Vincent O’Sullivan

This is Vincent photographed in 1983, for the premiere of his play SHURIKEN, at Downstage Theatre. I was sorry to hear of his passing today so I thought I would mark the occasion with this little blog.

This picture was shot at the war memorial in Buckle St, as it was at the time, in order to reflect the military setting of the play, and also with the steps behind the structure of the stage setting.

It was a typically bleak cold southerly Wellington day but Vincent was very patient as I tried to construct the image I could almost visualise. I had said nothing for a couple of minutes as my eye was glued to the viewfinder, but I could see Vincent beginning to redden or blush, despite the chill of the day.

I dropped the camera from my eye after I shot this frame, to find that I was completely unaware we had become surrounded by a circle of Pasifika school girls in uniform, fascinated by the goings on they had drawn close to watch and were amused by the process, commenting audibly, if you were listening, on model and photographer. Vincent had manfully stood tall and silent for the entire time.

This photo is on Ilford FP4, pulled one stop to 50 ASA, developed in Agfa Rodinal at 1 – 50, and taken with a Canon FD 135mm f2.5 on a Canon F1.

Thank you Vincent, for helping to make one of my best portraits I think, and for leaving us with such a fine body of work. You will be missed.