Friday, August 21, 2009

Portrait of a Nation

Some months ago I got a phone call from one Graham Stewart. Now I know several Graham Stewarts, so I had to listen for a few minutes to find out what this one wanted. He is writing a book, he says, and wants me to do some photos for it. He seemed to be well spoken and seemed to know what he was talking about, so I agreed. He then emailed me some photos and wanted my photos taken from exactly the same places.
One of them, a photo of Cromwell long before the lake was formed, was a bit of a challenge. My son put the photo Graham had sent onto his laptop, and when we got to the correct position found that to do the same photo I would have to be in the lake. So the photo finished up about 3 metres higher than the original. Other photos of Clyde and the Alexandra bridge were not so challenging, and with a bit of care we could get to the correct positions. What I could not do was create the same image. In the days of black and white, the negatives were big, and the lens recorded everything 'flatter' than modern lens do. Anyway, I took a selection and sent them to Graham.
Last week I got a copy of his book "New Zealand - Portrait of a Nation", and was chuffed to see that the photo of Alexandra bridge was on the front cover. However, it is inside the cover the real treasure lives. Graham has collected old photos, then toured the country to get the modern view, and has made a brilliant job of it. I do not want to spend hours here praising it, I would just recommend you go and get a copy.
Well done Graham Stewart.

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