Football at White Cube

August 24th, 2016

One of the things that attracts me to Class War is that their actions are unpredictable – and that usually they are fun. It’s a kind of agit-prop street theatre designed to attract attention, and a different world to the rather dour marches and pickets that usually pass unnoticed and have perhaps often failed to attract support even to the most worthy of causes.

And while they are sometimes accused of being frothy opportunists, they have demonstrated a remarkable tenacity in following up various issues – which the over 30 protests over ‘Poor Doors’ adequately demonstrated.

Gentrification is of couse a key issue for Class War, and I’d gone with them in December when they had ‘opened a new front’ on the issue in Bermondsey with Class War at Gilbert & George ‘Banners’.  So I was keen to be there for another round of the protest on Bermondsey St with Class War Footy at White Cube.

You can read more about the actual protest at that link on My London Diary, but it turned out to be rather difficult to photograph. People playing football tend to be some distance apart and the ball often moves rather quickly, and many of my pictures turned out to be rather empty.  And unlike real football games there were no goals, though the police and security standing in front of a wrapped sculpture at one corner of the yard did get to field a few balls.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only art-lover present who felt that this particular sculpture was rather improved by its protective wrapping – certainly something the White Cube should consider on a permanent basis.

There were some highlights – including Ray Jones performing a new song written for the occasion, ‘any chance of a sub?’ dedicated to Damien Hirst,  as well as a spirited rendering by Jane Nicholl of an old favourite,  a traditional English bawdy song which could be the Class War Anthem, ‘The Finest F***ing Family in the Land’  (various partial versions of the lyrics appear on the web; Oscar Brand recorded a version which totally lacks the élan of Jane’s delivery around 1970) – and of course there was the appearnce of Rita the Raven.

But the highlight was undoubtedly the fire-breathing, and it was this that caused the greatest photographic problem.

It was a dull January day, and a bright ball of fire presents an enormous challenge, with a dynamic range well outside that of film or sensor.

In the frame before the image above, without the ball of fire, matrix metering gave an exposure (At EI 1600) of 1/320s f7.1, while with the fireball, the metering changed to give 1/500s, f9, which I think is around one and a third stops less, but the fire was still highly over-exposed (I had set my usual -0.3 stops compensation which I find gives better results in most situations.) Careful work in Lightroom brought it down to give the result shown, where there are still some areas without detail where the sensor was simply maxed out. In bringing it down I’ve also increased the saturation, and taken it rather too far, which gives an exaggerated effect, particularly with the rather subdued background colour. I rather liked the effect when I did it, a kind of comic-book look, but would probably tone it down if I had to output another file.

With many of the exposures, there were much larger totally overexposed areas of the flame – even though the background was seriously under-exposed. As might be expected, the worst results were those where the sheet of fire was largest, and those where it was just starting or had died down were best. Fortunately I’d taken enough that I could simply delete most of these and still have a number of usable images. As well as the extreme exposure range, a second issue was that of colour temperature, with the flame generally giving a far warmer light than the cold winter gloom. Although this generally adds to the image, some corrective work was needed.

As I walked away with Class War, some stickers began to magically appear on estate agents and other suitable surfaces along the road.  My only regret was that I had to leave them outside the pub to visit a party at an old friend’s a short train journey away, and missed photographing the after-protest celebration with Rita.

Class War Footy at White Cube
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More on Bursaries

August 23rd, 2016

Today The Guardian revealed leaked Department of Health documents which revealed that civil servants were giving health minister Jeremy Hunt the same advice and warnings about his plans to implement a “truly seven-day NHS” that junior doctors and others  were saying when they spoke at another health protest I photographed in January, against the plans to axe NHS bursaries for student nurses and others, and which I wrote about in a short and hurried post (I had a train to catch) a week or so ago.

The government responded to the leak by pretending that these documents were merely exploring a ‘worst case scenario’ but few if anyone could believe them. They expose a government misleading both public and parliament and pushing through their plans to privatise the NHS and enrich themselves and others with financial interests in private medical companies.

The NHS needs saving” say the lyrics held up as the National Health Singers performed the Junior Doctors Protest Anthem ‘Yours’ also needed quite a lot of saving in Lightroom. Of course I know that even with Nikon’s matrix metering a lot of bright sky is going to mean underexposure, and that with subjects in shade like both the words and the woman’s face I really needed to use some fill flash, or at least dial in a stop or two extra exposure. But working at speed I just took the picture and hoped I’d be able to fix it in post.

The version you see here was also produced in haste, wanting to get images online as soon as possible, and has the same Lightroom treatment as the larger file that went to Demotix on the day of the protest – but exported with a preset that cuts down image size and jpeg quality and adds my watermark (as you can see with the incorrect year.)  I’m sure I could return to the image and do a better job.

Among those supporting the students protesting against the planeed axing of the bursaries were trade unionists, including Len McClusky, General Secretary of Unite, here looking worried and standing next to a Unite flag, as well as many health professionals and Green Party leader Natalie Bennett.

But it was the student nurses, none of whom will personally be affected by the cuts, which will only apply to students starting on courses in future who are the organisers of the protest. They know how vital the bursaries are to themselves.

They also know – as do all who work in the NHS, that the NHS is already a “seven-day NHS” so long as patient care and junior doctors are concerned.  The government soundbite isn’t a sound basis for policy and changes whichNHS budgets can’t afford.

NHS Bursaries March
NHS Bursaries rally before march
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Isleworth & Syon

August 22nd, 2016

When I began my recent post Olympics, Mo and Me I was intending to write rather more about Isleworth and Syon, but as usual my mind wandered in other directions, stopping when I realised I had been going on far too long and it was time for lunch.

Isleworth & Syon School, or to give it its full title, Isleworth & Syon School for Boys is now an Academy and also takes girls into its sixth form. It got Sports College status in 2003 as the lead school for Physical Education and Sport in the London Borough of Hounslow. When I went there it was a voluntary Middlesex County Council school, Isleworth Grammar School, with several nearby Secondary Modern Schools.

A short distance away next to Syon Lane station was (and is) The Green School for Girls which my elder sister attended, on a part of whose playing fields it had a rugby pitch – and the posts suggests it still does. The two then Grammar Schools were linked in other ways, including annual performances by their joint choirs of Bach’s various oratorios in which I performed first as a soprano and later as a tenor, though my heart was more with Buddy Holly and later with Miles and Trane.

Building for the Blue School Foundation in Isleworth in 1841 by C F Maltby

Isleworth Grammar was really on the edge of Isleworth, in Osterley, though its roots lay in Isleworth, and the Blue School Foundation dating from 1630 when Elizabeth Hill gave £20 a year for the education of poor girls and after her death the use of her house in Lower Square for the purpose. Over the years there were other charitable donations for the education of poor children of both sexes and in the 1880s an upper boy’s department was set up which eventually became Isleworth Grammar, while the lower school kept the name the Blue School as a co-ed primary.

Maltby’s design shows some similarity to Syon House

Middlesex County Council provided the grammar with a typical 1930s school building which I attended for seven years in the late 1950s and early 1960s at the top of Ridgeway Road, in Osterley, a little over a mile away from the centre of Isleworth, at the top of a slight hill leading up from Spring Grove, which I cursed for years as I cycled up it. And at least in my case it was still fulfilling part of its founding aim to educate the poor, though I only really became aware of the Blue School link through a small grant – 50% more than the founding donation – for my first year at university. It was withdrawn after that following a less than glowing report from my tutor; £30 then was a tenth of the maintenance grant that I got from Middlesex County Council for the year, so it was something of a blow.

Last March I walked with my elder son from Kew Bridge to Whitton on a less than direct stroll which took us through Syon Park and Isleworth, with one of the highlights being the footpath through Mogden Sewage Treatment Works, another Middlesex County Council project, now run by Thames Water, one of the largest sewage works in the UK, 140 acres which treats the sewage from about 1.9 million people in North and West London – discharging water,  usually fairly pure – into the Thames at Isleworth. The guide used to drink a glass at the end of the tour, but at times of heavy rain the plant certainly used to be overwhelmed and release sewage into the river.

Bushes along the footpath now screen much of the extensive range of large open tanks from sight, though not from the nose, though the smells are now rather less than in the past; ten local residents were awarded damages following a court decision in 2011 that failure to manage odour effectively since 1990 was a violation of their human rights.

The Duke of Northumberland’s River provides water for cooling

Middlesex had proposed to site the sewage works in Syon Park, but ‘public outcry’ (and perhaps the influence of the Henry George Alan Percy, 9th Duke of Northumberland, then perhaps appropriately Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Lord Privy Seal) as well as opposition by the chair of the council forced them instead to choose Mogden Farm, next to the Mogden Isolation Hospital.

The smell (and clouds of foam which used to blow away when people changed from soap powders to detergents in their washing machines) made Mogden a bad name, and the hospital became South Middlesex Hospital in 1948, closing in 1991. The area is now called Ivybridge, a name with no known previous local history given to the London Borough of Hounslow estate widely seen as a sink estate. It still shares the Mogden smell.

I’m not the only person to have walked through Mogden – the path is a useful and popular cycle route too, and supporters who want to avoid the Twickenham crowds use it as a longer route to the stadium just to the south from Isleworth on match days. Mogden Stadium perhaps doesn’t sound as good as Twickenham, if geographically more precise.

In John Rogers‘ film ‘The London Perambulator‘, Nick Papadimitriou stands in front of Mogden in the introduction and speaks about it there and later (at around 16-18 minutes) in the 45 minute documentary – while Russell Brand, Will Self and Iain Sinclair make their comments about him. It’s a fascinating study of a modern eccentric who says “This is the end result of years of therapy – Mogden Purification Works” and later comments on the opening of the works by Sir Montagu Sharpe, described by Diana Willment as ‘The Forgotten Man of Middlesex‘, Chairman of Middlesex County Council for many years, and a cofounder and Chairman of the Committee of the RSPB from 1895-1942.

You can see more of my pictures from the walk in Syon, Isleworth & Mogden, as well as pictures from the start of the walk in Brentford in Riverside Brentford and Riverside Brentford Panoramas.

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Colin O’Brien (1940-2016)

August 21st, 2016

Colin O’Brien stands where he photographed Traveller children at London Fields

Sad news. RIP Colin O’Brien (1940-2017), a fine photographer of London for over 65 years – he started when he was only 8 – who died suddenly from a heart attack on Friday.

I didn’t know him well and only met him a few times, but loved his pictures in his book ‘Travellers Children in London Fields’, some of whome came to the book launch. There was a beautiful warmth of feeling in much of his work and in the man himself.

Some of the Travellers at the book launch

There is much to look at on his web site, which contains well over a hundred of his best images and more in the news section, and you can see and hear him talking about 65 years in photography in videos on his web site including one made for the publication of his finely produced book ’65’. In it he explains why he continued to work in black and white because it enabled him to control the whole process from exposure to print.

You can also read the two posts on this blog about the Travellers Children book launch, Colin O’Brien: Traveller Children, and More on Traveller Children, though the latter is more about my then new toy, the Samyang 8mm fisheye for the Fuji-X system, than about Colin, though it does include two pictures taken with it of him talking at the launch.

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Olympics, Mo and Me

August 21st, 2016

I was rather pleased to be away from home and largely out of range of mobile signal and WiFi for the last week and thus missing most of the Olympic hoo-ha, and though I was within spitting distance of the start of the modern Olympic movement in 1850, I didn’t quite manage to follow the Olympic trail though I did get rather lost in a forest on nearby Wenlock Edge.

I always think it a shame that the the Olympics have become such an occasion for nationalistic fever, with an ethos very different from that of the founding years (and certainly of the 1850 event in Much Wenlock.) The famous quote from the man who really got the whole thing going, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who visited the games at Wenlock in 1890, “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well” is now just a pious platitude, with success in the games (and that silly medal table) being as much a matter of huge investment as individual achievement. The Russians did it by doping, we do it by lottery funding.

Part of Coubertin’s inspiration for the games came from the English Public School system and in particular Thomas Arnold, the great head of Rugby School, and he held firmly that athletes should be amateurs, though supporting financial support for loss of earnings for when they were competing and certainly opposed the discrimination against the working classes in British sports such as rowing, something which remains a feature of many sports in England and Wales. Dr William Penny Brookes, who began those games in Much Wenlock which were criticised by many amongh the amateur altheltic elite for encouraging the working classes to compete, also organised the first London Olympics as a national competition at Crystal Palace in 1866, and was the man behind the introduction of physical education into the school curriculum, first at Much Wenlock National School and later across the whole of state education. If you hated your PE lessons, he is the man to blame.

I wasn’t keen on much of PE, and my occasional confusion between left and right sometimes led to a certain amount of derision from teachers (sometimes expressed with the help of a plimsoll to the backside0 as I raised the wrong arm or thrust out the wrong leg. Wall bars and ‘horses’ were largely objects of torture, though I came to like climbing the ropes – though climbing trees out of school was always more fun -there was no view, no revelation in seeing the gym from a height. But my real love was in running.

I was fortunate in my choice of secondary school, though going to the grammar took me away from many of the friends in my streets. The school was proud of its tradition of maths education, but perhaps failed to ackknowledge its athletic achievements, although these were together with all the rest of its sporting results, the high point of the daily assemblies. But as a grammar school, what really counted was rugby, and athletics would surely have been a poor second fiddle to cricket if the school had not, a few years before my joining it, appointed John Disley to head the PE department.

Disley’s career as a runner is perhaps rather forgotten, despite his bronze medal in the 3000 metres steeplechase at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, rather eclipsed by the trio of Brasher, Chataway and Bannister involved in the first four minute mile, though Disley had been closest to Bannister on one of his earlier races where he broke the UK record. Disley decided he not quite fast enough on the flat, but set a world record and five British records in the steeplechase as well as four British records at two miles, and Welsh records for six different distances.

I think it was at the end of my first year at Isleworth that Disley left to run around mountains, going on to bring orienteering to the UK and later, also together with Chris Brasher, to establish the London Marathon. But his memory lingered on in Isleworth, with every PE lesson beginning with either a ‘short circuit’ or a ‘long circuit’ road run around the neighbourhood, unless the rain was heavy enough to make drowning a possibility. Winning times were recorded, and for some years I held my year record for the long circuit, which I think was around a mile.

I was never a great athlete, not quite fast enough for the 100 yards, but represented my school at the Middlesex championships at the 220 and 440, though my best result ever was a third place. Once in the Borough Youth Sports I did give the two timekeepers a shock by coming in first in the quarter mile a hundred yards ahead of the rest of the field at a time close to the UK record, but only because the idiots running the event had put the finishing tape in the wrong place. I was hugely annoyed, as it was a perfect day and I’d felt on top of my form and was fairly sure that otherwise I would have recorded a personal best – only slightly faster than Mo Farah achieved on his last lap after having already run 9,600m.

There were two reasons why, despite my overall lack of interest in the Olympics, I was pleased to hear of the two gold medals for Mo Farah. First because like some others who won medals he was a migrant to the UK, coming here from Somalia to join his father who was working here when he was only eight. It’s good to see anything possible in the media about any migrant. He was not a refugee; his father, of Somali origin, was born in London and grew up – like me – in Hounslow, and had the right and intention to bring his family here, but illness and confusion in Somalia meant only Mo came. Being a migrant did come with problems for him, and at 14 he had to turn down the opportunity to compete with a British team in Latvia both because Latvia would not let him in and more importantly because our racist immigration system would not have allowed him to return to the UK.

Secondly because perhaps something of the Disley legacy still lives on at my old school, which by the time Farah went there had become the comprehensive Isleworth and Syon School, where his running ability was recognised and encouraged and his winning career began. I like to think it was perhaps during those short and long circuits that he showed his mettle.

But it was also at that school that my own athletic career came to an end. Another aspect that Disley had encouraged was cross-country, and when as sixth-formers whose interests had developed along other lines, it was an option we adopted for the compulsory afternoon of sport. It took us a few hundred yards north of the school across the Great West Road to Jersey Gardens, a small park with a secluded small roofed seating area at the top of a rock garden where we sat talking and smoking until it was time to rejoin the small band who had actually covered the three and a half mile course, trailing back to the changing rooms behind them.

NHS Bursaries

August 13th, 2016

‘Short-sighted Tories’ says a poster held up by a nurse behnd a man carrying Unite union flags, and the decision, recently confirmed, to end NHS student bursaries seems a good example of that.  Student nurses and those training for other medical professions deserve bursaries because during their training they actually work alongside trained staff in the NHS, providing essential services. They need bursaries because these placements remove the opportunities other students have to supplement their student loans with part-time jobs. Their placements are essentially unpaid part-time jobs.

The government sees we have a shortage of nurses, so it wants to create more training places, but with bursaries that would be expensive. So it decides to cut the bursaries, with little if any thought on how that will impact on those who train.

People at all levels of the NHS have supported the campaign by some current nursing students – who won’t themselves be affected when the bursaries are stopped – to get the government to change its mind. As well as seeing the hardship it will cause for students, they see it as a part of the Tory plan to privatise the NHS, a process that is well under way, and seems only likely to be stopped if we get a radical party coming into power at the next election.  Given the current in-fighting in the Labour Party it is hard to see that happen, though there still remains a chance that Jeremy Corbyn will prevail and end up in charge of a coalition government; it is the only chance for the NHS.

You can read more about NHS student bursaries and the march and rally in January in NHS Bursaries rally before march and NHS Bursaries March, though there was a longer rally at the end of the march I was unable to cover.

There will probably be a few days without more posts on this blog as I take a little break – but I’ll be back soon.
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Bill to Kill Social Housing

August 10th, 2016

You don’t expect a huge turnout for a protest on a Tuesday lunchtime in January, and the few hundred who came to show their anger at the proposals in the Housing and Planning Bill being debated in Parliament was actually more than I expected. Like too much legislation at the moment it’s a measure that has received very little of the attention it deserves, either inside parliament or in the press.

The Labour Party is of course totally absorbed with its own infighting, few if any Conservatives have any idea of the pressures faced by those who don’t own several properties, have high incomes and savings and extensive family support – and even fewer seem to care. It was a bill about housing in England, so the SNP were not greatly involved, and the effective opposition in the House of Commons was thus the Green Party – all of one MP. To be fair the House of Lords did rather better, though in the end were forced to concede to government pressure.

The mainstream media weren’t interested as it didn’t greatly involve personalities or celebrities, and it was hard to use the issue to show Jeremy Corbyn in a bad light. So despite it being accurately described as “one of the most dangerous and far-reaching pieces of legislation passed in this country in a long time” and representations to parliament by 150 housing sector organisations which were ignored, as well as opposition from a wide range of other groups concerned with housing and poverty issue, the bill continued on its way to becoming law almost unnoticed. You can read a more detailed and less biased view of it on ‘Inside Housing‘ (free registration needed.)

Even London Labour councils busily selling off council estates and getting into bed with private developers were up in arms about the Bill, and joined in protests such as this one. Or at least came to them though perhaps tried to rather stand aside from the actual protest. So when things got a little lively they tried to disassociate themselves from people who make noisy speeches and loud chants, let alone let off smoke flares. Perhaps surprisingly, so did at least some of the Socialist Workers Party members present, though perhaps they were more against the fact that they were not being allowed to take charge of the protest.

When Class War along with ASH (Architects for Social Housing) and activists from the Aylesbury Estate decided to lead off on a march around Westminster, the Labour Party and others decided to stay put, a small group having a quiet protest where nobody would notice them.

It perhaps wasn’t a great march around the area, but certainly many more people will have noticed it going on, including many more MPs as it went along the street past the House of Commons and then Portcullis House, as well as those on Whitehall as they protested outside Downing St before leaving to go back past Parliament to the small group left in Old Palace Yard, who were packing up as they arrived back.

More at: Kill the Housing Bill protest

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USA – The Dark Side

August 9th, 2016

Mental Floss is not a magazine I’ve come across before, but The Photographer Who Captured America’s Dark Side by Lucas Reilly which originally appeared in the January/February 2015 issue is a well-written introduction to the work of Robert Frank and his travels across the nation to take the pictures that became ‘The Americans’.

It doesn’t say a great deal about his actual work but does a good job in situating it, which is perhaps something that those who have only come across his work in more recent times needs saying. I’ve written so many times that ‘The Americans‘ is a book every photographer should have a well-thumbed copy of on her/his bookshelf that I feel sure that if you are reading this you already do, but if not, it is readily available in many editions – and although a copy of the first edition might cost you £10,000 you can buy more recent ones secondhand for a more sensible price – less than £20 if you look around. The various editions all differ slightly, but not enough to make a real difference; I think the best is perhaps still the Aperture version from the late 1970s, but that is now a little dear.

There is enough about Frank to keep you busy for a week or two on American Suburb X, but Mental Floss turns out to be something of a disappointment. In the middle of the Frank piece is a box reading ‘For more stories like this visit‘ but if you do you find yournself on a page of pretty average clickbait, fluff with little or no photographic interest linking to other web sites and blogs. Diligent wading through half a dozen pages of trash only yielded a single piece that enticed me at all, on a unique mansion for sale in Mile End, London.

Clicking on this was a little disappointing, as I’d already read a far better article At Malplaquet House on the same house some years back on Spitalfields Life, though the MF piece did link to its own inspiration, the more recent Mysterious 265-Year-Old Mansion in London Is Rediscovered and Being Sold for Millions by Kristine Mitchell published on June 18, 2016 on My Modern Met. I you have around £2,950,000 to spare it might be worth viewing.

Meadows & Mitchell

August 3rd, 2016

Daniel Meadows was fortunate to come to photography in the short period when the UK Arts Council actually supported photographers rather than galleries and curators in 1975 work from his ‘The Free Photographic Omnibus’ was among that by 8 UK photographers features in their ‘British Image 1’. The series was meant to be published twice a year, and most if not all of the photographers featured had received grants under a scheme started by the Arts Council in 1973, including Meadows. The series didn’t last long, nor did the grants.

His portraits from this project, taking pictures of people as he toured the country in a double-decker bus which served as living space, free studio and mobile gallery provided an idiosyncratic cross-section of the country, largely from people who would otherwise only have appeared in family albums rather than those who might attract media attention.

This month’s Life Force online magazine has a good feature on this work, Living Like This, with text and pictures by Meadows.

More work from the UK in the 1970s appears in the book ‘Strangely Familiar‘ by Peter Mitchell, published in 2013. I think the edition was a fairly small one and the book is now hard to find, particularly since his work was shown at Arles this year.

You can also read about Mitchell and his work in various online newspaper articles, including The Independent and a recent article in The Guardian.

Although many of us took pictures in colour in the 1970s, Mitchell was one of the earliest to work consistently in colour as a documentary photographer and his show A New Refutation of the Viking 4 Space Mission at the Impressions Gallery in York in 1979 was, as Martin Parr notes “was the first colour show, at a British photographic gallery, by a British photographer.

Personally I was rather put off by the extraordinary presentation, with the work mounted on space charts and the conceit that these represented the view of an alien from Mars who had just landed in Leeds, where Mitchell’s day job was driving around the city making deliveries – with a step-ladder in the back of the van from which he made the pictures. It was for me a barrier to seeing the true documentary value of his images, as too was the sometimes rather odd colour rendition of his prints at that time.

But it was a show that I think inspired Martin Parr to make his move from black and white to colour, or at least persuaded him that the time was ripe and that serious photographic work in colour – which he was familiar with from Eggleston and Shore in the USA – could now be acceptable at the rather stuffier UK galleries.

Early Colour

August 2nd, 2016

Although I’ve never really been a great fan of pictorialism, the attempt by photographers around the end of the nineteenth century to establish photography as an artistic medium by showing that they could produce effects using photography that in some respects mirrored the work of artists using other media, there are many pictorialist images that I find highly satisfying.

We may not want to follow their example, with the use of processes such as bromoil, gum bichromate and the like, though I did at one time produce images in most of them, not because I really wanted to use them for my own work, but that I felt making images using them was the only way to truly understand the work of this period. And there was some processes that did have something to offer, notably platinum printing and carbon printing.

If you’ve seen the architectural images of Frederick Evans you will understand what attracted me about that process – and I felt very honoured that one of my platinum prints was exhibited next to one of his in a show to celebrate 150 years of photography in 1989. And some of the most beautiful prints I know in any medium are carbon prints, and if I had a larger studio in which to make my own carbon tissues and prints I might well have made portfolios in that medium.

Fortunately I was saved from this time-consuming labour by the coming of the inkjet and Peizography, a system of printing using carbon-based inks which enabled me to get images with very similar qualities on matt papers to platinum prints. And while nothing else can quite attain the luminosity of the best carbon prints, prints on fine silver materials such as the long discontinued Agfa Record Rapid and Portriga ran it close enough to satisfy – and similar qualities can now be achieved with inkjet prints.

What got me thinking about this was a feature in Dangerous Minds,
The astonishingly beautiful three color photography of Bernard Eilers. Eilers (1878-1951) was a consummate technician and a Duthc pictorialist whose most famous image was probably an atmospheric view of Trafalgar Square in the rain.

You can see a fine collection of his work from the Stadsarchief Amsterdam on line, including the images produced using his tri-color foto-chroma eilers process featured on Dangerous Minds.

Probably a better way to get an appreciation of them is to watch a video using his images of Venice, taken in the 1930s. Where I think the article in DM is misleading is to suggest that he was in some way a pioneer of colour photography, someone whose work might have led to his process being as well known as those of Agfa and Kodak.

Three colour separation processes essentially the same as he used were invented ten years before he was born, although they only became really practical with the invention of panchromatic films in 1903. It was only two years later that Schinzel introduced the first integral tripacks, combining the three layers of emulsion which were the precursors of later colour processes.

Eilers does not even rate a mention in the classic and encyclopedic History of Color Photography by J S Friedman (first published in 1944, but with a revised and updated edition in 1968.) But he does appear, and rightly so, in In Atmospheric Light : Pictorialism in Dutch Photography 1890 – 1925.