George Eastmans Partner - William Hall Walker

12230039861?profile=RESIZE_400xThis is a found UK wet plate collodion. It is a beach momento and like all such photgraphs an informal - for the time - snapshot in time. This is a fine example of 1880's black tent and wet chemical beach photography. It is the photographic technology of the 1850's at it's very best. Walker can be seen relaxing with his wife on the beach at Eastbourne.

Behind him on the horizon can be glimpsed the circular enclosure for Beach Concert Party performances. This part of the beach is now under the Carpet Gardens which is along the promenade and quite near to the pier. The camera is facing east. The image is well defined with sharp deep focus, is well lit and zooms with precision. This is not a copy, this is the original HD scan.


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  • Thanks David. My question was about the identity of the sitters. How can you be so sure who they are? Have you found corroborative evidence in other photographs of Walker and his wife? I have many beach ambros - I love them! - but only a few indicate the name of a studio, or the identity of the sitter...

    • Hello Michael. I have found corroborative evidence not only for the location but for the possible date proffered. You are right it is difficult to identify these beach wet plates but they are full of incredible detail and some surprises. To the Victorians this was their equivalent of a PHOTOME booth snap from the 1850s - 1890s and they just loved them. Everyone who visited the sea side seemed to find a reason to be photographed. A photograph that said 'I was 'ere' was all it took. It was photography for the masses, it was affordable and finaly it was available now! 

      The marks and clues of origin are few and far between as their studios were waggons like houses built on sand and were destined to be forgotten. However the metal gilt frames used to frame their images do offer some indicator as to the images origin. I note photographers on the south coast seemed to prefer a particular version. This image was of the south coast variety and it is these that interest me the most.

      There is no provenance attached to this image it is a found wetplate. Found in the UK. Walker continued to live and work in the UK for Geroge Eastman based in London as his Managing Director until his death at his London home. 

      Thank you for commenting.

  • May I ask where the identification of the subjects came from? 

  • Line 1 'memento' not momento.


    • Hello Michael and Robert,

      I did the identification of the subjects and the identification of venue and the likely date of it's execution.

      All  images bearing the mark KASTORYANO ORIGINAL are identifications of sitters, subjects and/or places by me alone.

      And Yeah -  I don't use a spielchecjer and you see what happens. In future I shall be more careful. There are some 'Albright' Kodaks. Do you have a connection?

      Thank you both for commenting. Comments are at all times most welcome.

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