Mearns Probus Report

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From early pin-hole to present-day digital cameras were all included in the talk given to the Club by Simon Arbord where his subject was “Painting by Light”.

Having fairly recently retired from the Oil Industry in Aberdeen, Simon can now really indulge himself in his hobby of paintings, photography and prints.

Use of natural light greatly improves the final image, and by using an early form of a Pin-hole camera, light reflected from a mirror could improve the artist’s ability to get better detail on his work. As chemicals became available, along with gloss plates or painted metal plates, the cameras improved and images could then be retained on the plates.

In 1827 a Frenchman called Niėpce captured an image on a slab of Bitumen. William Henry Fox Talbot, Louis Daguerre, Sir John Herschel and Frederick Scott Archer were among famous names in history to further improve cameras, techniques and means of developing and retaining images, before film was introduced. Now of course, most photography or cameras is done by Digital means.

Simon had with him a selection of old wooden framed cameras with extending bellows to allow focussing of the lens. Samples of early photographs, blue-prints, simple analogue light meter, lenses and of course a Kodak Box Brownie, which really brought cameras to the masses in the mid-20th Century. Camera Obscura’s were mentioned with three still available to visit at Edinburgh, Kirriemuir and also in Dumfries. Simon reminded everyone that old photographs, especially of families or Ancestors should be stored safely and where possible, with information written on the back. Member Stuart Craig, thanked Simon on behalf of the Club.