Object: Ballarat Street, Queenstown, NZ, flooded 1878
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|Title||Ballarat Street, Queenstown, NZ, flooded 1878|
Hart, William (photographer), 1878, Queenstown
Hart, Campbell & Co (photography studio), 1878, Invercargill
|Medium summary||collodion glass negative|
|Materials||collodion, sheet glass, silver, photographic plates|
|Classification||wet collodion negatives, documentary photographs, black-and-white negatives|
|Technique||black-and-white photography, wet collodion process|
|Format||whole plate (1/1)|
|Credit line||Purchased 1943|
Long before photographs were used in newspapers, William Hart took this picture of Queenstown in flood. Like so many news images of later times, it draws on the extraordinary spectacle of people boating in an urban street – and in this case, even the possibility that a ship might be about to literally steam into town. Photography was still a relative novelty, so the townsfolk were out in force to be recorded for posterity. Their presence reinforces the sense in which photography can be both witness and performance.
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