The Big Big Camera at Gallery Oldham

Yesterday I visited Gallery Oldham to listen to Artist in Residence and photographer Ian Beesley, and his continuing work with a Hunter Penrose process camera he had found in the basement of the gallery stores. It is huge! 24×24 inches!


I’ve spoken with Ian a couple of times in the past and am always encouraged by his enthusiasm when he talks about his work. Its entertaining and reassuring to hear of other practitioners struggles with ultra large formats especially when it involves fumbling around in the dark in the back of a Transit van…


He has been using 5×4 film set into a grid in the back of the plate holder. I don’t think wet plate collodion would be an option as I’m sure Gallery Oldham wouldn’t be too happy with any silver nitrate staining of this lovely camera.


Ian mentioned his interest in viewing the negative, and I have to agree sometimes this can draw greater attention than viewing the positive.


Whilst I was there I took a few quick pics of the underneath of the base, just to see how many parts I’m missing on the smaller project one I have at the studio.



This blown up banner was pretty impressive. It was great to meet up with Mikey and Dan for a pint or two, and to see Michelle & Alex (and baby) and Jonathan there as well. Thats five wet platers in one room at one time. Surely a record and a testament to the popularity and resurgence of analogue processes in the North West.


Thank you Ian for a very enjoyable talk. And I will be returning to Gallery Oldham in daylight hours to have a good look around as I’d not been before.