A last post as the earth turns towards the east- a letter to my friends

A last post as the earth turns towards the east- a letter to my friends


Te Rerenga Wairua

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Shoot data immaterial


Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

Dear friends
All things change. If there is one certainty in life, it is the inevitability of change. And change brings consequence. And consequence brings decisions that can perhaps no longer be put off.
For the last week and a half I have been laid up in hospital with plenty of time to think, to reflect and to take stock. The fantail has had his feet set in plaster (literally). And that has led to thinking about the way forward.
I began writing this blog about 11 years ago, as far as I can tell. It was very much a thing to do at the time. It is less so now. It was also a great way to keep in touch. I began it as a way of offering something to all of you. As time went by I realised I was writing it for myself as well and, at times, to myself. I enjoyed writing the reviews and finding the holes in a particular piece of software or camera gear.
However things have changed. The Earth has continued to rotate to the east and the world is different. The world of our beloved medium is different. In spite of the manufacturers’ best efforts, there no longer seems to be the warfare between owners of different brands. There are no bad cameras out there anyway. Enthusiasm for the latest and greatest seems somehow subdued. The Internet is awash with reviews and there is no need for me to add to the babble.
There are any number of software reviews out there. Anything you might want to know about Photoshop can be found on YouTube. The arcane techniques I have evolved for my own work are better taught in a workshop situation.
My stats show me that my readership has been dropping. I cannot help feeling that the day of the blog has passed/is past. Or at least my take on what a blog should be. People are simply too busy.
It was ever the intention of the blog that It should be of value to readers a was to offer a little wisdom for their own practice. As a number of you know, I have been writing for f11 magazine for several years. F11 has a far vaster readership than my own little blog ever could. I enjoy the pressure of deadlines and being under Dear Leader’s editorial scalpel. There seems little point in repeating myself.
For that reason (among others), it seems time to call it a day on the blog.
There is more.
The Thistonybridge banner has worked well for 12 years as a way of covering all the different parts of me: the landscape, portrait, event, wedding and commercial photographer; the artist ,writer and photoeducator. However those things are shrinking and refining. Some are falling away. Their time is done. It is time for a major refocusing. Sometime in the near future my website will resurface as something more relevant to who I am now.
Increasingly I am becoming immersed in the life of my community here in Hokianga and the wider world of Te Ao Māori. Increasingly I am called to work in ways which have little to do with photography. And yet they do.
I have a limited amount of energy and a limited amount of time for what needs to be done and for what I feel called to do. To that end there are things which must be surrendered and/or passed to others.
My heartfelt thanks for your support over the last decade.
May the days ahead serve you well.
Nga mihi ki a tatou katoa.
Tony Bridge
November 2016.


23 Responses

  1. Alison says:

    Dear Tony,

    I have been reading your blog for far longer than I have known you and have always enjoyed your wisdom in matters both outer and inner. I’ll miss your erudite style and your way of putting your writerly finger on the very essence of so many subjects. I hope to still be able to re-visit your words into the future, when I need some inspiration.

    I can well understand the time pressure – as we age, we certainly become far more aware of how much time has passed and how much we still want to do and yes, decisions have to be made.

    Thank you for what you have given us.

    All the best for your new journey,


  2. Robert Dettman says:

    It seems that the older one gets the more rapidly things change. Some steadfastly resist the challenge of the new by living in their version of the past. That can be seen as either a protective cocoon or a self made prison. For me life is too short to explore all the available possibilities. I will be interested to see where you go from here.

  3. Lorraine Jones says:

    Thanks Tony. I have enjoyed your blogs and shall miss them.

  4. Sam Chan says:

    I see it as the end of the beginning. Your photography will come through in many other forms that will benefit your friends not just in photography but in their life, as I have experienced myself personally for the last seven years with you as my mentor. Most grateful and most appreciated. Sam

  5. Bob Britcher says:

    All the best in your continuing Journey Tony … It’s been enlightening reading the Posts I’ve seen in the brief period I’ve been fortunate to read them … Thanks for making contest … Cheers.

  6. Norbert Rupp says:

    Thanks Tony, had your blog in my feed reader and was always a pleasure to find a new post. All the best …

  7. Michael Greer says:

    Well e hoa, I for one am going to miss your deep and provocative musings. This blog of yours – ahakoa he iti he pounamu – on the scale of things, it may have seemed small and insignicant, but for me it’s been like greenstone. Ka kite anō.

  8. Matt Leamy says:

    Everything has a time an place, and to be truly in touch with that is a blessing. I have read most of your blogs for some time now and am always intrigued. I do love your writings. And 1 more thing, it is still on my mind to journey your way should the opportunity present.

  9. Vi Wilson says:

    Dear Tony

    I will also miss your blogs, and your masterly way with words. However, as I know only too well, aging brings about changes, some of which are not welcome, and it is surprising how subtly these changes creep up on us. Other changes are more welcome and come in the form of contemplation, reassessment, reflection, wisdom and the calm to flow in whatever direction seems right. I believe your ability to beautifully capture the world around you will not be lost, but could be an adjunct to the direction in which you are heading.
    Travel gently dear Tony.

  10. John C Smith says:

    Thank you so much Tony. I have quietly read all your blogs over all those years.
    Have enjoyed the occasional tipple with you – and a coffee or two.
    Now that Chris has retired – and as soon as my foot is repaired (I’m in a similar state to you) we will venture north and darken your doorway – 2017 has to be better than 20116 – surely.
    Thanks for your warmth and wisdom Tony. J

  11. I haven’t been the greatest communicator, but I have always appreciated your wisdom and your finely crafted work.
    I hope your future produces as much that is as meaningful as the past.
    Stay strong.

  12. Stuart C says:

    Hey Tony, it is one piece that I have often read and wondered how good it must be to have the discipline that you have had to blog each week, and have taken your gear recommendations on board, and enjoyed the rants.. it has been a great part of my photographic journey.. thank you

  13. diana andrews says:

    Hi Tony
    I have enjoyed your blogs over the years. You do indeed have a way with words and I will miss the pondering. Odd not to have you in the South Island but can totally relate to the thoughts of looking at where you are at as we get older and pacing oneself. Letting some things go and taking on new opportunities. Very best wishes for the future and hope you are up and about soon

  14. Matheson Beaumont says:

    Dear Tony
    i have not always read your Blogs but do appreciate the fact that you chose to share them with me.
    I am sorry to read that you have had health problems and hope that they will soon be behind you.
    It sounds as if our paths may never cross again and as i will be Ninety next month, time is running out.
    However i wish you well with whatever direction you choose to take.
    Matheson Beaumont

  15. Max says:

    Thank you Tony….and there are many more branches yet to be explored and enjoyed by the fantail. Go well!

  16. Robert Leach LPSNZ says:

    Many thanks for your words of encouragement your blog it will be sadly missed however l do understand and wish you well in your future endeavors

  17. Virginia Pennell says:

    Dear Tony
    Alison expressed all that I feel about your wonderful blogs.
    I shall miss them.
    Comments from others are illuminating.
    Your next door is about to open.
    Not so sure about mention of pacing one’s self and ageing.
    You may be too young to heed any of this.
    Eagle Eye

  18. I can relate to your words well, Tony. We met when I did a weekend workshop you headed for Fujifilm. I bought an X-T1 as a result, although have since sold it and moved back to Nikon (that’s another story).
    I have enjoyed your postings and thanks for your help when I rang to ask you about a Fujifilm lens. At age 69 I notice how mellowly differently I feel about many things I was passionate about when young. None of it seems to matter now. We too moved north, almost 2 years ago. It’s lovely up here but I miss the Auckland vibrancy and love our many visits back there. We visited Rawne a couple of months ago but you were away, they told us. It’s a sweet place and no wonder you’re enjoying it.
    All the best for wherever you’re headed in life, in thoughts, in projects, in ideas, in purpose. Those who travel your tracks will be the lucky ones.

  19. Tony D says:

    Certainly understand why you have made this move, Tony.
    While your readership may have slipped recently, I believe that most of us understand that the technofreak in you will always want to be on or, even better, just beyond the sharp edge.
    What you can be sure of is that all of us have learnt from your posts (some of this not available easily elsewhere), been entertained and entranced by your eloquence and imagination, and probably wished we could do as well ourselves.
    I envy any community you choose to get involved in, and am sure that this move will benefit all involved.
    May your ancestors and roots go with you, and keep you happy & safe.

  20. Margaret Metherell says:

    I have enjoyed your thoughtful musings on art and life, and will be poorer for the absence.

  21. Lavhezar says:

    Thank you Tony!

  22. Natalie Smith says:

    Will miss your musings Tony. I like your philosophy on life. Don’t be a stranger when passing through Picton, we still owe you that weekend out on the boat (Now a bigger new one!). Take care, I look forward to hearing from you.

  23. Henry Zelas says:

    Tony, I’m saddened that I will no longer be able to read your interesting, challenging and learned articles, but pleased that you are moving on to do what you want and need. I’ve also very much enjoyed our few meetings when you lived down here in rock’nroll land. John S. and I still meet regularly and it’s interesting to observe how far our individual photographic styles have evolved over the years. Even old curmudgeons can learn and change! All the best for success in the future, professional and personal. Regards,
    Henry Z.

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