Pat Fowler, 1973

Pat Fowler, a popular Australian singer during World War II, sat for this portrait in the photographer’s backyard garden in Campbell’s Bay, Auckland, New Zealand in 1973. She wears a white fur coat, an elegant necklace and formal make-up.

Photographer Clive Stone recollects that when Pat Fowler sat down for the shot, she lent towards the camera, rested her elbows in her lap, clasped her hands together, and looked directly into the lens.

Reading the Photograph - Guiding Questions

What clues can you detect in this photograph that convey a sense of the character of Pat Fowler?

What effect does the contrast between the very formal dress of the subject and the natural setting of the garden, have on your reading of the photograph?

Is eye contact between you, the viewer, and Pat Fowler important in this image?

How does the positioning of the camera in relation to the subject affect your response to the photograph?

Technical details

  • Camera: Mamiya RB 67 set on a tripod
  • Lens: 127mm portrait lens
  • Film type: 100 ISO, 120mm (6 x 7 cm)
  • Aperture setting: f8