoots once I get started down a track.

To Do

  • Chase the Mac order along.
  • Buy an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.
  • Look for existing images.
Days Bay, Wellington, New Zealand, by Muir & Moodie. Te Papa (C.014751)

237.131 Conversations in Creative Cultures 237.131 Studio Notes Bachelor of Fine Arts

237.131 – Week #12 Notes

Asian Aotearoa Histories

Pre-work – videos

“Māori-Chinese encounters and New Zealand multi-cultural society”. Manying Ip. Research works wonders. 2011, Auckland University.

Interviewed 100+ people.

Lots of NZ people with Chinese and Māori.

Multi-cultural society is broader than people think.

Needs to be more understanding of Asian community in NZ.

“Documentary Edge Online Video Poetry Slam 2012: Chinglish: Renee Liang”. 2012, Documentary Edge.

People’s perceptions that people who are Asian were not born here?

“Your English is good, for a foreigner…”

“Community arts case study: ‘Alice Canton’s OTHER [CHINESE]’”. Jeff Smith, Deep Animation (filmmakers). 2018, New Zealand on Air.

Classroom notes

Economic downturn in China.

Prompted a diaspora to other countries.

Watching video #1 again

Social deprivation.

Legislative discrimination.


This was one of first pieces of research.

Way forwards is for Chinese and Maori to work together.

National identity includes Pakeha, Māori, and Asians.

Reflecting on this image

Portrayal of Asian man as a monster.

Male attacker.

Māori woman representing NZ?

Māori as victims?

Adaptation of other country’s racist traits.


Why opium? Was that long dead by 1907?

Why octopus?
From georgiana morison to Me: (Direct Message) 02:01 PM

213.157 Studio I (Art Lab) 213.157 Studio Notes Bachelor of Fine Arts

213.157 – Session #12.2 Notes

213.157 Studio I (Art Lab) 213.157 Studio Notes Bachelor of Fine Arts

213.157 – Session #12.1 Notes


Testing out a few concepts…

237.131 Conversations in Creative Cultures 237.131 Studio Notes Bachelor of Fine Arts

237.131 – Week #11 Notes

Locating Moana Oceania

Dawn Raids Documentary


The dawn raids were shameful, because in essence they set out to pick up anybody who didn’t look like a Pākehā or palangi New Zealander. They swooped on people who were Māori, they swooped on many Pasifika people who had absolutely lawful residence in New Zealand, may even have been born here…

Helen Clark

It was a painful time to be a Pacific Islander in New Zealand. I don’t think it’s something we should hide from.

Oscar Kightley in Sunday Star Times, 31 July 2005

The police proposed that they would simply stop people in the street and ask them for their documentation – hello, what is this? South Africa? Pass laws, you’ve got to carry your passport to prove you’re a Kiwi. I don’t think they meant to be so offensive, but it was wierd.

Ex Minister of Immigration Aussie Malcolm

Statistics show that through the 70s and the 1980s, that the bulk of overstayers in New Zealand were actually from Europe and from North America, but they weren’t targeted to anything like the same extent.

Massey University Professor Paul Spoonley

…Very much was made of the word ‘dawn raids’. It’s very emotive. Just remember — these young fellas were working in the freezing works, heading off to work at five and six in the morning. They were on long shifts and so on, and that was the only time you could get them.

Former Police Task Force Commander Ross Dallow

Thoughts on this

Given that the Government has issued a formal apology, it’s clear that this was a shameful episode in NZ history.

Don’t doubt that there was overstaying or breaches of immigration conditions, but the response to this was in no way proportional, and went as far in some cases to become a fundamental violation of human rights.

Stop and search – comparison to “pass laws” in South Africa under Apartheid are not unjustified.

Oceania / Pacific Island

Select 1 or 2 Conversation points

  1. What do you know about the current concerns of the communities of the Pacific Island groups? A couple of options are below
    a. Use google to find out about Banaba and Bikini islands both forsaken for economic or/an political power. Discuss what you found out.
    b. Provide examples like the impacts of climate crisis and reflect on Hauofa’s point about kaitiaki roles,
  2. If someone asked you what is a Pacific Islander? What would you say? Would you say that is you?
    a. Discuss, why
    b. Or would you not? & discuss why not?
  3. Discuss what you know about the Pacific
    a. Who lives there
    b. Its expanse
    c. Its history
  4. How heard is the voice of the Pacific Island identity (beyond NZ) in terms of political & economic power – internationally or even within Oceania? Discuss your ideas.
  5. Do you listen to Pacific Rapp? Why and what does it say to you?

237.131 Conversations in Creative Cultures 237.131 Studio Notes Bachelor of Fine Arts

237.131 – Week #10 Notes

Decolonising gender and sexuality

213.157 Studio I (Art Lab) 213.157 Studio Notes Bachelor of Fine Arts

213.157 – Session #11.2 Notes

Group discussion

Thinking about how we might evolve our work.

Sounds like we all need to do some experimentation.

Only two weeks left to get to a completed work…

213.157 Studio I (Art Lab) 213.157 Studio Notes Bachelor of Fine Arts

213.157 – Session #11.1 Notes – Gallery Visit

213.157 Studio I (Art Lab) 213.157 Studio Notes Bachelor of Fine Arts

213.157 – Session #10.2 Notes – Formative

Wiki tekau, Akomanga tua rua

Formative Assessment

Notes on my own work

What has worked for you? What was your best, or favorite, method? 

Deeply layered collage is a messy, fun thing to do and I can see it having interesting possibilities that I’m already thinking through.

I like the idea of using a string/rope to pull through layers of paper. I’m interested to try a more fine grained approach. Perhaps apply a layer of colour, add drawings of people on newsprint on top, then use thin strings to pull through them aligned to the limbs, so that you get a kind of sinewy effect? Worth trying.

How could these methods reflect aspects of hakari through the resulting artworks? 

I quite like the richness and deliberate nature of this technique, although it is destructive in nature. Hakari can be partly about displaying wealth, almost in a gratuitous way.


As to hākari, I can see a link here. A feeling that I’m adding richness to a work that’s ultimately then something of a sacrifice.

Note: I’ve no idea why I’m making this connection, but it does remind me of some Native American blood rituals. It’s the tearing through of something as the final act in the process. Probably an old movie called A Man Called Horse, which is a mixed up mess of a thing with a white guy playing the Native American lead, the ritual aspects borrowed from the wrong tribe, and so on.

How will you iterate on your earlier experiments to produce a
final artwork?

What research and further experimentation will be needed?

How will you go about this?

While making in this way, I did have a number of things that I wasn’t entirely happy with, and also places where I wanted to try additional techniques:

I did not have much control over what was exposed on underlying layers. I think with my next piece this should be more deliberate.
Adding the string/rope back into the piece is what Bradford discussed in one of the interviews we watched. How might I do that?

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