Posts categorized as Photography

Accidentally spooky: Photographs from Te Papa’s collections perfect for Halloween

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Happy Halloween! Curator Historical Photography Lissa Mitchell gets into the spirit of the occasion with a selection of frightfully fantastic photographs where not all is as it seems. Taking a photograph of someone can be a tricky business even for professional photographers. In the 19th century a certain kind of mistake created a new category… Read more »

‘I feel his presence in these images’: The photographs of George Crombie

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Working in a museum is filled with unexpected discoveries – especially when you’re looking at photographs from 100 years ago. Collections Data Technician Gareth Watkins uncovers the life of an avid photographer whose photographs offered something different from the norm. These tender and idyllic images were captured by Dunedin-based photographer George Pye Crombie around 1912. They feature women – most… Read more »

Fate of the Berry Boys and the ‘disastrous fiasco’ of Passchendaele

  • El Mariscal de Campo Sir Douglas Haig, circa 1918, Spain, by Francis Dodd. Te Papa (CA000316/001/0017/0001)
  • Three portraits each on one negative of William Horace James and Gertrude Miriam James., 1915, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.045525)
  • Portrait of Francis Edward Beaufort, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.045050)
  • Portrait of Harry Luckman with Ellen Luckman and baby Harry George Luckman, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.043586)

The death of over 840 troops over a single day during the Battle of Passchendaele, compounded by a further 1,860 wounded, was a low point in New Zealand’s military contribution to WWI, 100 years ago today. History curator Kirstie Ross outlines the impact of the battle on seven New Zealand soldiers, all of whom were photographed… Read more »

Adkin diaries update: Your help still needed to bring them to life

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An update from history curator Kirstie Ross on the progress made transcribing selected diaries from those kept by Horowhenua farmer Leslie Adkin for 40 years. Thanks transcribers! A few weeks ago I invited blog readers to transcribe diaries from October 1917 to November 1918 kept by Leslie Adkin, a Levin farmer, photographer, husband and father,… Read more »

Faces in the crowd: Zooming in on our photography collection

Boys sit in a grandstand with one hiding his face behind a sheet of paper

If you look close enough you might find things you missed. Collections Data Technician Gareth Watkins uncovers the characters hidden in plain sight. I’ve always been fascinated with photographs of crowds. You get a palpable sense of in-the-moment energy and anticipation as spectators watch an event unfold before them, for example at a rugby game. But… Read more »

At Te Papa we’re constantly photographing our collection items – whether that be art works, historical objects, or scientific specimens.  Recently, our imaging specialist Jean-Claude Stahl has taken pictures of some bizarre creatures – water bears, also known as tardigrades. Here, Jean-Claude explains why photographing a water bear is such a ‘bugbear’ and bug expert Phil Sirvid fills us in… Read more »

In photos: Giant eggs, tiny eggs, and the eggceptionally rare

  • Eggstremes. South Island giant moa and rifleman eggs to the same scale. Specimens ME.012749 and OR.007264 (latter collected by Captain John Bollons at Akaroa, date unknown). Photogtaph by Jean-Claude Stahl. Te Papa
  • Laughing owl egg (44.2 mm x 39.5 mm). Locality and date unknown. Specimen OR.030062. Photograph by Jean-Claude Stahl. Te Papa
  • New Zealand dotterel clutch, Maketu Spit, Bay of Plenty, October 2011. Specimen OR.029416, eggs approx. 45 mm x 32 mm. Photograph by Jean-Claude Stahl. Te Papa
  • South Island kokako egg (42.0 mm x 27.4 mm), Hokitika, date unknown. Specimen OR.007626. Photograph by Jean-Claude Stahl. Te Papa

Bird expert Colin Miskelly highlights some of the treasures in our egg collection, including those thought to be held only by Te Papa – as well as giant moa eggs, tiny rifleman eggs, and eggs that were acquired during dramatic events in New Zealand’s conservation history. Digitising our egg collection Most of the bird eggs held… Read more »