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Discussion in 'Web Sites of Interest' started by AGW, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    Most folk are probably aware of the importance that Edinburgh has played in the develpoment of photography.... I still managed to find this site particularly interesting....
    a good compendium....

  2. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    Yes,Graeme, Peter is a font of all knowledge when it comes to photographic history and a nice bloke to boot. I first came across him during my brief membership of the Edinburgh Photographic Society some years ago and continue to bump into him around the city - we exchange the odd email, I'm always flattered when he emails me on matters of local history (photographic or otherwise) :eek:

  3. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    I might need to track him down and have a word.
    At my dads 80th the other day I was talking to his younger brother (ha!), they were brought up close to the Bellford Bridge. Basically we were having one of those geneology conversations. I transpires that my great uncle was a keen AP and his remaining photos, along with the older family snaps, have been handed in to Chambers Street.
    I need to sort out an apointment at the museum to go and have a rake through them all. Apparently the oldest relative that there is a photo of, was born in 1779! She is very old in the print and it looks like her head has been stuck though a whole in a painting (presumably to remove the risk of movement.) It was then that my dad chipped in "och yes, those old glass sheets, there were loads of them, I even made a greehouse out of them..." Arrgh.

    So, photographic trip to Edinburgh comming up this spring!

  4. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    Hi Graeme,
    Chambers Street (i.e. The location of The National Museum of Scotland for those of you unfamiliar with Edinburgh) sounds a bit odd to me, would have thought the National Library of Scotland (around the corner on George IV Bridge) would have been the place - they recently bought two photograph albums originally produced by the Edinburgh Calotype Club. Hope you have a receipt for the photographs!

    It wouldn't do any harm to drop Peter an email - he certainly seems to know his way around the various archives in Edinburgh and if your great uncle was a member of the Edinburgh Photographic Society (founded 1861) he should be able to check their archives as well.

    Belford Bridge - walked over it and under it many times :)

  5. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    Thanks for steering me in the direction of that link. My uncle was adamant that it was the NMS that he had handed to prints on to. He even gave me the name of a curatior who I should contact. I think the oldest pic is a calotype...so it was most likely taken by one of the folk in the link...Now where is my pipe and deer-stalker!

  6. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    Belford Excellent stuff...used to play in the Mill in the foreground before it blew and turned into a hotel!

  7. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    . . . and the orphanage in the background, now the Dean Gallery, hosted the Cartier-Bresson exhibition last year, and over the wall is the Dean Cemetery where D O Hill , painter and pioneer photographer is buried.


    The bust is by Amelia Paton, his second wife, who also produced some of the figures on The Scott Monument and was the first woman in Britain to get a public commission - she did the statue of Livingstone which stands next to the Scott Monument. Amazing what you pick up when you just wander around with a camera ;)

  8. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    My Gran and Grandad are in the Dean Cemetery....And I was born next door to Livingstone's birthplace at Blantyre....this world is a very small place...why do you bother with all that walking!

  9. Happy Hen

    Happy Hen Well-Known Member

    I also had a one year membership of the Edinburgh Photographic Society in 1979/1980 and I used the black and white darkroom for all my printing (until I got my own darkroom equipment). I also used the studio once but unknown to me the big wooden tripod that was there at the time had a long tripod screw fitted and I screwed this right up into my new Nikon FM without realising and I had to take it back to Edinburgh Cameras in Lothian Road who sent it to Nikon under warranty and I got my camera back 9 weeks later repaired free of charge.
    I can remember to be a member of the EPS then which I had a door key and access to all the facilities there cost me £15 for a year. Looking at the EPS website posted above it would now cost me £145 made up as follows....

    Ordinary Member £55
    Darkroom Fee £36
    Studio Fee £36
    Initial Enrolment Fee (includes entry keycard) £20
  10. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    All things considered it doesnt seem that bad....for Edinburgh!

  11. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    As soon as I acquired a film scanner I stopped using the darkroom, I doubt if many actually used them back then anyway (around 1992 to 1998-ish and my fees were around £70 IIRC). I'd pop in every 5 or 6 weeks and spend 2 or 3 hours in the darkroom, there were 4 cubicles with enlargers and I never saw anyone else there. When I started getting that deja vu feeling during the Wednesday evening talks I reckoned the money would be better spent on film :eek:

    If you make use of the facilities on a regular basis then it probably is good value - and you do mix with a better class of photographer :eek: They had at least one Lord and several JP's on the books :cool:

    As the EPS owns the premises I wonder what they'd do if they ever decided to call it a day? Three floors in Edinburgh New Town, probably worth around £750,000 :eek:

  12. Happy Hen

    Happy Hen Well-Known Member

    I joined the EPS in 1979 only to get use of the black and white darkroom facilities and like you say Alan, most times there was no-one else in there. When the occasional person did pop in then it was company, but what I found interesting is that people used to go in at all hours of the day or night and do their processing.
    For people not familiar with the EPS they own a sizeable building in Great King Street, Edinburgh (round the corner from Tiffanys Discoteque in St Stephens Street circa 1979-80 changed to Cinderella Rockafellas or something like that in early 1980's) but all members then had a front door key and you could use the facilities there anytime you wanted. The studio you booked by writing in the appointments book and how long you wanted it. The library next door was open anytime and so were the darkrooms a big B&W one and a small colour one and there was a small kitchen and the meeting room for well ... meetings.
    Those were the days.
    I stopped going (I lived at Corstorphine and I had to get the bus) when I bought my Durst M305K enlarger and other equipment and set up in my bedroom.
    Glad to hear it is still going.

    I used to get all my darkroom supplies at Edinburgh Cameras in Lothian Road they had an excellent stock of darkroom supplies upstairs on their first floor display area.
    At that time there were not many photography shops in Edinburgh, Edinburgh Cameras had 2 branches one did secondhand only.
    Lizars at the West End who for some reason closed on a Saturday lunchtime and missed the Saturday afternoon shoppers.
    There was a large shop just off Princes Street called Watsons but it was not there very long that I remember.
    Elena Mae in Princes Street did sell cameras etc but they closed.
    Hamilton Tait in Corstorphine and Bruntsfield did more consumer stuff ie Kodak cameras etc and the odd Fujica SLR.
    Youngs Cameras at Haymarket was a good shop as well I think they are still there, though the name Murray comes to mind so whether they used to be called Murrays or I could be having a senior moment as Carolyn calls it :eek:.
    If there any camera shops that I have missed from that pre Jessops era then maybe someone will correct me.
  13. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    Hi Billy,
    I remember all the places you've mentioned, including Cinderella Rockafellas which burnt down in the 80's and was replaced by some very nice sandstone flats.

    I don't use the photo shops in Edinburgh all that much except for chemicals and then its either Jessops in Shandwick Place or Lizars across the road if its a weekday! Lizar's 'consumables' are on the first floor - really a stock room with a counter as you go in, if there's another customer already there then you're struggling to get in the door :eek: The old bloke there's usually having a mug of coffee whenever I go in, and you always get a handwritten receipt :cool:

    Young's is still there on Morrison Street and always looks empty, they still sell secondhand film gear - mostly Canon, Nikon or Olympus from what I saw yesterday on my way past.

    Edinburgh Cameras are no longer on Lothian Road, I think they've moved to Bruntsfield or it might be a completely different shop altogether! From what i can tell most folk buying cameras from a shop seem to use Jessops or John Lewis!

  14. Happy Hen

    Happy Hen Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update Alan, for me when I lived in Edinburgh I would say that Edinburgh Cameras and Youngs would be my favourite camera shops.
    I have just done a search on yell.com and found 11 camera shops in Edinburgh including a very good one that I forgot about called Castle Photographic on the Mound just off royal mile.
  15. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    Forgot about that one myself - and I pass it every weekend! Worth stopping just for the (weird and wonderful) window display!

  16. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I didn't even know that Lizars had an upstairs! :eek:
  17. Happy Hen

    Happy Hen Well-Known Member

    All I can remember about the inside of Lizars was I think there was a counter on the right that had all the photo stuff behind and a counter on the left that sold everything else such as pairs of spectacles etc, but I had only been in there once about 25 years ago.
  18. Jaded

    Jaded Well-Known Member

    I didn't join the EPS for darkroom facilities, I had the choice of the University darkrooms, off South Clerk Street from what I remember, the use of the darkrooms in the South Clerk Street Edinburgh Cameras (kindly offered, but never used by me as..) I also had use of the Edinburgh University Student Newspaper darkroom, as I was their photographer. It was in Buccleuch Street, and was great as I could leave my kit there. The only downside was one night I was working in there late and got locked in the building. I had to force a window at the back and climb over walls until I was in The Meadows!!
  19. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    Yes, but access isn't through the main shop, you go in by what looks like a 'common stair' door next to the shop and inside its really just a storeroom. They certainly keep a better range of chemicals than Jessops across the street but the downside for me is that they only keep this part of the shop open Monday to Friday and I think they close for lunch!


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