Analog Photographer, Printmaker

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The Capulana Camera

Having built the 16×20″ camera from a wood species chosen for its beautiful grain rather than its practicality I ended up with a glorious camera that weighed 28Kg without either the ground glass or darkslide in place. As a field camera this won’t be much use without an assistant. I had to rethink the plan…

Drawer Fitting

The second apprentice piece, the cabinet in Umbila, is almost finished. Today it was time to assemble the draweres, fitting the bases to width first, then glueing on the based to the sides. The base is housed in a groove at the rear of each drawer front, unglued. Once the bases of the drawers are fitted…

The Second Apprentice Piece

For the second apprentice piece, an ongoing project, we have been building a tool cabinet in Umbila. This wood has a beautiful grain and looks like something between walnut and oak. The sides are dovetailed together: Then the carcase sides were glued up which was a bit of a struggle. On dry-fitting the pieces it…

The First Apprentice Piece

Thomas has in mind a curriculum to get me where I want to be by building some set pieces of furniture. The first piece is an occasional table in pine. We went to a local builder’s yard and just selected a few planks of construction pine. The pine is grown in South Africa and is…

Civil War – Change of Plans

The photographic road trip I planned to make to Ilha da Mocambique this month had to be cancelled because the civil war has started up again in the centre of the country. It is far worse than two years ago and I can’t see any sign of dialogue taking place any time soon. So a…

MRI

Well, I got to the bottom of the ongoing pain since the lightning strike. My 9th thoracic vertebra suffered a compression fracture as a result of the violent contraction of my back muscles compressing the spine, induced by the lightning energy passing across/through my back. The neurologist shook her head and said I was incredibly…

Lightning Strike

Shortly after 6am on Saturday 14th November I was struck by lightning at Ponta do Ouro in the far south of Mozambique. I thought I’d write up the experience whilst it is still fresh in my mind. I wasn’t sure if I should publish this in my blog here, I’m not sure this is the…

Kirk, Herschel, Maclear & Smyth

Sir Thomas Maclear (1794–1879) was an Irish-born South African astronomer who became Astronomer Royal at the Cape of Good Hope. Maclear would later became a good friend of David Livingstone. Maclear arrived in Cape Town in 1834 with his wife and 5 daughters. He worked there with John Herschel (1792-1871) until 1838. Herschel and his…

The Curse of Dr John Adamson

When I was in St. Andrews in Scotland recently for the second meeting of The Calotype Society I was introduced to the house of Dr. John Adamson, a nineteenth century calotypist in Sir David Brewster’s circle of photographers and older brother to the more famous Robert Adamson, of Hill and Adamson fame. Adamson’s house is…

Print Successes

To balance my last post here are the results of my workflows that give me consistently acceptable results. Two papers, Chateau Vellum 70g for salted-paper prints and Southworth Thesis for albumen prints. I have tried Chateau Vellum for albumen but the results were very poor, as can be seen from the last image in this…

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