My family emigrated to New Zealand when I was five years old. We’d come from Kirkcaldy in Scotland, a town where buildings tended to be soot-encrusted stone or grey pebble dash.
We arrived in Auckland in mid-winter, but the city turned on for us one of those spectacular afternoon’s of intense sunlight and big skies. Driving from the airport the thing I remember most was seeing street after street of brightly coloured wooden houses. Each on its own plot of wildly green grass and each painted a different colour than its neighbour. For a wee Scots kid from Fife, it was almost unbearably bright.
I’ve lived in Auckland off and on for most of my life. Over the years, in-fill housing and rampant motorway building has scarred my childhood landscape, and changing fashion in house paint colour has given us street after street of taupe and grey. But I still think of Auckland as a colourful city. We’re built on two harbours and blessed with the sort of climate in which greenery thrives. So it was a challenge for me to render my city in black and white.
I’m not sure how successful I’ve been; whether replacing colour with texture and pattern really works. I suspect that without colour, Auckland tends to become Anywhere. But I’ll let you judge.
I spent my late teens and early twenties living near this little beach with its funny little tidal island.
The first place my family lived in New Zealand was Devonport. I remember being allowed to walk down to the beach on our first day and being amazed at how blue the water was. As children we used to collect shellfish from local beaches. Not something I’d do now!
I was a student at Auckland University for way too many years and have always loved this building. I’ve still never been to the top, though my son has.
High rise offices and apartments proliferate in Auckland now. Without colour, it’s in danger of becoming Anywhere.
This post was written as part of the weekly phoneography challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally. This week’s theme is black and white. All photos were taken on iPhone 4 and edited with Aviary Ultimate Photo Editor.
Here are some other black and white posts I enjoyed: