View Full Version : Explain this Photograph...

Stephen Frizza
06-11-2010, 08:30 AM
This image of Edinburgh was created by aerial photographer Alfred Buckham in 1920. Is anyone familiar with his works does anyone know how it was printed? did he retouch these himself? If any one here knows anything about his production info I'de love to hear about it. Im liking the the craftsmanship behind his work.

06-11-2010, 09:45 AM
The Buckham website is pretty good http://www.alfredbuckham.co.uk/ it says his career was in the photographic section of the Royal Naval Air Service. I think he printed. There is also info and a collection at the National Galleries of Scotland. Amazing photographs, it seems he was pretty fascinated with clouds...EC

06-11-2010, 10:02 AM
This photograph is awesome. I don't know how he did it but I wonder if it's done with masking and multiple exposures in the darkroom like Jerry Uelsmann?

Stephen Frizza
06-11-2010, 10:06 AM
This photograph is awesome. I don't know how he did it but I wonder if it's done with masking and multiple exposures in the darkroom like Jerry Uelsmann?

Thats exactly what im wondering! Ide love to know this techniques LOL

06-11-2010, 10:12 AM
Although I'm not a resident of Edinburgh, i think this has got to be a montage.

Arthur's Seat (if my memory serves me) is farther away and to the left of the Castle than this shot shows which may be why there's some "haze" around it from the dodging/burning?

Still, it's an awesome shot though, i'd love to have the visualisation to pull something like that together.


06-11-2010, 12:26 PM
that's incredible! and before the days of photoshop, even more so. wowwwww, thanks for sharing!

06-11-2010, 01:12 PM
Yes this could be done in photoshop today. But I think doing it in an analog fashion involves a lot more thought and understanding of the materials one is working with. Doing digitally you're just working with something that is virtual. The difference between the two is craftsmanship. But both take imagination and execution.

06-11-2010, 02:05 PM
At first glance, it almost looks too perfect to be a photograph. I almost thought that it was a lith, plate print, or some kind of drawing or such. Great work, and I have to vote on the multiple exposure/print theory. Even though it is a photograph, it still seems too perfect to be from one singe frame. He def was a great printer.

06-11-2010, 02:30 PM
A big percentage of his photographs have another plane in the picture, must be a montage, two moving planes and everything is sharp???..EC

06-11-2010, 02:38 PM
Here is a quote from the National Gallery; "The R100 embarked on its maiden flight in 1929 but in 1930 it was deflated and removed from service following the crash of her sister ship, the R101, with the loss of forty-eight lives. Buckham painted the airship into the scene by hand".

Adrian Twiss
06-12-2010, 02:40 AM
According the the National Gallery of Scotland (who hold a number of his prints) in many cases he hand painted other aircaraft into the picture. I am not sure whether this was onto the negative or the print itself. He was certainly a superb craftsman as well as having balls of titanium. He crashed nine times during his career. The most serious crash cost him his voice box and killed the pilot.

06-16-2010, 03:20 PM
I'm cursed with a "buy with one click" account at Amazon and after seeing Buckham's photographs bought "A Vision of Flight: The Aerial Photography of Alfred G. Buckham" only about $20.00 US...EC

06-16-2010, 05:34 PM
Like mpirie I too am not a native of Edinburgh but have visited several times and as recently as March this year. Edinburgh from this height hasn't changed much since the twenties and I'd go further than mpirie and say that the whole picture looks wrong for Edinburgh in its orientation except for maybe Arthur's Seat in the background. It is spectacular however and he needs acknowledgement as a forerunner of Jerry Uelsmann.

I think the manipulation goes further than simply transposing another sky with a biplane in it onto a simple aerial shot of central Edinburgh.