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<EM>Milford Sound, cascade from Mitre</EM> by Alfred Burton

Curator Athol McCredie talks about this early scenic photograph


Milford Sound, cascade from Mitre by Alfred Burton
<P>This recording was created for Te Papa’s in-gallery audio tour.</P> <P>Transcript:</P> <P><EM>Athol McCredie is a photography curator at Te Papa. He selected the photographs in this exhibition, which spans 160 years of photography in New Zealand from Te Papa’s collections, from portraits to landscapes, scientific images and contemporary art photography.</EM></P> <P><STRONG>Athol McCredie</STRONG></P> <P>Waterfalls were a popular tourist attraction in the nineteenth century, as they are today. They were also a very common subject for photographers. This is an early and striking example.</P> <P>There are two things I’ll point out about it:</P> <P>First, if you look closely at the cascade of water falling onto the rocks, you’ll see that it’s not sharp.</P> <P>That’s because the photograph was taken with a long exposure. This creates the impression of a misty veil &#8211; of the water flowing rather than just falling.</P> <P>Second, notice the way the photographer has captured the tiny outline of a man standing against the fall.</P> <P>This figure is perfectly placed to provide a sense of the waterfall’s awe-inspiring scale.</P> <P>He also provides a focus of human interest, making this more than just an image of nature, or just another picture of a waterfall.</P> <P><EM>For the next track, look for the headphone symbol on the far wall to your right.</EM></P>

More media

Milford Sound, cascade from Mitre

Burton Brothers studio, Milford Sound, cascade from Mitre, 1885, gelatin glass negative,
Purchased 1943.
Full object info is available on collections.tepapa.govt.nz