Amateur Photographer

   Photographic Journals - The cover of bound volumes of The Amateur Photographer, 1891



The scope of Amateur Photography  -  1891

The only early editions of 'Amateur Photographer' that I have read to date are those for July to December 1891 -  a total of about 500 pages.  There are very few photos in these editions, apart from the regular appearance of 'Amateur Photographer Competition Pictures'.

Regular features in the journal included.

-  Our Views

-  'Amateur Photographer Competition'

-  'Ladies' Photographic Competition'

-  Queries  and Answers - many brief questions from correspondents

-  Exhibitions

-  Society Meetings

-  Advertisements

In the 1890s, Edinburgh Photographic Society had its journal, so it did not depend on Amateur Photographer or any of the other external journals publishing Papers read to the Society.

Below are some extracts from pages in Amateur Photographer, July to December 1891,  that include references to Edinburgh.

Page 51

Edinburgh University Photographic Society

Meeting on 7 July 1891:  Chemistry of Intensification

Dr Drinkwater in the Chair.  He also exhibited some of his prints on Alpha paper

Alex Ayton was adjudicator for the monthly competition.

Page 91

Photographic Convention

George Davidson has bee elected President of the Photographic Convention of UK, to be held  in Edinburgh in 1892.

Page 108

Photographic Convention

H P Robinson's declination of Presidency of Photographic Convention of the UK to be held in Edinburgh in 1892, was on the grounds of ill health.


Notes from the Edinburgh Centre

"The weather has been too frequently wet and unpropitious for outdoor working.  On the other hand, when a good day comes, the light has all along this season been of the best. Scotland this year is not so crowded as usual.

Taking everything into account, no better time could be had for visiting "the land o' cakes"."


Notes from the Edinburgh Centre

Oct 26::  Alex Ayton read a paper on Portraiture to Edinburgh University Photographic Society.
[This article included a report of of the meeting.]

Dec 4-7:  Edinburgh Photographic Society will hold their Exhibition of Members' Work at 42 George Street.

EPS Syllabus announced for 1891-92.


Notes from the Edinburgh Centre

On Nov 4, Edinburgh Photographic Society had held its AGM and given a display of Members' work, mainly silver printing, some bromides, and a few platinotypes."

EPS has chosen a platinotype, Idle Moments by R H Lord, Cambridge, from last year's Exhibition as the Presentation Print for 1892.

The report said that the photograph was to be printed in photogravure by J C H Balmain, but here is  a bill for the work having been carried out by J G Tunny.

"J M Turnbull of Rose Street has brought out an improved spirit jet for lanterns, which gives a first-class light where coal gas is not available."
[The trade directories list a J M Turnbull with a photographic studio at 14 Nicolson Square, 1865-78.  Was he the same person as or related to J M Turnbull of Rose Street, above?]


Notes from the Edinburgh Centre

A brief account was given of a bazaar at Edinburgh's Waverley Market, beside Waverley Station.  The bazaar featured a village designed by Hippolyte J Blanc, President of Edinburgh Photographic Society.

Alexander Ayton was the photographer at the bazaar.


Notes from the Edinburgh Centre

EPS Meeting: December 2:

-  Award of Medals for the summer competitions.

- professional photographer, James Patrick won the Medal for the best photograph taken on an EPS Saturday Ramble.

- Amateur photographers, James G Paterson and J Stewart Smith won the other two medals, for photographs taken since January 1, 1891.

-  Demonstrations by Mr Oliphant + curator, Hugh Brebner.

-  Discussion and agreement to endeavour to secure premises for EPS before the Photographic Convention of UK meets in Edinburgh in summer 1892.

Page 467

Edinburgh Photographic Society

"There is a good deal of talk in Edinburgh photographic circles over the proposal of the Edinburgh Photograpic Society to acquire a habitation for itself.  There is good ground for believing that before the winter is over something tangible may be done in the way of making the society worthy of its former days, when it was the leading light among photographic societies."

Page 468

Edinburgh University Photographic Society

Office Bearers elected, including re-election of Dr Drinkwater as President.

Studio Common Room + Darkrooms opened in Bisto Place

Syllabus announced:

-  Jan 11: Dr Paterson:  Photographic Apparatus & Processes

-  Feb 8:  J R Whait:  A Tour of Norway (lantern slides)

-  Mar 14:  W H Barrett:  Photo-micrography

-  May 16:  Dr Drinkwater:  Daylight enlarging on Alpha and Bromide Papers

-  Jun 13:  F D Todd:  Exposure Meters

-  Jul 11:  Social Evening and Lantern Slide Competition

Page 482

Edinburgh Photographic Society

Dec 16: First Popular Meeting:  W Lamond Howie:

'To Ober-Ammergau and back in 1890'.


Notes from the Edinburgh Centre

Dec 16: First Popular Meeting:  W Lamond Howie:

'To Ober-Ammergau and back in 1890'.

This brief report questioned whether too much attention had been given to the Society's Popular Meetings. 

"Had the cultivation of the popular, perhaps, been carried too far, to the neglect of the practical?  Or had EPS acted rightly, in the interests of photography?"

It was reported that:

- "Mr Howie handled his subject with the easy grace for which he is distinguished".

- "Mr J M Turnbull, Rose Street, showed the pictures with a single lantern, using cylinders from both gases, the first occasion on which he had done so.

- "The gathering was a great success.



References to Edinburgh

in Amateur Photography - 1891

There are several references to Edinburgh in these editions, including plans for the Photographic Convention to be held in Edinburgh the following year and reports of some of the Edinburgh Photographic Society meetings.



Photographic Journals


Early Publications     Titles from the 1850s    
Annuals and Almanacs

The Amateur Photographer

Overview     1891

American Photography

Overview    1910    1911

British Journal of Photography

Overview     PSS + EPS   1861 Adverts  1862    1863    1865    1866 Adverts    1867    1868   1869   1872   1875   1876   1877  1878    1881    1882    1892   1895   1897   1909   1911

Edinburgh Photographic Society

EPS Transactions
PSS and EPS in other journals

Journal of the Photographic Society

Overview        PSS        Societies and Editors    

Edinburgh - 1853-58     Edinburgh - 1859-62

Photographic Notes

Overview     PSS

Photographic News


The Photogram

Overview     1895



Practical Photographer

Overview      1891     1892    1895

[Many English Journals]