Allan McDonald began his photographic career as a teenager in the mid-1960s, initially using a Box Brownie camera and a home-made darkroom. During the ‘60s and ‘70s, McDonald’s photography had a lyrical, metaphorical character, and often involved portraiture and figure studies. His work was shown in the seminal show The Active Eye in 1975. More recently, his work has developed into a documentation of the use of space in the city, and the social and human costs of urban development, in projects such as The Density of Things (2005) Something/Nothing (2010) and Walking in the City (2013). McDonald has also worked in installation, collaborating with Susan Jowsey and Marcus Williams on The Asylum Project (1994), a multimedia investigation of the Carrington Hospital mental asylum. McDonald has had a long career as an educator, teaching photography at the Auckland Youth Center from 1984-9 and, more recently, lecturing in photography at Unitec in Auckland.