I am proud to unveil this stunning set of winners from our Christchurch Photo Hunt. Congratulations to winners and entrants – you’ve added to our collection of Christchurch images and have helped Reconnect Christchurch.
Diane Rolton is the overall winner and the winner of the Places category for this photo of a family with Father Christmas. Faith Sumner and children. Four Square shop on the corner of Milton and Selwyn Streets. circa 1952.
Millers Department Store, Tuam Street. 1953 Diane Rolton
Taken at the time of the Queen’s visit in 1953. They show the buildings decorated to celebrate this event.
Andrea McHarg is the winner of the People category.
Harewood Airport 1954
Staff from No. 4 Hanger. Name of aircraft “PEHO” (D.C 3). This plane was built 20 March 1945 as a freighter for the RNZAF for use as a paratrooper. The aircraft went to the National Airways Corporation 29 September 1947 and went back to the Air Force 20 February 1967.
Prominent in Cathedral Square and unveiled in 1867, the Godley statue is inscribed simply:
John Robert Godley, Founder of Canterbury
The statue, the first public commemorative statue in New Zealand unveiled to a single person, was sculpted by the English Pre-Raphaelite sculptor Thomas Woolner. In 1907 the statue was hidden from public view by the tram shelter. Despite public deputations to the Council, the statue was not moved to a more prominent public position on the north side of the Cathedral until 1918. There it remained until 1933 when it was returned to its present and original site.
The statue fell from its plinth during the 22 February 2011 earthquake and has become one of the most photographed symbols of the damage to Christchurch. It is currently on display in the Quake City exhibition in the Re:START Mall.
The Images collection on the CCL website is one of my favourite places for an idle trawl, especially the costume section. Among the showier treasures there is this little gem featuring a shop window, circa 1967. The caption reads “Vance Vivian, their menswear store, either in the Government Life Building, Cathedral Square, or in Surfside Mall, New Brighton”.
Everything about this photo is ’60s perfection: the diamonds surrounding the lettering of Vance Vivian, the manliness of the mannequin’s jaw, the floral arrangement, the brand names featured – remember Rembrandt?
Why was it called Vance Vivian? In the 1960s I think they had a trendier off-shoot called The Vault, possibly also in the Square or in the recently demolished Manchester Unity building. The Vault had its very own poster done in best ’60s Yellow Submarine style, a poster that graced my bedroom wall for some time, not because I had bought any menswear from the shop, but because it was so cool. If only it had been digitised.
And Surfside Mall – just the name brings back memories of the days when New Brighton was the only suburb to have Saturday shopping. The road went straight down to the clocktower and there would be bumper to bumper traffic, especially on Easter Saturday.
The Christchurch of July 2011 is a very different city from the Christchurch of July 2010. But while recent changes have been dramatic, Christchurch has always been evolving.
The library has several collections that let you discover the many faces of our city through the years. There are beautiful books, such as Gwenda Turner’s Christchurch, and Christchurch Changing by Geoffrey Rice, and there are some wonderful hidden gems in our online collection:
Nations, that is. The latest, South Sudan, is not even a month old, having officially been ‘born’ on 9 July 2011.
It is undeniably trivial, but, as a librarian, one of my first thoughts was of the atlases that now need updating.
I have always liked maps – an interest no doubt fostered by the year I spent at intermediate school sitting facing a wall-size map of Africa. While the teacher droned on, I’d listen with half an ear, while my mind would take off on flights of fancy, flitting from the mosques of mysterious Timbuktu to the markets of Zanzibar.
I’d follow the path of the Nile from its source at the centre of the continent, near that tantalising line that signalled the Equator, past the pyramids in Cairo to Damietta and Rosetta where the mighty river fans out to meet the Mediterranean Sea. And I’d wonder at the bravery of those first explorers who, prior to the opening of the Suez Canal, ventured to circumnavigate Africa to reach the fabulous Spice Islands.
It’s difficult to fathom the many ways in which Africa and the world have changed in the twenty or so years since I sat daydreaming in front of that map. And I’m not thinking only in terms of political changes of borders and placenames. As we have recently been reminded, the earth is constantly transforming itself: mountains rise, sea levels fluctate high and low, and rocks crumble.
You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, and you can’t turn a poorly composed, badly lit, out of focus photo into an award-winning photo. That doesn’t mean I don’t try.
The libraries‘ computers have Picasa. This free download is so easy to use, and is designed to be a photo sharing tool, however I use its photo editing capabilties as well. These are divided into three categories: ‘Basic fixes’,’ Tuning’ and ‘Effects’.
‘Basic fixes’ allow me to do things like crop, correct red-eye and straighten the horizon. ‘Tuning’ is for changing the amount of shadow and highlight. ‘Effects’ allow me to be a little bit creative. I like using Soft Focus, which blurs the background, while keeping the main focus of the photo sharp. I also enjoy using Focal B&W. It retains the colour in the centre of the photo, and the background fades to black and white. Picasa is something that you can click around and experiment with. If you need help, find books on Picasa at your library.
If you want a whole lot more than what Picasa has to offer, you might like Photoshop. I had Photoshop on my old computer. I would spend ages cropping and colour correcting my old photos. Then I would turn them into oil paintings. To get the most of Photoshop, you need a manual. The library has quite a large selection; just make sure you choose one that matches your version.
Remember one thing, you can improve your photo to a certain extent with photo editing and you can have fun with special effects, but sometimes the best thing to do is use delete.