E.F. Broad of the Photographic Society of N.S.W.
New Zealand, Australia
30 Mar 1878 - 19 Jun 1953
E F Broad was an early member of the Photographic Society of New South Wales, an association of photographers founded in 1894 1. This portrait’s intrigue comes from the fact that its subject employs a formal pose, typical of the commercial (indoor) portrait industry, in an outdoor location. Broad stares purposefully out of the right-side of the frame, with one hand in his pocket and another sporting a cane. The low angle of the sun provides a subtle but luminous outline to his form, highlighting his jacket, hat and the profile of this face. The sun gleams off the softly focussed foliage in the backdrop adding a delicacy to the scene.
Harold Cazneaux was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1878. His parents, Pierce Mott Cazneau and Emma Florence (née Bentley) worked in commercial studios in New Zealand before returning to settle permanently in Adelaide during the early 1890s. At the age of 18 Cazneaux went to work alongside his father at Hammer & Co studio as a retoucher. He moved to Sydney in 1904 to join the larger portrait firm, Freeman’s quickly ascending to the position of ‘chief operator’ (as camera portraitists were known). Studio work was highly formulaic, with little scope for creativity. Cazneaux used his time walking to and from work to experiment with pictorialist aesthetics 2. The Photographic Society of New South Wales organised an exhibition of Cazneaux’s photographs in 1909, the first such solo exhibition of its kind in Australia. In 1916 he and fellow pictorialist photographer, Cecil Bostock founded the Sydney Camera Circle. The group was particularly interested in the how pictorialism could be adapted to and extended within an Australian context. The mechanised, standardised and frenetic pace of Freeman’s increasingly took its toll on Cazneaux’s creativity and health, and he resigned in 1917. He moved with his wife and daughters to the Sydney suburb of Roseville, and in 1920 he was employed as the official photographer for The Home magazine. This new position let him work in a varied indoor and outdoor environments. In 1938 Cazneaux was awarded an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of London. He continued to work until his death in 1953.
1. Miller S 2007, ‘Chapter 4: Australian Pictorialism’ in, ‘Photography: Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection Handbook’, Sydney p 78
2. Newton G 1988, ‘Shades of Light: Photography and Australia 1839-1988’, Australian National Gallery, Canberra p 85
gelatin silver photograph
17.2 x 14.0 cm image/sheet
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of the Cazneaux family 1985
Not on display