Peter Bush can pinpoint the moment when his love for playing rugby was overtaken by a love for photographing it.

The 89-year-old photographer remembers the first time he photographed the All Blacks for the New Zealand Herald in 1949.

"When you saw the All Blacks take the field you could feel, even from the crowd, you could feel this ripple of excitement and you knew that these men of steel, they never gave up," Bush says.

British Lions Tour 1966 All Black Captain Brian Lochore. Photo / Peter Bush.
British Lions Tour 1966 All Black Captain Brian Lochore. Photo / Peter Bush.

He followed the All Blacks from the Cook Islands to Argentina, Europe and South Africa, and now audiences in New York and Tokyo have a chance to see some of his most iconic images on display at an upcoming exhibition.

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"MANA: 60 Years of All Blacks Photography" will be showing in Shibuya, Tokyo, from October 22 to November 5, coinciding with the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.

It will also be showing at Anastasia Photo in New York's Lower East Side from September 19 to November 30.

Bush is currently based in Wellington's Owhiro Bay and has a story to tell for each photo in the exhibition.

He recalls capturing South African rugby "hard man" Andy Macdonald in a rare moment of peace with All Black Colin Meads after a muddy face-off in Christchurch in 1965.

"Both these men had a very, very tough reputation, and to see them shaking hands in the tunnel is a memory I will treasure," Bush says.

Veteran sports broadcaster Keith Quinn say Bush has "superbly" recorded the All Blacks' story for over 60 years.

Legendary rugby photographer Peter Bush talks with Dan Carter. Photo / File.
Legendary rugby photographer Peter Bush talks with Dan Carter. Photo / File.

He recognises Bush not just as a rugby photographer, but as a photojournalist who "recorded the history of his country as it unfolded in front of him".

Quinn hopes the upcoming exhibitions will bring more exposure to Bush's work and his love for Kiwi history and culture.

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He says Bush's images of the high country "back block life" of NZ's mustering stations equally sum up the Kiwi way of life.

"He has even declared that when the time comes, he wants his ashes scattered up there among the wild breezes, the tussocks, and the mountains."

"He is a great New Zealander – but because of his modesty you will not ever hear him shout about that. I just hope all Kiwis know of his work and increasingly that a wider global audience comes to know it too."