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The life and work of a pioneering the nineteenth-century photographer and journal editor was commemorated at the end of February with a blue heritage plaque. George Shadbolt (1819-1901) is thought to be one of the first people to take a photograph through a microscope and recorded some of the earliest pictures of the Crouch End area, around his old home Cecile House, in
Crouch Hill. His home has since been turned into Kestrel House School which provides education for young people with autism.
Rosemary Wilman, of the Royal Photographic Society, and Keith Fawkes, of the Hornsey Historical Society, unveiled a blue plaque at the building and paid tribute to his contribution to the art. Mr Fawkes told the Haringey Independent: “He was a pioneer – a very important person to publicise locally. All these local people are very important. Crouch End was an interesting area then and these people become more important as the years go by. He was one of the pioneers of photography in Victorian times and he was extremely innovative.”
Around 150 years before digital photography revolutionised the process of taking pictures, Shadbolt pioneered early techniques, including methods of enlarging images. He was an early exponent of combination printing, the practice of combining two separate negatives to create a single image.
During an influential career he spent seven years editing what would later become the British Journal of Photography and was an early member of the Photographic Society of London.
The plaque is one of eight installed in honour of influential local figures as part a community scheme led by John Hajdu, of the Muswell Hill and Fortis Green
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