Monument Valley

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Between the ages of 8 and 15, we lived in Sri Lanka, where , at the time, there was no TV, so going to the cinema to watch the latest movies out of Hollywood was a regular part of our weekly routine. The movies that we all were most excited to see were the westerns. The Good The Bad and The Ugly,  in fact anything with Clint Eastwood, Chatos Land with a non speaking Charles Bronson, John Wayne, Allan Ladd, and so many more. So it was with much excitement that I finally visited Monument Valley. I had been speaking at the WPPI conference in Las Vegas, and at the end of it, my friend and fellow photographer Peter Eastway and I hired a car and set off to explore the 4 corners region around Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado   This one area of Navajo land was the set for so many of the epic Hollywood blockbuster westerns that I had grown up with. It had all the elements that the movie executives thought were required to set the scene, and in the process helped form a very clear picture in the minds of the world of how the American west looked during the time of Sitting Bull, General Custer and the Wells Fargo stage coach ( I can imaging it now tearing up the road, chased by a band of Indians on palomino ponies with the horses at full gallop and the wheel looking like it might fly off at any second! ) We arrived before dawn ( as all good photographers should!) only to find that there was a gate and an entry fee and worst of all, the office didn’t open until 8am, long after the light was of any use for photography.  Luckly for us this had obviously happened before, and waiting patiently at the gate as this lovely Navajo guy with a van who offered to take us in via his village and give us a tour of the area.  The asking price was fair and we had an amazing tour of the area, along with expert commentary. The images we got were just what we had hoped for so much so that we decided to hire him again the next day, start even earlier and get to some of the other stops in this great landscape.  John Ford Point, named after the famous western movie director gave us a stunning  sunrise, and it was so obvious why they should want to shoot movies in this wonderful location.  For all the pictures that I got over the 3 days that we were there, the enduring memory for me is a moment when I found myself all alone in this landscape. The van and guide where down by the road, Peter had wandered off to photograph something and I looked around and all I could see was the desert, the rock formations and the clouds above me. At that point, I realised that recording everything on my camera was going to be impossible so I put my camera down, lay flat on my back in the cool sand, and soaked in the  experience. 
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Sri Lanka

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In 2007, my brother Peter was writing his first book, Serendip, My Sri Lankan Kitchen, and his publisher sent both of us to Sri Lanka for 10 days. He was researching and  collecting recipes and I was taking local colour pictures to be used throughout the book. It had been many years since I had been in Sri Lanka , but more importantly, it was the first time that Peter and I had spent that long together since he had left home  to do his apprenticeship and I had moved to Canberra to go to Uni. Sri  To say it was a wonderful trip would be to understate what a great time we had. travelling around the country in a mini van driven by someone else meant that we could relax, take pictures and really get into the feel of the country without having to worry about where we were going, organising hotels or any of the other one hundred and one things that you need to organise when you are in another country. Peter had organised to meet some chefs and we went from one great experience to another, revisiting many of the places from our childhood in the country and reestablishing friendships and connections. On Dec 26th 2004 Sri Lanka was one of the countries hit by the tsunami that resulted from an earth quake in the middle of the Indian Ocean. At least 30,000 people lost their lives when a massive wall of water hit the south  and  east  of the country with water damage reported as far as 2 km inland from the coast.  This massive fishing boat was picked up by the waves and deposited high up on a rocky ledge above the water where it stayed, unable to be moved. I  tried to find an angle that simplified the image as much as possible while still showing all the elements. I enjoy  that when people see this image can make them stop and question "what is going on here?” There is a simple beauty to this image, which, when added to  the incongruence of a boat high and dry on the rocks,  attracts people, while at the same time standing as a monument to the powerful and destructive forces that created it and that affected so many peoples lives.  https://www.peterkuruvita.com/shop/cookbooks/serendip/
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Venice, Italy

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I wonder when we will get back to Venice? or any other destination around this world that is in lockdown! I doubt that we will be even contemplating overseas travel for the next couple of years - good thing we live in this amazing country, where our geographic isolation, and our firm affirmative action with the virus means that we can move around with relative ease. Add to this the fact that we have such diversity and area to cover, and we really could spend the next 5 years discovering our own country.  But it's nice to reminisce, and Venice is one of those destinations that sooner or later will end up on most people’s to do list.  As a photographer, it's hard to shoot something new in a location that is constantly being photographed ( can you imaging how many pictures were taken in Venice every single day before lockdown? The bridge of sighs, a rather depressing name that originates from when these buildings housed the main prison, and prisoners used the bridge on their way to execution. When we were there in 2015 the sighs were coming from the many tourists that flocked there ( the reverse angle shot shows just some of them crowded on the bridge that I was shooting from ( getting pretty much the same shot as I did!) Since then the city has passed laws that prevent you from stopping on the bridge because of the traffic jams it used to create.  These images and many others that I shot during our 4 week exploration of Italy are now in our Art print Gallery  https://kuruvitaphotography.shootproof.com/gallery/13119876 We have printed and framed a number of these images for clients to  help bring back those happy memories of their  time in Venice, and they look amazing!  Printed onto archival art paper, using pigment inks, these images will stand the test of time and will instantly transport you back to the sights and sounds of this magical city. The singing gondoliers and the lapping of the water in the canals,  the flutter of pigeon wings in St Marco Square,  and the hustle and bustle of tourists from all over the world in the cafes, is what I will remember of Venice, along with the gelatos and the gin and tonics on a hot afternoon.  Of course there are so many different experiences of Venice, and I took great joy in discovering the city in the early morning gloom of pre dawn, before everyone was up and when the light gave the city a soft warm glow. Walking down side alleys and minor canals ( sometimes getting terribly lost ) I would delight in an ancient doorway, seemingly unchanged since the 1700’s, or an unexpected church or gondolas tied up for the night bobbing in the tide.  Whenever I travel, this early morning time is my favourite for taking pictures. The world is slowly starting to stir and the pace of life is much slower. I leave our accommodation in the dark, usually having scouted out a location the previous day, so that I have a clear idea of where I am going and what I plan to do, so that I am not running around looking for something to photograph as the light is going through its morning routine. It doesn’t always work out, sometimes the light doesn’t really do anything, and other times I might get lost or be seduced by some other view that looks completely different in the morning light. Either way I’m out and taking pictures and if I don’t get an amazing image at least I have been practicing my art! Concert pianists don’t only play concerts, they spend a lot of time practicing scales and honing their skills, and this is what I do on just about every morning when I am on holidays.
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Art Prints Special!

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When Covid 19 hit last year and everything went into lockdown ( for some of you that was just the first time ) Vicki was in Albury NSW, looking after her Dad who was not feeling so good. When it became apparent that the whole country was going to shut down and that we would not be doing any photography work, I decided to go to Albury too so that at least we could go through the lockdown together. We were there for 9 weeks , only returning home when we were allowed to self isolate at home rather than in a government allocated hotel. All in all it was not too bad, in Albury we could still go for walks, and when we got back to Tassie we renovated Sams office during the two week isolation. We also hired a skip and got rid of heaps of junk that had been lying around for years. The only down side was that when we got back into work, our large format printer had been idle for nearly 3 months, and the ink had dried in the head and the short version of the story is that we had to get a new print head which ended up costing around $2500. Ouch!

 

I tell you this because we have decided to preempt this happening again by doing a monthly image which we will have available at a ridiculously low price ( its cheaper for us than another new print head! )

 

At the start of each month for the whole of 2021 we will be offering one of our Art Prints for just $100+P&H The prints will be 500mm on the shortest side, so a square image will be 500mmX500mm and a rectangle image will be about 500mmX800mm depending on the final crop . The offer will be live for 7 days only .

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