Every picture tells a story

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Exploring the changing scenery of Central Otago is a passion for photographer Sue Noble-Adams, of Alexandra.

A twin love of history and photography has led to a series of “then and now” images for Mrs Noble-Adams.

The beginning of the journey is an old photo. Then, Mrs Noble-Adams takes a new one from the same perspective.

As well as showing the changes over time, Mrs Noble-Adams also researches each photo, uncovering the story of people and places.

This year she is planning to take a series of photographs of Clyde, which she then plans to publish as a book.

“Clyde has kept its past and is using it,” Mrs Noble-Adams said.

“There are traces of the past all over this area.”

Sources for research included the Clyde Museum and Central Stories Museum in Alexandra, and the Hocken Collections were another good source of material, she said.

But a unique source of information was people’s private collections, she said.

Having lived in Central Otago for almost 40 years, she has been able to delve into many personal collections, uncovering stories from the past.

Mrs Noble-Adams’ journey into photography began when she had a shop in Alexandra and people would ask for items that featured local scenes, cards or calendars, so she began taking photos herself.

Photography was about having an eye for composition and looking for opportunities that would make a good scene, she said.

“I’ve never had a lesson in my life.”

There was a special light in Central Otago, and changes of season that made it a great place to photograph, she said.

“Autumn is the best time.”

A previous book on Alexandra that Mrs Noble-Adams wrote with Olwynne Oliver has been reprinted with additional pages and a new cover.

“Olwynne used to live here and we’re great mates – but she is now in Christchurch,” Mrs Noble-Adams said.