EPS Wednesday Meetings - Overview


Films and Plates

In earlier years the merits of wet plates and dry plates had been debated, the convenience an dry plates ultimately winning the day.   Now was the time for dry plates to be challenged by films.  Lecture titles included:

-   A Talk on Flexible Films as used in Cameras and Cinematographs 

-  Films v. Plates.

Processing and equipment

Practically none of the lectures dealt with cameras and other photographic equipment. Compared to earlier decades, there were fewer lectures on processing the negative and making the print.  

But interest was developing in colour photography. T Cuthbert Day gave lectures on:

Colour Photography in Theory and Practice for Amateurs and

-  The Reproduction of the Photograph by the Half-Tone Process 
for his subject

Other titles included:

-  Colour Photography - The Joly, Lippmann and Wood processes 

-  Advances in Colour Photography

-  Various Methods of Colour Photography


Travel photography included some new destinations

-   A Summer Holiday in Orkney

-   Alpine Mountaineering in Scotland

-   The Spanish Bull Fight

and a variety of transport

Holidays with Camera and Cycle

-  Yachting Photography

With Motor and Camera in Normandy and Touraine

Nature Photography

By the start of the century, nature photography had arrived.  In 1901, Harold Raeburn gave a lecture:

Birds Nest Photography

 He said:

It is barely ten years ago or so since the camera began to be employed at all usually, in the portrayal of wild animals and birds in their native haunts."  

He spoke of the great difficulties encountered, and how he did not favour using telephoto lenses which increased the chance of vibration - one of the most frequent causes of failure:

"owing to the conditions under which many nest photos must be taken … the camera planted on the topmost boughs of some lofty tree, the quaggy bottom of some reedy lake, or precariously clinging to a very inadequate ledge on a dizzy cliff.

Four years later, Rev H N Bonar gave his lecture:

·      Some Methods of Photographing Wild Birds

The EPS Transactions report that Rev Bonar was awarded a very hearty vote to thanks, and commented that:

"perhaps the most gratifying part of the whole paper is … that the ornithologist may now be a lover of birds and not a slayer of them."

Rev. Bonar listed the following problems that could arise, after finding a suitable site for bird photography:

1.    The apparatus may fail to release the shutter

2.    The light may suddenly change, and give you a wrong exposure

3.    The plate may be spoiled  in developing

4.    The plate may be fogged if the day is very sunny

5.    The plate may be cracked in the holder

6.    You may focus wrongly, or the bird may perch out of focus

7.    The camera may get slewed round a little

8.    The camera may rock with the wind, especially if fixed in a tree

9.    The bird may perch, but fly away too soon 

10.  The bird may perch just outside the area covered by the lens

11.  The bird may spoil the plate with movement

12.  The bird may turn its back to the camera

13.  The bird may be indistinguishable from the background

14.  The bird may never come at all.

Other lectures on birds and animals were:

- Photography as a help to the Study of Ornithology

- Wild Animals as depicted by our Forefathers

Different subjects, and techniques

There is evidence of photography being used for a wider range of subjects:

Photography in Medicine and Surgery

-   The Scientific Value of Photography in Astronomical Investigations

-   Lawn Tennis Photography

X-Ray Photography.

Techniques included:

-   High Speed Photography

-   Night Photography

-   Silhouette Photography

Photography and Fine Art

Interest in Fine Art continued, with usually two evenings each season devoted to the subject.  Titles included:

-   Michael Angelo

-  Composition and Light-and-Shade in Turner’s Liber Studiorum

-   Thoughts Suggested by the Rembrandt Tercentenary.

Debates were to become a regular feature of  the EPS Syllabus in later years   In 1906, the Society debated the question:

- Does Photography find its most artistic Expression in Impressionism?

And finally ….

In 1909, James Baillie, ex-President of the Glasgow & West of Scotland Photographic Association, delivered a lecture entitled:

Mistakes I have Made.

He broke down his mistakes by cause:-

" -  Want of knowledge

   -  Carelessness"

His faults included:

" -  Not buying a thermometer

-  Scratching plates

-  Yellow fog and green fog

- Camera had blown over through not spreading the legs wide enough

-  Difficulty in keeping his focusing cloth on, especially on a blowy day, so he had put button holes in it to fix it to the camera."



EPS Wednesday Meetings - Index