I chose to spend the day honouring my father by restoring more Beattie glass plate negatives. I shot about 20 today, all of Port Arthur. The amazing thing about this batch is that they seem to be Anson Brothers originals of Port Arthur when it was still operating as a prison. I found a few dated 1860. John Beattie is often credited on these photos but he didn't arrive in Tasmania until 1878 so they can't have been his as Port Arthur closed in 1877.
These images have been re-printed numerous times. But actually holding the piece of glass that captured the image back in 1860 has a special privilege. I constantly aim to bring out as much detail as possible, whilst restoring these images in a contemporary style. My black and white toning is more reminiscent of Ansel Adams perhaps than Beattie. And that's how I bring these photos to a modern audience, whilst honouring my ancestors.
Best Wishes to all Fathers today.
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The Beatties Studio blog will provide some behind the scenes information on the studio, the collection of historic old Tasmanian photographs and the digitising process.