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<EM>Willis Street, Wellington</EM> by John Daley

Curator Athol McCredie talks about how John Daley was able to take candid photographs such as this one

Willis Street, Wellington by John Daley
<P>This recording was created for Te Papa’s in-gallery audio tour.</P> <P>Transcript:</P> <P><STRONG>Athol McCredie</STRONG></P> <P>The man and woman in this picture are seen in a moment of some kind of intimacy. She’s looking at him, probably speaking, perhaps trying to persuade him away from the evils of drink.</P> <P>It’s as if they were alone, but of course they are not. The photographer is there too, probably no more than a few metres away.</P> <P>It’s easy to imagine the documentary photographer as the ‘eye of God,’ all seeing, everywhere present, and invisible. The reality is that the photographer, John Daley,&nbsp; practised again and again how to be unobtrusive. How not to be noticed.</P> <P>The reason, he said, was so he could, ‘create a cross section of a city community going about their life.’</P> <P>Daley was a shy man. He confessed that he didn’t know very well how to talk to people. For him, photography was a way of observing the world, and working out how other people related to each other.</P>

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Willis Street, Wellington

John Daley, Willis Street, Wellington, 1969, black and white photograph, gelatin silver print,
Gift of John Daley, 2012.
Full object info is available on