Lyme Regis photography student turns back the clock

Woodroffe School pupil Ed Low

Woodroffe School pupil Ed Low

First published in News Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Photograph of the Author by

WITH the advent of digital cameras, everyone’s a photographer these days.

But final year university student Ed Low from Thorncombe has turned his back on modern technology to embrace a form of photography thought revolutionary – back in the 1850s.

The former Woodroffe student is studying photography at Bath School of Art and Design and for his final year project is focusing on characters living and working along the Jurassic coast using wet plate photography.

He will be chemically developing images on glass plates on- site moments after the image is taken.

To do this he will be setting up his transformed military 12x12 tent as a darkroom on the beach in Lyme Regis on Saturday, December 14 and Sunday 15 and is offering people the chance to have their portraits taken the old-fashioned way.

His is not a cheap project so Ed is hoping to raise £2,000 towards the costs.

To do that he is offering sponsors incentives in the form of free genuine prints from the giant camera, a copy of a book he is producing and an invitation to a private viewing of his exhibition.

He also wants to get local schools involved.

He said: “It is my aim to bring the hard working folk of the Jurassic Coast into the spotlight and give them the recognition that they deserve.

“I will be using what is called the collodion wet plate process, a process unfamiliar to most in the 21st century.

“It was invented by Frederic Scott Archer and first introduced in the 1850s. Due to technological advances over the decades, wet plate photography is fast becoming a distant memory.

“It’s hard to explain just how clear, crisp and vibrant these images will be. I am aiming to revive this beautifully honest way of taking photographs at the same time as giving the people of the Jurassic coast their spot in history.

“When you stand inside the tent and open the lens you are able to see the world in a whole new way.

“The sheer size of the camera means I can create images more than ten times the size of A4.”

At the end of the project Ed hopes to bring out a book featuring his work. As well as financial help, Ed would love suggestions on who deserves to be recorded for posterity.

He can be emailed on 12x12photographic@gmail.com or called on 07542 418274.

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