HomeArts & EntertainmentPhotographyOld-school snaps: The photographer capturing the UK on a 130-year-old camera

Old-school snaps: The photographer capturing the UK on a 130-year-old camera

Simon Williams started using the 130-year-old device after getting fed up with the “technological race” for more pixels and sharper images.

His bellow camera helps make landmarks, places and objects near his home in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, look like they are still in the Victorian era.

The former science teacher decided to go back to basics and uses chemicals to create vintage photography on glass plates.

The strict time constraints associated with the medium led him to convert the back of his camper van into a mobile darkroom.

Simon says: “I love to make images that have story, mystery, where not everything is pixel-perfectly-clear.

“I like to make photographs that are true to life – not the synthetic, hyper-real falseness of advertising and over-processed Instagram images.

(Simon Williams/SWNS)

Vandyke Brown Print of Chapel Allerton Windmill

(Simon Williams/SWNS)

(Simon Williams/SWNS)

“I can spend three hours making four images, one of which is useable.

“The process of making an image from a film negative to a cyanotype print from start to finish involves around 50 separate operations.

“So many ways this can go awry – but that is the challenge.”

(Simon Williams/SWNS)

(Simon Williams/SWNS)

(Simon Williams/SWNS)

He added: “I like to use old film and glass plates as they bring imperfections into the image.

“That can communicate more honestly that life isn’t perfect but it can still be beautiful, interesting and have a good story to tell.”


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