British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

Publication: Emma Turner - A life looking at birds

This new book uses archival material donated to the British Trust for Ornithology in 2011 and seeks to document and contextualise the life and work of Emma Louisa Turner (1867-1940). ELT, as she was known, was inspired to move on from pictorial photography to taking up serious bird photography by a chance meeting with Richard Kearton.in 1900. She became of the leading natural history writers of her day, illustrating her prose with her photographs, which like that of the Kearton brothers was rooted in her field craft and an intimate knowledge of her subjects. Much of her work was undertaken in Norfolk. She quickly became an accomplished photographer, too, joining the Royal Photographic Society in 1901. She regularly exhibited, and received recognition for her bird photography, in its annual exhibition. 

Parry and Greenwood's biography describes ELT's family background but rightly focuses on her writings, photography and the influence that she had on the public through her books and lectures and her activity for specialist audiences and ornithology more widely. In particular, she was involved in the setting up of the British Trust for Ornithology. After hger death, the BTO and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) were recipients of her photographic plates and slides, although these are now missing and being looked for. 

Well researched and written this book draws long overdue attention to this important figure of natural history photography. Highly recommended.  

Emma Turner. A life looking at birds
James Parry and Jeremy Greenwood. Foreword by Patrick Barkham
Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists' Society. 2020
ISBN 938-1-9162537-1-1
88 pages, illustrated, softcovers
Available from: the Norfolk & Norwich Naturalists’ Society website at http://norfolknaturalists.org.uk/wp/shop/ at £8 plus postage. 

Views: 105

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of British photographic history to add comments!

Join British photographic history

© 2020   Created by Michael Pritchard.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service