Frederic Hardwicke Knight, QSO (12 July 1911 – 25 August 2008) was a London-born photographer, historian and collector who emigrated to New Zealand in 1957 to take up a medical photography position in Dunedin. He lived at Broad Bay until ten months before his death at a Dunedin nursing home. His publications include New Zealand's first comprehensive photographic history, many compilations of early Dunedin and Otago photographs, biographies of several early New Zealand photographers and of British photographer William Russell Sedgfield, three books of architectural history and a seminal history of the Otago Peninsula. He was awarded a QSO in 1991. An eccentric polymath, Knight was well known for his striking appearance, his ramshackle Broad Bay cottage crammed with his collections and his self-proclaimed exploits, most notably his claim to have found timbers on Mount Ararat that might have been Noah's Ark.
The story of the publication of Hardwicke Knight's book "Through The Lens" started in 2017, when David Murray posted a few photos shot by Hardwicke Knight more than 50 years ago in the picturesque England and their magical and transportive style and Kodachrome colour simply captivated me and inspired me so much that I immediately contacted him to first stop him posting any more on social media and collaborate with me to actually publish them as a coffee table book as I really thought they were too good to be just "liked" on the likes of FaceBook.
He was initially reluctant and eventually with more than a year of me pestering and constant emails, eventually David agreed to embark on this project and with a year in the making, the book "Through The Lens" was finally published in hard-back format in only 120 copies as limited edition and offered to the masses.
The response was amazing both in the UK and New Zealand. within less than a year, all copies were sold out and this partnership put me in touch with Debbie (Hardwicke Knight's daughter) with whom I went on to re-produce another book titled "The Photographer".
We were able to bring the name "Hardwicke Knight" back from obscurity and really gave a well deserved platform to this amazingly talented photographer, who's photos were so candid and as a matter of fact with the added photographic magic which he possessed.
He has left a wealth of images and memories of Britain's yesteryear as well as his adopted home, New Zealand which in years to come will be nothing short of a national & international treasure.
This project is now finished and I have had the greatest pleasure and honour to have been given this opportunity to do my bit and keep the torch alive.
There are no planned books presently but who knows. I will continue to update the social media channels: