BAY OF ISLANDS - WHERE THE SUNDAY GRASS IS GREENER
Photographer: Frank Habicht Authors: Kiki and Helme Heine
Published by Totara Press , Paihia
Russell Book Review by Eva Brown. 1995
This is a picture book with a difference. It not only aims to please the eye, but to tell a fairytale. It looks at the Bay of Islands with the open-eyed astonishment of a new arrival who's vision is unclouded by familiarity. The result is a paean to a paradise found. Are we truly this pure and beautiful?
Kiki and Helme Heine of Russell, the authors, and Frank Habicht of Paihia, the photographer, look at the Bay from the innocent perspective of the newly converted, the perspective of first love.
Habicht trains his lens on the drama of the landscape without resorting to the lofty angles go helicopters. His camera is down-to-earth. It embraces the benign idiosyncrasies of the inhabitants of the "scenery". And the text by the Heines is a fable playing counterpoint to the images. The result is a celebration of a particular place, a toast to the good life that can be had in the Bay of Islands.
The photos are the quality that can be expected of Frank Habicht by those who are familiar with his work. He started taking pictures with a passion when he was 14 in Dusseldorf, Germany, trying to capture people in moments of spontaneous self-relegation. It is a measure of his skill that his spontaneity comes through even in his staged pictures. "Looking for the essence" is how he puts it.