British photographic history

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Roger Hyam
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • United Kingdom
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Concave mirror in early camera
3 Replies

I'm being driven mad by what may be a false memory.I'm sure I can remember reading about a photographer who advocated a concave mirror based camera for portraits. I think this was in the period pre…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Roger Hyam Nov 14.

When did bellows material become synthetic?
4 Replies

I've just picked up yet another camera, a whole-plate from late 19th or early 20th century. There are no markings and it is similar to many whole and half plate cameras of the period.The bellows…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Roger Hyam Jun 2.

Documentation of the Orotone (Curt-Tone) process?
11 Replies

I've been making my own silver gelatine glass plates and am exploring ways to print and present positives.I'm intrigued by historical orotones such as the ones produced by Edward S. Curtis in early…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Tony Tidswell Mar 11.

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Roger Hyam replied to Roger Hyam's discussion Concave mirror in early camera
"Yes! Wolcott camera! I didn't know it had a claim to being the first photographic portrait camera though https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_S._Wolcott Thank you."
Nov 14
Rob Tooley replied to Roger Hyam's discussion Concave mirror in early camera
"Do you mean the Walcott camera? Do a search for Beard and Walcott."
Nov 6
Roger Hyam posted a discussion

Concave mirror in early camera

I'm being driven mad by what may be a false memory.I'm sure I can remember reading about a photographer who advocated a concave mirror based camera for portraits. I think this was in the period pre petzval or about that time. Were they produced commercially?Can anyone remember a name or point me in the direction of something on the web. Searching for all the obvious words is getting me way too many false hits!See More
Nov 6
Roger Hyam replied to Roger Hyam's discussion When did bellows material become synthetic?
"Thanks for your comments Rob & Gordon. The bellows on this camera appear to be working perfectly. I softened them up with Pledge furniture polish (was recommended before and seems to work). They look more leathery now. Remarkable after 100+…"
Jun 2
Gordon Christie replied to Roger Hyam's discussion When did bellows material become synthetic?
"The Living Image - licm.org.uk"
May 31
Gordon Christie replied to Roger Hyam's discussion When did bellows material become synthetic?
"Hi Roger, I renovated a couple of old American plate cameras from the late 1800s/early 1900s. The bellows were in places no more than dust. It was very difficult to tell what they were made of but I would agree with the “close-weave…"
May 31
Rob Tooley replied to Roger Hyam's discussion When did bellows material become synthetic?
"Early bellows were commonly finished in leather but cloth and paper were also used even as early as the wet-plate period. Sometimes the leather was coated in shellac or similar which gives a very shiny synthetic look. Advertisements sometimes…"
May 19
Roger Hyam posted a discussion

When did bellows material become synthetic?

I've just picked up yet another camera, a whole-plate from late 19th or early 20th century. There are no markings and it is similar to many whole and half plate cameras of the period.The bellows appear in remarkably good condition. I'm trying to work out what material they are made of. It doesn't appear to be leather. I have a couple of Voigtländers from 1920s and they appear to be "synthetic" as well.This set me thinking. So often I read of bellows being made of leather but I never come across…See More
May 19
Roger Hyam commented on Gareth Bryn Evans's blog post Kodak Research: Interesting Imaging Systems
"Thanks for this. It was a wonderful read and distraction when I should have been working today! I like the quote from Land. One thing I don't get is how the “Reversal F” process actually occurs. I have a story in my head…"
May 10
Tony Tidswell replied to Roger Hyam's discussion Documentation of the Orotone (Curt-Tone) process?
"Hello Alan - I have sent a message to you - my email is    tony@nizas.com  "
Mar 11
Alan Hodgson replied to Roger Hyam's discussion Documentation of the Orotone (Curt-Tone) process?
"Hi Tony. Give me your email address and I will send you some of Alan E's work on this"
Mar 11
Richard Sullivan HonFRPS replied to Roger Hyam's discussion Documentation of the Orotone (Curt-Tone) process?
"Over the years I have tried to find something on Orotone to no avail. It seems to have been a process named by Curtis himself. As suggested here, I suspect Curtis adapted a known process for applying paint etc. This might be of some…"
Dec 21, 2020
Roger Hyam replied to Roger Hyam's discussion Documentation of the Orotone (Curt-Tone) process?
"Fascinating John, Thank you . I'm not sure I totally understand how the process worked. In my mind I have then negative sticking to the initial print. It sounds like a transferred gum bichromate print. Not something I'll rush to trying. At…"
Nov 30, 2020
John Marriage replied to Roger Hyam's discussion Documentation of the Orotone (Curt-Tone) process?
"Hello Roger This is parallel to your enquiry rather than a direct reply! There is another process for producing prints that look very like Orotones, but worked in a completely different way. Indeed, some prints of this sort have been mistakenly…"
Nov 30, 2020
Alan Hodgson replied to Roger Hyam's discussion Documentation of the Orotone (Curt-Tone) process?
"Hi Roger. An overview of the Curtis Centennial Project appeared in the BJP 06.10.99 pp16-17, followed by a short feature in The Times 11.10.99. If your French is up to it there was a more detailed article in Le Photographe #1580 in December 2000…"
Nov 13, 2020
Roger Hyam replied to Roger Hyam's discussion Documentation of the Orotone (Curt-Tone) process?
"Hi Alan, I hadn't heard of the Curtis Centennial Project. When I google I mainly get people selling prints with the compelling project description on the back. Yes I'd be really interested to know more. Any reading you can pass my way…"
Nov 12, 2020

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I enjoy working with historic photographic techniques blended with the modern. Currently I'm exploring using my own 1880s style silver gelatine emulsions.

I blog here.

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