As I was building the new website I had a good look through my archive and came across this image. It was taken in 1996 in American Samoa while on assignment for New Zealand Geographic Magazine.
When I first saw the harbour of Pago Pago I was immediately fascinated by a fleet of eight grounded tuna boats, rusty remnants of a powerful cyclone that struck a few years earlier. During my week-long stay I returned many times to this spectacular site but was unable to produce an image that conveyed the right feeling. I tried to line up as many boats as possible, compressed with a long lens, in different light situations, but it did not work.
One afternoon as I was driving past again, I saw children playing in the harbour. Immediately I knew that this was the right moment. The playful movement of the children provided a visual contrast to the grounded shipwrecks that stood eerily rigid in the background.
By not including the whole fleet, the story was told in a more powerful way. A good reminder that when composing an image, most times “less is more.”