My plane back from Buka Island to Port Moresby has been delayed – first by three hours (not enough to make it worth leaving the airport), then by eight hours (ok, so there’s no where to go anyway). So I’m tapping away at a few blog postings and playing with some images to distract myself from making tomorrow’s headlines: “Australian photographer runs amok in remote island airport. Arrested under new terrorist act.” (Why is it always on your way back this happens – just as you’re reaching out to that hot shower, the food you’ve been thinking of for the past week and the blissful embrace of your own bed). #@@$$!!!

Anyway, as much of my time in Bougainville was spent thundering around the island in a four wheel drive, I didn’t get much of a chance to slow down and shoot portraits of black Bougainvillians – I mean the jet black ones (think Ethiopia black). In fact, most Bougainvillians I saw, while dark, were mixed race Melanesians so the chance of me capturing that classic, rich, black portrait proved elusive.

Still, sitting around in this airport has given me a bit of time to give the black and white treatment to a couple pics I shot during the assignment (below), proving that certainly in some cases, colour can be a distraction in a photograph.

Paternal Embrace

A captivating gaze

A young initiate of the sacred Upe ceremony not looking completely convinced by all the attention

A young Bougainvillian woman dressed in traditional bilas.

…I lent him my goggles and barely saw him again.

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A successful promotional photograph starts with knowing what you want it to say and who you want it to appeal to - before you even bring the camera to your eye.




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