Crowd Source | State Library of New South Wales

Crowd Source

In the 1880s Arthur K Syer strolled through the streets of Sydney with his parcel-wrapped, hand-held 'Detective Camera', which allowed him to take photographs without the subject's knowledge.

The informal nature of Syer's photographs — low camera angles, blurred movement and an absence of careful composition — give 1880s Sydney a cinematic quality. The gestures and poses of the street can be sensed.

These images provoke us to put ourselves in the crowd, and compare the lives of 1880s Sydney-siders with our own experience of the city.


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