A snap­shot of the meth epi­demic

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - REXINE HAWES

‘‘It’s an in­sid­i­ous can­cer­ous ten­ta­cle that reaches ev­ery part of so­ci­ety, it does not dis­crim­i­nate who it grabs hold of.’’

This was pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher Myra Bayly’s ex­pla­na­tion be­hind her haunt­ing snap­shot of a metham­phetamine user she la­belled Epi­demic.

The photo was awarded bronze in the New Zealand In­sti­tute of Pro­fes­sional Pho­tog­ra­phy (NZIPP) In­fo­cus Iris awards.

Bayly op­er­ates un­der the ban­ner of Lutece Pho­tog­ra­phy in Mata­mata. She is a com­mit­tee mem­ber of the Waikato/BoP NZIPP.

This is her third time en­ter­ing the Iris awards, which aims to recog­nise and hon­our the best in con­tem­po­rary pho­tog­ra­phy.

In 2016 her stun­ning stylist por­trait called Snow Queen and Post Ex­is­tence were awarded sil­ver dis­tinc­tion, her high­est plac­ing.

Along with the bronze for Epi­demic, she was awarded one sil­ver, an­other three bronze and five pro­fes­sional stan­dards from her 10 en­tries.

This year she was aim­ing for a gold, or enough points to gain her Masters, but was left want­ing for both achieve­ments.

Bayly ad­mits while she was dis­ap­pointed with the out­come, she was pleased to highlight a so­cial is­sue which she says is hav­ing a dev­as­tat­ing af­fect on ev­ery area of New Zealand so­ci­ety.

‘‘It would be safe to say I hate this drug, I have seen what it does to peo­ple. We all know some­one who is or has been on meth or some­one that knows of oth­ers who have.

‘‘We know about peo­ple who have beaten this ad­dic­tion too.

‘‘I would like to hear more suc­cess sto­ries. It is not just the ad­dict this af­fects but ev­ery­one they know.’’

Bayly sat for the photo her­self, with the cam­era on timer.

The only light­ing in the room came from the TV and the lighter.

She wanted to make a mess, which in­cluded chil­dren’s toys and baby bot­tles, to show how the drug be­comes the pri­or­ity in a per­son’s life, sur­pass­ing their chil­dren.

The whole project took sev­eral hours and six frames per take, with each frame she would see some­thing that needed to be changed.

By the end, she had taken 50 pho­tos of this one im­age.

‘‘I was re­ally pleased with the fi­nal re­sult,’’ she said.

Her sil­ver plac­ing la­belled Wrong Day for Foot­ball is of her ex­pres­sive two-year-old great niece Cali.

‘‘Her fa­cial amaz­ing.’’ ex­pres­sions are

MYRA BAYLY

Epi­demic by Myra Bayly, was awarded bronze at the NZIPP In­fo­cus Iris Awards.

Pho­tograpgher Myra Bayly with her photo Wrong Day for Foot­ball.

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