manipula – photography by David Sanderson | Wellington, New Zealand » Blog

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So this is the latest in the sitters for my portrait project. In all honesty, these aren’t very ‘latest’ at all, they’re from some time ago, but Kristara here is the next in line…

The phrase ‘still waters run deep’ was invented and first uttered with Kristara in mind I’m sure. Initially someone very timid and reserved, you quickly learn there’s a lot going on under the surface. People like Kristara I find endlessly fascinating, you have to earn the right to know more, and so somehow you yearn to learn and understand. We talk often even now, and the feeling of forever wanting to know more still exists. Still waters do indeed run deeply…

Kristara 001 – © 003 – © 002 – © 004 – ©

Some time ago now, Stevie was in Wellington wanting to shoot. Having photographed her before, I knew it was painfully easy to take images which made her look beautiful, but in her approach, what intrigued me this time were the reasons why. In feeling strong in who she is as a person, in doing things for herself, in speaking of hurt and troubles and fighting her way through, she wanted to be seen new again and having a brighter person to offer. She wanted to take pictures which showed she was awesome and sod anyone who thought otherwise. I liked that. And I learned more about Stevie the night these were shot, and I found new respect for her strength. Massive pleasure being able to shoot these…

Stevie Reux 001 – © Reux 002 – © Reux 003 – © Reux 004 – © Reux 005 – © Reux 006 – © Reux 007 – ©

So here are some new photos of Toni. They’re actually now relatively old photos of Toni, but hey, who’s counting. These are just some of the images from one of the most profound days of shooting I’ve ever had – one of those few days where few words were uttered and where we both just let the mood take us. The mood was important, and it was important that it took us. It was important that it had its way with us, worked through our minds and hearts and showed itself through photos. And for me that’s one of the coolest things about working with my dear friend Toni, we can both show ourselves for who we are, even at our most vulnerable.


Toni II One – © II Two – © II Three – © II Four – © II Five – © II Six – © II Seven – © II Eight – ©

So my final blog post from Japan, saving what I consider my personal favourite shots from the trip. As regular viewers may have noticed by now I really enjoyed the freedom afforded to me again, in traveling around this beautiful, breathtaking country and making photographs for no other reason than because I wanted to and because something about the ‘thing’ caught my eye. For me that’s a rare thing, photography back to its purest roots; because you just bloody want to.

It was 14/15yrs ago now that I saw photos that my friend Clive took on a trip to Japan, back in my early fascinations with photography, that set me off wanting to go. There’s been a slow burning fuel on the fire for the trip ever since as I’ve grown and wanted to learn more about the world and cultures ever since. Deeply rewarding following in the footsteps of so many others, and yet doing so in my own eyes just for me.

Enough talking – more photos!


The last of the cherry blossoms (sakura)

The Meiji Shrine torii gate

An elderly Japanese gentleman praying at a shrine

Self – in the window of a Bullet Train (Shinkansen)

Parking meter in Shizuoka

The back streets of Shizuoka

Fountain and child in Shizuoka

At rest

Miho beach near Shizuoka

Man waiting on bike in Kyoto

Bike at station in Kyoto

Red leaves

The bamboo that started it all – my fascination with Japan as a photographic place to visit started right here

Kyoto train station at dusk

Man waiting at Kyoto train station

A little off the beaten path at Kiyomizu, Kyoto

Entrance to one of the gardens in Kyoto, entirely the opposite direction to the way everyone else was looking

The Golden Temple – Kinkakuji, Kyoto

On the ferry to Miyajima

The approach to the island at Miyajima

The infamous torii gate at Miyajima