Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Photo manipulation before Photoshop

Below is an example of an albumen carte-de-viste composite print which features in the Graphis Atlas Interesting Picture of the Week. This image was created using a masking technique which has the allowed studio photographer to superimpose a new background around the sitter.

"The photographer created a mask for this negative and for the negative of the sitter then combined the two images during printing. This technique was perfected by Daniel and David Bendann of Baltimore in 1872. Their patented method of compositing portraits with scenery was known as "Bendann Backgrounds." For more information about these types of prints
check out

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A personal ANZAC story

Over the last few years I have scanned  First World War photos, memorabilia and diaries for others. These are very special family items.  Today I want to share my own personal ANZAC story.....

Auckland Public Library Collection
Scanned print from family collection
Like many New Zealanders I had family who went to Gallipoli as young men.  My Grandfather returned, sadly his older brother Guy did not. I was prompted to start research into my Great Uncle's story by a trip my son took to Europe, where he saw Guy's grave at Gallipolli.

My family held papers showing the location of his grave and a photo which I digitized and restored. I found information from the Auckland Museum Cenotaph database and obtained his war records from Archives NZ. My Great Uncle served with the Auckland Mounted Rifles. I found another photo of Guy in the Auckland Public library photographic collection that was similar to our family one.  As this photo was only partially identified, I was able to give the library his details.  

More recently I uncovered additional family information including his First World War diary, which ends the day before his death (less than a month after his landing at Gallipoli) and a Scrapbook of condolence letters and telegrams sent to his family following his death.                                      

I have digitized and produced facsimile copies of both the diary and the condolence book and photos. Digitization has enabled me to share these items within the family. Recently our family shared these at a commemorative service that was held at the local church my Great Uncle and his family belonged to. Following the service, descendants of the original letter writers were a able to view the letters in the scrapbook.  These items have given our family some understanding of the devastating impact that this had on Guy's family back in NZ

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A brief history of Portrait Photography

Recently DigitalRev published an interesting little video which summaries the history of portrait photography in 90 seconds - see the following link: