One of the greatest photographic influences on me during my early life apart from Life magazine were the photographs that Whites Aviation produced. It seemed that there was a time when every home had one, along with a George Chance.

This print was originally a black and white image but subsequently hand coloured. I bought it a year or so ago in an auction at Art + Object in Auckland. I think for about $300 framed.

According to the label it was taken at Kaikoura. I would say in the 50’s or 60’s. The photo probably has a negative number that would provide me with the exact date if I was to dig deeper.

Jervois Road

I took this photo in about 1989. It’s Jervois Road in Auckland, where Ponsonby meets Herne Bay, where Curran Street leads to the harbour bridge. Although it wasn’t the reason that I took the photo, I do notice that the shape of Jervois Rd reminds me of NZ. The neatness of the rows of houses is also very interesting to me.

Twice I chartered a small plane, with pilot, to fly me over some parts of Auckland. By having him fly as slowly as possible, and by bracing myself against the wind I was able to put my camera out the window and take some images. I don’t that I’ve ever published this one.

At the time I thought how much they reminded me of the Whites Aviation images that were such a feature of walls when I was young. Below are some of their c1952 photos of Auckland Central, and Waiheke Island, grey prints rather badly scanned on my failing scanner, unfortunately. Remember that if you click on these images you will be able to see more detail.

An overwhelming impression that the photos leave, is of a treeless land, of the hills having been scraped clean.

Here is Ostend, Waiheke Island, now so much more verdant.