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Glass to Digital - re-creating Henry Taunt's photographs of Radley College

Photographs of Radley College by Henry Taunt, Sebastian Aldous, Sam Shepherd, 1880-2016

Henry W Taunt of Oxford was used intermittently by Radley College from at least the 1880s to create a permanent record of the growing school.  A trawl through Taunt’s surviving day books shows that he took over 60 different photographs of the College over a number of years; though Radley has a few extras for which there is no entry.

'Sebastian and I began to take an interest in the project when we were shown the pictures taken by Taunt back in Michaelmas Term 2015.  The idea to recreate these nineteenth-century photos was interesting and with more research we began to appreciate just how much has changed about the school over time. The difference in photographic techniques was also intriguing with our digital cameras being far surpassed in terms of depth of field by Taunt's camera, which was state of the art for its time and used glass plate negatives.  The transition from black and white to colour also really emphasises the time difference between the sets of photos. We attempted to recreate each photo exactly, which was a rather difficult task at first due to some of the changes outside those which are seen within the photos themselves.  However, it was certainly worthwhile and I am proud of the work we have now produced.' 

Sam Shepherd, 2016


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