Somerset man makes Victorian-era Instagram by spending hours editing photos

Somerset man makes Victorian-era Instagram by spending hours editing photos

The photographer has painstakingly gone back to basics to create a series of remarkable images using an 1890 fur camera and long-forgotten Victorian techniques.

Simon Williams, 62, started using the 130-year-old device after he got “fed up” with the “technology race” for more pixels and sharper images to be seen on social media.

He photographs sights, places and objects around his home in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.

In the images he creates, windmills, bridges and piers look like they are still from the Victorian era.

Mr. Williams, a former science teacher, can take hours to create one of his images while most people spend seconds doing it.

It took Simon Williams, 62, about fifty hours to create an image like this photograph by Vandyke Brown of the Chapel Allerton windmill in Somerset.  This building is a Grade II listed building and has a protected status.

It took Simon Williams, 62, about fifty hours to create an image like this photograph by Vandyke Brown of the Chapel Allerton windmill in Somerset. This building is a Grade II listed building and has a protected status.

This blue photo of Clevedon Pier looks like it came out of the Victorian era, which it did.  The Grade I listed pier officially opened on March 29, 1869, when the town of Clevedon was well known as a 19th century visitor's resting place.

This blue photo of Clevedon Pier looks like it came out of the Victorian era, which it did. The Grade I listed pier officially opened on March 29, 1869, when the town of Clevedon was well known as a 19th century visitor’s resting place.

On October 16, 1970, Clevedon Pier did collapse a bit, but the Clevedon Pier Preservation Society managed to fix the situation, and most recently it was used in the One Direction music video for their single

On October 16, 1970, Clevedon Pier did collapse a bit, but the Clevedon Pier Preservation Society managed to fix the situation, and most recently it was used in the One Direction music video for their single “You & I” and in the movie Never Let Me Go. starring Keira Knightley in 2010

Former science teacher Simon Williams stands with his fur-lined wooden camera, which is shaped like an accordion and uses a photo stand.  He uses chemicals to create vintage photographs on glass plates.

Former science teacher Simon Williams stands with his fur-lined wooden camera, which is shaped like an accordion and uses a photo stand. He uses chemicals to create vintage photographs on glass plates.

How do you design below camera image?

Francis Fowke, an architect and engineer, patented the folding camera, later known as the bellows camera, in May 1856.

These are photos taken on an accordion, like a camera that is made to improve the quality of the image, it takes some time to process.

This can be done by doing the following:

  • Glass plates must be thoroughly cleaned, edged with egg white, poured with collodion (a mixture of cellulose, ether, cadmium bromide alcohol).
  • When it’s sticky you need to apply silver nitrate
  • A developer is poured onto this plate – an acid, alcohol, iron solution.
  • It is then washed in water and then placed in a “fixer” – thiosulfate – when the image is fully developed.
  • While it is still wet, it is placed in the chamber and exposed.
  • After drying, the silver side is covered with black acrylic paint, and the image becomes positive.
  • Source: Science Museum/Simon Williams.

    He uses chemicals to create vintage photographs on glass plates.

    Strict time constraints when using this method led him to turn the back of his van into a mobile darkroom.

    Mr. Williams said: “I love making images that have a story, a mystery, where not everything is pixel perfect.

    “I like to take photos that are real, not synthetic — the hyperreal fakery of ads and over-processed Instagram images.

    “The cameras I use are called wide-format field cameras, and they are part of the family of cameras that fall into the bellows category.

    “My largest camera is the New Countess, a bellows field camera measuring 10 feet by 8 feet, made of mahogany and, unusually, aluminum, circa 1890.

    “I can spend three hours creating four images, one of which is usable.

    “The process of creating an image from a film negative to a cyanotype print from start to finish involves about 50 separate steps.

    “Each glass plate is carefully cleaned, edged with egg white, collodion (cellulose, ether, cadmium bromide alcohol) is poured onto it.

    “When it gets sticky, it is placed in silver nitrate (a liquid that burns warts!). This Vista, still wet, is placed in the chamber and exposed.

    “This plate is filled with a developer – an acidic, alcoholic, iron solution – and then washed with water before being placed in a “fixer” – thiosulfate – when the image is fully developed.

    “After drying, the silver side is covered with black acrylic paint, and the image becomes positive.

    The images he creates make everyday things look like they're still in the Victorian era when Clifton Suspension Bridge was opened in 1864. It is one of Bristol's most recognizable structures, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

    The images he creates make everyday things look like they’re still in the Victorian era when Clifton Suspension Bridge was opened in 1864. It is one of Bristol’s most recognizable structures, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

    Simon Williams' photograph of Weston-super-Mare Pier in black and white with gray clouds moving in is clearer, suggesting it was built in 1904.  This is a recreational pier in Weston-super-Mare that has been rebuilt after being demolished.  fire.  The 1992 Anthony Hopkins film The Rest of the Day featured one scene on the pier.

    Simon Williams’ photograph of Weston-super-Mare Pier in black and white with gray clouds moving in is clearer, suggesting it was built in 1904. This is a recreational pier in Weston-super-Mare that has been rebuilt after being demolished. fire. The 1992 Anthony Hopkins film The Rest of the Day featured one scene on the pier.

    “It can go awry in different ways, but therein lies the problem.

    “As the name implies, the photographic plate is wet – and should remain wet.”

    He added: “I like using old film and glass plates because they introduce imperfections into the image.

    “It can communicate more honestly that life isn’t perfect, but it can still be beautiful, interesting, and have a good story.”

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