Diary of Bewdley Glass Plate Project

page 3


On way home took photo of Wribbenhall, as there was a photo of the spot  in box A. Interesting to compare.


3rd April

Now I am part way through the scanning - just completed box B. It may well be the Chambers collection. A note within identifies many of the places. Plates 34 and 35 are different. They are labelled 'A. D. Chambers, bike & dog'. He looks very like the person third from left in box A 24. I"m wrong, they're not a group of railway employees at all. And the man standing beside and to the left of A.D., (I'm sure it's him), is a minister. A close look at another photo in this box reveals a further clue. B1 is labelled 'K-Canal basin,with cart'.  St. Mary's Church fills the background. But it is the wording on the  loaded cart in the foreground which catches my eye; 'Chambers & Son Coal Merchants Kidderminster'.

9th April

I have completed the scanning of this batch which I now believe is a part of Chambers work. They are  B, C D  and F. It happened that way.  I have now done about 200 plates, some scanned first go but most took  two or three attempts to get the right exposure. The house opposite  must wonder why the blinds at one window keep moving. The slats are my light control. In the morning if it is very sunny extra spots of light come through the gaps where the cords go so I have to hold a sheet of tracing paper over the scanner to diffuse the light evenly. It's not straightforward. But when it is right a good scan is a pleasure to see. 

Yet each box is not like a box of slides you would get from Kodak; all shots from one film. These are not chronological, and the glass is not all the same thickness.

After each scan I go into Photoshop and click the invert button to change from negative to positive. If the result is too dark I have to darken the room; close the blinds. Yes darken to make lighter and vice-versa. Then I must remember each time to flip the image. Sometimes I forget. I'm reminded if there are men in the scene; jacket buttons on the right. It is remarkable just how detailed the results are. I can enlarge and see clearly distant objects. The best example is the scene in Kidderminster looking down on a row of shops. Magnify. There is a shopkeeper and his sign tells me it's T Bennett. A 44. I wonder what the exposure was, and note the horse and cart on this picture moving, and blurred. I can see why no one smiles; keeping a serious face still is so much easier than freezing a smile. Did they have good teeth?

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