Last month I completed the photography of the John Lewis Printing Collection, held at MERL (the Museum of English Rural Life). I began the photography in December 2016 and finished it last month. Twenty thousand individual items mounted onto 1900 display sheets contained within 87 boxes – led to one year of photography.
A small number of items are on display currently at MERL but here is a brief description of the collection.
The collection consists of examples of printing, printing ephemera and advertisements, beginning with leaves from early printed books of the 1470s, through many aspects of decorative and commercial printing, down to specimens of fine printing from private presses and from the Royal College of Art, where both John Lewis and Berthold Wolpe lectured in the 1970s. It is grouped under 80 main headings and many of these are again subdivided. But here are just some of those catalogues.
Royal College of Art: c1950-
Engraved & printed titles & dedications for atlases : c1500-
Royalty : c1800-
Politics : c1800-
War, soldiers : c1800-
Music : c1750-
Soap advertisements : 1880-1910
Not only were the items photographed, they were catalogued and importantly conserved – what a group effort!
Photography Review 2017 by Bennetto Photography captures many of the photoshoots from the year including the Cliveden Literary Festival, Vodafone Enterprise Conference, TSBE Electric Vehicle conference, Being Human Festival, Notcutts Annual Conference, portraits, objects, locations and more…
What a brilliantly varied and enjoyable year it has been. I am very grateful to all my clients for inviting me into their world in order for me to digitise it forever. I am very fortunate to have had so many exciting projects, unfortunately not all shoots have been added to the video, sorry if yours didn’t make it into the final cut. It’s not easy cutting down 12 months of work into 3 minutes and 36 seconds!
All photographs and video editing was by Bennetto Photography. Music by bensound.com
I’ve just completed an exciting project photographing old and antique objects in the studio. They included an original 1930’s wooden Mickey Mouse, a three owls brooch, a lead bear, scent bottles, porcelain figurines and a teddy bear named Dill.
It was intricate and painstaking getting the right lighting, reflections, shadows, highlights on each item so tiny changes made massive differences in the results. However, I ended up with a brilliant set of images (if I do say so myself). You know you’ve been working too much on your own when you start talking to a teddy bear – don’t worry, Dill has been returned to his owner safely and I have returned to talking to myself!
I had such a lovely time photographing St Giles’ Church, Reading. I’ve had access to areas and artefacts never photographed before: inside the church steeple, the clock workings and above the bells to name a few. It’s been a real insight into a truly remarkable building, it’s people and it’s history.
St Giles’ was one of the three original parish churches, along with St Mary’s and St Laurence’s serving the medieval borough of Reading. Original parts of the church date back to the 12th century: Richard I (Richard the Lionheart) was the reigning monarch at the time. In 1539, John Eynon, the then priest of St Giles’, was found guilty of high treason and along with Hugh Cook Faringdon, the abbot of Reading Abbey, was hanged in front of the abbey gateway (reigning monarch at that time was Henry VIII).
As reported by the BBC, the University has found incredibly rare printed pages by William Caxton believed to date from the 1470s. The only other pages from this book known to be in existence are eight leaves held by the British Library. I photographed Erika Delbecque, special collections librarian at the University along with the 500 year old printed pages. It’s good to see the images on the BBC!
The pages will go on public display from 10 to 30 May at the Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading.
To read the full BBC article online visit: BBC: Incredibly rare William Caxton prints found
175 years in the making… The British inventor of photography, William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877), produced his first ‘photogenic drawings’ in 1834. Talbot created accurate images of the world, i.e. trees and leaves, through mechanical and chemical means.
Some 175 years later and here are my modern versions of Talbot’s leaf images: the leaf images were supplied by the University of Reading’s Herbarium. With thanks to Alistair Culham. I tried to capture the colour, texture and background found on Talbot’s originals but in electronic form, utilising the natural world in the backgrounds too.
The prints are displayed at the Museum of English Rural Life, Reading.
The Huffington Post quiz: identify bizarre MERL items : ‘What are these historical contraptions?’ All objects are from the Museum of English Rural Life, in Reading which has just reopened after a major refurbishment.
Ten items to identify in total: my featured image is either 1. a bee inseminator, 2. carrier pigeon tattoo kit, 3. cow ear punch or 4. de-lousing kit. But I cheated and asked when I photographed the items. Of course, I asked – wouldn’t you? See the article and quiz at: Huffington Post Quiz