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Sydney. Taken for 'Sydney: Great cities'
Sydney. Taken for 'Sydney: Great cities' 1978, Brake, Brian (1927–1988), Sydney. Gift of Mr Raymond Wai-Man Lau, 2001. Te Papa

After the book on Hong Kong for Time-Life’s Great Cities series, Brake was commissioned to shoot another, on Sydney.

He was always fond of photographing from the air and the book features many helicopter shots that abstract the scene below into shapes and patterns. Brake said that such aerial work could be difficult because, ‘You never know what’s going to happen. You’re moving, your subjects are moving.’

Getting close up to some aspects of Sydney was more of a challenge, though. Brake found the rough culture of the city’s football clubs distasteful and engaged a local photographer to cover them.

© Copyright Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand.