Posts written by Lissa Mitchell

No photographers in Revell Street?

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The novel The Luminaries is set in Hokitika in 1866 with most of the story taking place amongst a selection of businesses in Revell Street. The mystery is relayed, distorted and formed through different conservations and social interactions between the characters. However missing from the numerous businesses portrayed in the book is a photographic studio, and… Read more »

Highly sensitive – 19th August 175 years ago

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At 3pm on the 19th August 1839, a joint meeting of the Academie des Sciences and the Academie des Beaux-Arts, heard from the politician and scientist, François Arago, about the details of a process that produced unbelievably fine detail and extraordinarily subtle tonality. Louis Daguerre, who had been working on a light-sensitive process for about… Read more »

Leaning churches & busy crowds: recently digitised cartes-de-visite photographs of early Christchurch

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This is a wonderful early photograph of a crowd watching what appears to be a sporting event on the grounds of the old Normal School (later Cranmer Court apartments, now demolished). At the time the photograph was taken some of the people were moving, making some of the figures appear blurry (see especially the person walking along behind… Read more »

Royal highlights: bedrooms for the Duke and Duchess

In 1901 the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall & York, the future King George V and Queen Mary (for more on this royal couple see Mark Stocker’s post from last week), toured the Southern Hemisphere to thank commonwealth countries for sending troops to support Britain in the Boer War. As part of the New Zealand… Read more »

Girls in the museum – 19th century

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A selection of photographs of girls taken in New Zealand during the nineteenth century from Te Papa’s photography collection in honour of International Girl Day. Most of the photographs featured are carte-de-visite cards and are not much bigger than they appear in this blog. All the girls in these photographs were born over 120 years ago…. Read more »

Off to the pub

Brian Brake took some intriguing photographs of people in pubs and bars. At the Randwick racecourse bar in Sydney he used Kodachrome to capture the garish colours and dramatic expressions. On another occasion he used black and white 35mm roll film to create a different effect with his images of people in New Zealand pubs…. Read more »