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Post Info TOPIC: British Photography in WW1


Colonel

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British Photography in WW1
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I am looking to find out about WW1 photography for a diorama idea...

I've seen / heard anecdotal evidence that a lot of British photographers were unofficial - soldiers with a vest pocket camera and a knack for using it.

Did British Forces have official 'war photographers'..? Clearly there were official [news reel] film-makers at the front.

I cannot find any pictorial record of such people though - whether they were press correspondents, uniformed personnel, what sort of equipment they may have used.

Any insight would be most welcome.



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Captain

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This article covers the subject, https://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/30/photos-world-war-i-images-museums-battle-great-war/

The short answer appears to be yes.

jh



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jch


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compound eye wrote:


I am looking to find out about WW1 photography for a diorama idea...

I've seen / heard anecdotal evidence that a lot of British photographers were unofficial - soldiers with a vest pocket camera and a knack for using it.

Did British Forces have official 'war photographers'..? Clearly there were official [news reel] film-makers at the front.

I cannot find any pictorial record of such people though - whether they were press correspondents, uniformed personnel, what sort of equipment they may have used.

Any insight would be most welcome.


 Hi

The book 'Ghosts on the Somme' by Fraser, Robertshaw and Roberts, which is about filming the Battle of the Somme in June and July 1916, has some useful information in.  This includes a photograph (page 14) of one of the cameramen, 'Mac' McDowell, dressed in an officer's uniform but without rank and regimental badges, probably the standard dress for official (civilian) photographers. 

Early in the war ordinary troops were taking photographs, with privately owned small cameras, and at least some of these appeared in their local papers.

The RFC/RAF photographers who had the equipment and developing facilities ready at hand took lots of images.  These were not only of RFC/RAF 'official' or 'unofficial' subjects but also of other scenes, these appear in their albums that are kept in museums (such as the RAF Museum) and sometimes appear at auctions.  They, of course, were wearing full uniform with badges of rank and used issued equipment.

Mike



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Captain

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I found an interesting article on the subject, https://blog.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/the-vest-pocket-kodak-was-the-soldiers-camera/

 

jh



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jch


Lieutenant

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Ernest brooks was the first official war photographer en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Brooks_(photographer)


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Lieutenant-Colonel

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The British army in the early part of WW I passed an order banning the procession of such cameras at the front and ordered soldiers to send them home. Some men mostly officers did not obey this order and continued to take private photos . I think a few men were arrested for illegal camera procession and taking unauthorized photos.

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