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John Bartlett ARPS
My interest in photography began at the age of 12 when I solved a friend’s failure to develop panchromatic films by suggesting turning off the red light in the school dark room. Discussing this with my grandmother, I discovered my great grand father had been a pioneer in photography. From the attic she produced a 1/4 plate Shew Xit (1895) camera, boxes of unexposed plates, chemicals and so on and a portable darkroom. Working with his notes and the instructions on the packets all, dating from the first decade of the twentieth century, I took my early photographs.
Two years later I spent all my savings on a Kodak Retina 1 camera, built an enlarger, organized a school photographic society and paid for my interest by selling photographs – subjects included school plays photographed using flash powder or burning magnesium strip made on a lathe from unexploded incendiary bombs.
My professional life as a neurosurgeon left little time for photography but with the hospital photographic department several films were made, one winning bronze award in the Blithe and BMA Film and Video competition. My ARPS panel illustrated an aspect of the work in the neurosurgical unit. Now retired, I have had three exhibitions with my focus towards landscape.
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