I'm pleased to have 3 new retouchers join the team; John D, Jim D and Scott. This makes 5 professionals plus myself. I have to use initials now as we have 2 Johns and 2 Jims.
The retouching of all 5000 photos is a job I never realised would be so big. I didn't spend as much time as I should have at the studio when it was running full time. I never learned how to develop these historic glass plates and make stunning prints. I never learned the retouching ("spotting" they called it) with a brush, inks and bleach. And I certainly never learned hand colouring.
When I asked my brother, William, about this, he smiled and said he gets into a sort of meditation and just spots with the brush, away with his thoughts for hours at a time. And that's how long it takes. Hours. And they did (and he still does) this for each print made. Every copy was hand retouched. Each one a hand crafted piece of art.
So those of you with hand coloured photos by Beatties Studio, including the hundreds of copies of the Tasman Bridge, please take a moment to appreciate the individual work you own. No two are identical, but all are perfect. I've honoured these old time retouchers and colourists before, from Miss Grislingham, Heather Brown and the others that have passed to the last 3 (that I know of) left alive; Betty Roberts, Mrs H and of course my brother William.
At least in the digital world, we only have to retouch the photo once. Then the copies are identical.