Brownie McGhee 1989

Brownie McGhee 1989


20 in stock

Walter Brown “Brownie” McGhee (November 30, 1915 – February 16, 1996) performing at the University of Tasmania, Hobart, in 1989. I first picked up on Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee in the late ‘60s when I was rapidly adding to my blues collection. I never imagined I would ever see either of these two legends performing live, but in 1989 a friend invited me to join her at a Brownie McGhee gig at the Uni. This print is scanned from a colour negative print where the colour has faded over the decades, so I resorted to black and white to restore some acuity. Sadly too, I was shooting with flash because of the lack of stage lighting of any consequence, and I generally hate the flattening effect flash has on performers — you need natural shadows to see form and atmosphere. However, I was very happy with the expression caught on McGhee’s face — glee and enjoyment as he performs his songs.

20 in stock



Working in newspapers there and in Swaziland taught him a range of photographic skills —shooting, developing and printing a photo in under 45 minutes, or less, and tackling any subject from portraits to beauty pageants, soccer, motor sport, boxing, ghetto jazz and rock musicians, and street life. Most of that was black and white work, with an occasional roll of slide film for special projects and artistic exploration. He upgraded through 35mm SLRs to Leica rangefinders and various lenses. He still enjoys using older lenses, mostly Leica and Canon, to explore subjects and qualities of light.


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