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Thornton Pickard Double extension quarter plate camera. Photograph gallery.

Bursledon Windmill, Hampshire, after restoration in 1992

Bursledon Windmill, Hampshire, after restoration in 1992.

This was the last image the original Thornton Pickard shutter curtain recorded, as it tore as it hit the stop. 25 years later our Thornton Pickard Reflex would record a very similar angle after it had new shutter curtain fitted.

Wedding photograph taken with TP in 1992

The first image taken with the new shutter blinds fitted on 15/8/92. Very rarely I take one or two of the collection out for a wedding. It's hard to promise a result as the risks of leaky plate carriers, holed bellows, recalcitrant shutters and camera gremlins are ever present and conspire to spoil any one off occasion with glee. On this occasion the whole ensemble behaved itself, although this camera went into retirement for some twelve years before another plate went into it.

A4 locomotive 'Bitterne'

Outside the engine sheds

After a twelve year break the Thornton Pickard worked to the top of the queue again in October 2005. It required a fair degree of servicing to the tripod and dark slides and these are the results from the subsequent session. The Image of the A4 locomotive 'Bitterne', was taken in rather dark conditions and the chap lending scale had to stand still for three seconds. This locomotive is one of the sisters to the rather more famous 'Mallard' which holds the land speed record for steam locomotives to this day at just over 126mph. To the right is a general scene outside the engineering shed at Ropley on the 'Watercress' line, a favourite location owing to the timelessness of the site. Both images were sepia tinted for effect.

Steam locomotive running gear

Modernism, a brand of photography that broadly started around 1920s featured some photographers influenced by industrialization. I feel that there is a frustrated industrial modernist within me, yet my historical bias draws me to ancient industry. This is symptomatic, in part to an inability to relate to people particularly well, yet there is a passion in this engineering born of the human mind that I find impossibly admirable. This detail of a locomotive drive was taken in October 2005, the mechanics themselves were cast in 1926, at the beginnings of modernism. Sadly my own abilities are just a poor mimic of the masters of the past. The negative was fairly lively, and has been printed quite harshly to do justice to the strength and solidity of the machine.

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