New Camera, Cards and Wet Plate Series

Howdy everyone! I hope everyone has been enjoying the good weather we’ve been having the past few days (apart from the occasional shower) and is settling back to watch the Tour de France. Apparently someone deemed it appropriate for this circus to cross Cambridge and cause quite an upheaval in everyone’s daily business – including mine! I opted to stay at home, which gives me plenty of time to write a blog post I suppose….

I failed to provide you with one of my most exciting recent updates: My new Camera!

I bought it just a few weeks ago and am still working on a few much-needed repairs. It’s a half plate field camera, no maker’s name but in decent condition with the full movements, in mahogany and bound in brass. It came with a perfect fully working tripod, two lenses -a modern Dallmeyer Serrac series XV f4.5 and a Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar f4.5 – two mahogany double plate holders, a contact frame and a few other small bits and bobs that don’t quite seem to go with this model. I found it online, went over to take a look, and after a bit of haggling, bought it for £135.00. The bits that need repair are the bellows (some deterioration of the cloth that needs patching, some pinholes) and the shutter(s).

Both shutters that came with this camera – a Thorton Pickard Roller Blind shutter (not marked, but of the type) and a Compur Dial shutter – were broken or semi-functional. The compur dial seems to work on the faster speeds, but sticks on the slower and any attempts to open it up for a servicing have been futile. The screws just won’t come undone! I decided to leave that as-is as I possibly won’t be using it anyway. The TP shutter however, was screwed on to the front of the camera, the Dallmeyer lens glued into it. I took it off the camera, got it back to work but am still working on light-proofing the roller blind material and getting it back onto the camera. I will do a full blog post on the functions and repairs of this shutter as soon as I’ve finished with it.

I am so excited to start using it – I have never had a camera with this many movements before!


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Apart from the new camera, I’ve finally gotten round to getting some new business cards. I say some, for I only ordered a few, to see if they are what I imagined they would be like. I ordered the glossy, round cornered, standard sized business cards from, using some of my wet-plate images to the front and my QR code and data to the back. The idea was, to make the cards resemble tin-types or old-fashioned calling cards but I think they need a little more tweaking before they do that. They are nice and clean though and it’s great not having to apologize anymore for having the crappiest business cards on the planet.  ^_^




my old card……….functional but boring. I got these dirt cheap from Vistaprint.



You may not recognize some of the images on my shiny new cards as they belong to a series I am still working on and a blog feature / gallery link has not been created for them yet. The series revolves around us (the living) taking something with belongs to the dead (the flowers on their grave in this case – I’m not that brutal to start digging people up). I am still in two minds on how to title the series.

My first idea was to call it ‘Grave Robbing’, because lets face it, that’s what it is. The patch of land that these persons are resting in has been bought or rented still belongs to them. Or does it? The cemetery is also a park and a public place of rest. Are the flowers personal property? Is it different if they are growing wild on the graves? If they are planted by a relative? If they are left in a vase? Is it morally wrong to take something from a grave?

Another option would be something a little…softer with options such as ‘…from the Grave’, ‘Gifts from the Grave’, ‘Taken’ or ‘Beyond the Veil’. What do you think?




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