British photographic history

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In the 1960's I had left college and worked part time as an assistant to Adolf Morath photographing industrial subjects. Mainly running around and changing the flash bulbs in the multi fash heads he had specially designed for him. He sometimes used the Bowens heads but prefered the ones he had designed himself.

I remeber him taking portaits with these lighte and being amazed that he could aim the lights so accuratley. (with no modelling lights).

For his industrial work he set up two 5"x4" cameras side by side but with different focal length of lenses. He opened the shutter of one camera and then the other camera shutter was fired triggering the flash, so he got two images for one set of flashbulbs PF 60's and PF100's were very expensive. I would then have to remove the dead bulbs ready for the next shot. Sometimes if we were photographing a very long view in a factory I would have to set up the lighting stands and because they were over a long distance one set would have to be triggered separately. There was a testing facilly on the firing box to make sure that the circuit was OK. I remember being terrified that I would accidently fire the bulbs before the shot was to be taken. Miraculously I never did.

I did not go abroad with Morath unless you count an asignment for the Irish Government where we toured round Ireland in his VW 6 volt van photgraphing industries that the government wanted to promote to encourage others to set up in Ireland ending by photographing the directors of the Bank of Ireland in Dublin. I have a photograph of this.

I also went Motherwell to the Ravenscraig steel works and other associated works around Gasgow and factories in Lancashire.

Gilly Read FRPS

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