I first met William when he joined the Hutt Camera Club in 2003. We were polar opposites. He was the quiet one & I’m the rowdy one, but we bonded firmly in our shared love of photography.
William was a fabulous photographer, a true artist. He was sensitive soul and I think that is reflected in a lot of his images. He would photograph most things, but loved landscapes and had a particular affinity for architectural work and abstracts.
He was awarded his Associateship of the Photographic Society of NZ in 2007 and followed it by attaining his Fellowship in 2016 with a magnificent body of work titled “Urban Forest”. His images being double exposures of trees & buildings beautifully blended together into works of art.
William joined PSNZ Council in 2010 and in 2019 was recognised with a Service Award, along with Neil Gordon, for their outstanding contribution in developing, implementing & administering the database.
And on the home front, I’ve heard it said that he was the Hutt Club’s best Competition Secretary.
Following that trip he ventured overseas on many expeditions along with his wife Judy & photographic friends. Last year William & I returned to Africa to complete unfinished business.
In hindsight, I am so thankful William was able to enjoy so many memorable moments on that last trip: being the only vehicle witnessing a large herd of elephants extremely close up; lions from 2 metres away & actually seeing a black Rhino. We spent several days at Deadvlei & also had a 2 hour helicopter ride, sans doors, to photograph the dunes right out to the sea. In Mpumalunga, South Africa we were really excited to see 800 year old rock art in situ and learn how the San people painted their stories.
If you haven’t seen William’s stunning images of the Namibian sand dunes and the buried town of Kolmanskop, check out his website Wright Light Photography.
William & I competed with each other photographically and always shared our competition entries; commiserating or celebrating as the case may be. He achieved some notable successes particularly over the past 3 years.
In 2017 he won Champion Projected image at the Nelson Triptych Salon & a bronze at the North Shore Salon.
2018: was Honours & 2 Highly Commended at North Shore.
2019: was a top year, he won a gold medal & 2 ribbons at the NZ International Salon; Honours at the Dunedin Festival; Best Abstract at Nelson Triptych Salon, 4 Judge’s commendations at the Wanganui Humanity & Earth Salon plus a large number of acceptances.
William was also stoked to learn, just in time, that he had an image selected for the 2020 edition of NZ Camera.
William lost his battle with complications from a rare immune disorder on 11 May. He had fought hard and like all of us, was shocked & stunned to be told that the proposed liver transplant was off the table and he’d be lucky to last a month. Devastatingly, it turned out to be less than a week.
Quite coincidentally I read this in a book on the day he told me he had run out of options…
“It’s not the goodbye that hurts the most. It’s the hole you are left with.”
William leaves a crater. Anne Tate
Williams wife Judy has requested that if people would like too, donations may be made in Williams name to Immune Deficiency NZ.