Friday, May 8, 2009
Back in November 2008, the Houseguest and I went for a week's holiday in Fiji. As you can see, it's taken me a long while to get to the photos from the trip, for a number of reasons, really.
The main one is that I just didn't like most of the images I made there, and it was only this morning that I realised why. Normally, when I photograph, I'm trying to create an image that reflects the place as it is, not just how we mythologise it (and yes, many caveats about subjectivity; we can debate the concept of reality and images some other time). In Fiji, though, everything seemed to me to have been created for tourist consumption. Even the culture of the locals was nearly impossible to get through past the screen of stories and 'Bulas!' and created idylls to get the tourist dollars in. I suspect, from my very limited viewpoint, that even the locals don't have a clear view any more of the aspects of life that are genuinely theirs, and the ones they created for show.
I suspect that has to do with the area we stayed in; we were in a resort-ey area of the most touristy town, so it shouldn't have surprised me as much as it did. Still, it made me uncomfortable.
Still, when I came to sort the photos, I found myself able to walk a line between tourist-cliches, and an actual sense of people and place. I'm reasonably happy with these. And I'd like to go back to Fiji some time to see if I can get to know it properly.
I tried to do a fancy flash gallery for this, so I could embed the slideshow. It, uh, didn't work as expected, sadly. Click through if you'd like to browse the gallery for more images, and I'll keep working on it.