local history

release notes (non-Java)

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When viewing transparencies on a lightbox, proper assessment can only be made when they are masked down with black card to exclude extraneous light spillage. When projecting transparencies on a screen, the best results are achieved with a total blackout in the room.

The images in this gallery section are displayed on your computer monitor by transmitted light, and so we treat them as we would transparencies. The black background is like turning the lights off for a slide show, and if you maximise your browser window, the black area masks off the rest of your desktop, exactly like you would do on a lightbox.


The optimum camera position for this entrancing spot was very close to the water, so I levelled the tripod head and made two separate exposures, portrait format on 5 x 4", panning the camera inbetween.

The two scans were then blended together in Photoshop to give me the full angle of view of the 90mm wide-angle in both dimensions.

Fairy Glen

Camera movements are often used when working with 5 x 4" format to incline the plane of focus so that sharpness is obtained from the foreground to the background.

Here, the lens plane is also swung left to right, deliberately making the edges soft and so creating a tunnel of sharp focus from the tiny orchid in the foreground to the mighty mountain in the distance.

Motion blur from the wind in the grass combines with the blur from the camera movements to give a really wind-swept feel.

Muckish Mountain

Margaret was asked to do this for a friends' CD cover & booklet.

Old photographs that the singer supplied were photocopied onto acetate, and dropped into gelatin with food dyes, which was then set in the 'fridge, turned out onto glass, and photographed from below, backlit, on 5 x 4" format.

At the time Margaret was doing quite a few "jelly sculptures", and I would often go into the 'fridge late at night and find a surprise!


This photograph was taken last summer on the coast at Portnablagh, near Dunfanaghy. The archway comes from the church at Raymuntardinney (see picture). The text is from Psalm 139, a personal favourite.

I chose the image of sea because it is mentioned in the next line of the Psalm, and the arch represents the journey, the passing through from one place to another.


The subject of this portrait was playing violin in the Edinburgh Festival, and wanted a publicity shot that made a visual reference to his nickname.

The violin on which he performed belonged originally to Paganini, who was used to giving recitals in churches dimly lit with candles. He had an extremely fast and high-stepping bowing action which, in the candlelight, occasionally gave the appearance of another ghostly hand upon his shoulder. For that reason Paganini, and by association, our subject, became known as "The Devil's Fiddler".

The ghostly green skin tones and psychedelic sky were both achieved in-camera using Kodak Ektachrome Infra-red film, process E-4, and a neutral grey wedge over the sky.

The Devil's Fiddler
Always ask before taking someone's picture - whether they are familiar or a stranger; that's my advice. Especially in the case of our lady here, who is homeless, as you are already in her house.
Angel of Haarlem

The band in question were releasing an EP called "Terrorise", and wished to look suitably menacing on the photo. Margaret came up with the idea of making them look like "wanted" posters.

The original portraits were done with a Nikon with the lens taken off and hand-held to a 5 x 4" camera with the back taken off. That way, I could shift the focus so that just the eyes were sharp, making them look extra shifty. The B+W prints were then photocopied to A2 and roughly stuck to corrugated card, which was then tied up in strategic locations around Glasgow, Scotland, and re-photographed on medium-format transparency. As a final touch, the four final transparencies were then re-photographed onto 5 x 4" transparency to deliberately show the edges of the film.