Murray Edmond

Murray Edmond

This photo was taken in 1985, part of a session I had with Murray for a photo to appear in Harry Rickett’s book “Talking About ourselves – Twelve NZ Poets In Conversation, Mallinson Rendel publ. 1986.

It was a cold winter’s day in Wellington when I met Murray for the first time, and it was the city streets that provided the setting for the photos, as the other photos of Murray in the WRITERS gallery show. Harry’s intro to Murray in the book gives a very good idea of his techniques and practice as a poet and it was a theme I decided to follow in the photography.

The day was heavily overcast with the occasional freezing shower, so the film had to be “pushed” a stop giving a gritty documentary feel to the images.

For those interested the film was Ilford HP5, exposed at 800 ASA and developed in Agfa Rodinal.

The camera was a Canon F1 and the lenses a 50mm f1.4 and 135mm f2.5

We ambled together around Lambton Quay, Willis St, and the CBD, stopping and shooting a few frames against various settings that appealed for one reason or another, but no one idea had emerged to really “gel” the session for me.

We ended up in Harris St. and there the Goethe Institute was hosting an exhibition of August Sanders portraits of “human types” as he found them in the Germany of the period, and I thought I might profitably use this show as a background.

So I took Murray into the exhibit, found a large window to give some light and a couple of Sander works as a background, and somewhat tongue in cheek did as Sander had done; as he had photographed a farmer, a doctor, a businessman; so I photographed a writer. You can tell he’s a writer, he’s got a pen in his pocket.