A snapshot of the meth epidemic
‘‘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
Epidemic by Myra Bayly, was awarded bronze at the NZIPP Infocus Iris Awards.
Photograpgher Myra Bayly with her photo Wrong Day for Football.