Photography in New Zealand

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New Zealand photography first emerged in the mid-nineteenth century, and over time has become an important part of New Zealand art. A number of photography associations exist to support photographers in New Zealand.

Origins of New Zealand photography[edit]

New Zealand photography began in the mid-19th century when photographers first documented the country's natural beauty and people. Alfred Burton, of the Dunedin Burton Brothers, also travelled through many of the Pacific islands near New Zealand with the P&O Shipping line, in the early days of tourism through the region. The photographic collections at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the national museum, hold many of the surviving images from this era, including images by Thomas Andrew, Leslie Adkin, James Bragge, and Spencer Digby in addition to archives of the Burton Brothers, Alfred John Tattersall and John McGarrigle's American Photographic Company. The Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington also hosts a significant catalogue of historic images, many of which can be viewed online and browsed by location, name, and more. The seminal development history of New Zealand photography was written by medical-photographer Hardwicke Knight in 1971.[1]

George D. Valentine was a Scottish photographer, who relocated to New Zealand due to his health, and documented much of the country at a time of great transition - his images of the Pink and White Terraces, taken in 1885, show scenes of incredible beauty that were until recently thought destroyed less than a year later by the eruption of Mount Tarawera. An exhibition of his work was mounted by the Christchurch Art Gallery in 2004, and continues to tour. However, in 2017 researchers rediscovered the Pink and White Terrace locations and rather than being destroyed, the terraces may prove to lie buried under 10-15m of volcanic ash.[2][3]

Contemporary photography[edit]

Contemporary New Zealand photographers include Laurence Aberhart, Mark Adams, Andris Apse,[4] Brian Brake, Melanie Burford,[5] Marti Friedlander,[6] Anne Geddes, Anne Noble,[7] Fiona Pardington,[8] Patrick Reynolds,[9] Haru Sameshima,[10] Yvonne Todd,[11] and Ans Westra.[12] Luit Bieringa has curated a number of influential New Zealand photography exhibitions.

Photography associations[edit]

The New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography[13] has a membership of 250 professional photographers, and the Advertising & Illustrative Photographers Association comprises another hundred or more.

Many amateur and professional New Zealand photographers are members of PhotoForum NZ, a non-profit society that publishes PhotoForum magazine, organises exhibitions, workshops and lectures, and maintains a website.

The Photographic Society of New Zealand[14] is also a popular group for amateurs, representing the camera clubs from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

New Zealand has two locally produced publications for the photographic community: The Photographer's Mail (focuses on the professional and industry) and D-Photo (focuses on the consumer and enthusiast).


External links[edit]