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Who was the photographer of British Amphibians and Reptiles, Walter S. Pitt?…continued


    Walter S. Pitt’s pictures had been used as an example Malcolm Smith’s seminal e-book, The British Amphibians and Reptiles printed by Collins within the New Naturalist collection in 1951. Pitt’s pictures additionally appeared in magazines on aquaria and there may be point out that he was the recipient of one in every of first 4 Amazon sword vegetation to be imported into Britain. He was a member of the Zoological Photographic Membership which led me to suspect he might need been a gifted beginner photographer. However I might discovered nothing additional. I requested if anyone had info in a submit on right here on 22 February 2018. A few days in the past the President of Bathtub Photographic Society contacted me to say our W.S. Pitt was unlikely to be the W.S. Pitt—the one chance I might discover—who was a member of that Society in 1888. At the moment, by probability whereas on the lookout for any person else, I discovered that Walter S. Pitt was a member of the Avicultural Society and that his handle was listed. A search in quickly confirmed who he was.

    Walter Sydney Pitt was born on 19 November 1900 at 15 Portland Place London. His father was a doctor, a guide at Man’s Hospital. Walter Pitt turned a solicitor within the metropolis (Pontifex, Pitt and Langham of Holborn Circus). He lived in Surrey at ‘Wildwood’, Silverdale Avenue, Walton-on-Thames. He died on 21 February 1983. It seems that he and his spouse, Muriel Evelyn Gillard, had no youngsters.

    Affirmation that this was the Walter Pitt I used to be on the lookout for has additionally appeared since I did the searches in 2018. On eBay at current is a clipping from a 1946 concern Rural Affairs Journal. The caption to the {photograph} reveals that Pitt gained second prize (and £2) in a photographic competitors for {a photograph} of a Larger Black-backed Gull alighting on a rock. From the caption the small print of the digicam he was utilizing are given. It’s described as an Exacta 2¼ x 2¼ fitted with a 8¼ inch Cooke Aviar lens. The movie was Ilford HP3  and the publicity 1/a thousandth second at f/4.5*.

    Having recognized Walter Sydney Pitt as a gifted beginner photographer, aquarist and aviculturist, the query now’s, do his authentic pictures which illustrated so well-known a e-book, survive anyplace?

    Lastly, among the color plates by Pitt from Malcolm Smith’s e-book. The newts had been photographed in an aquarium, one other photographic talent acquired by Walter Pitt.

    *The digicam is attention-grabbing. The unfavourable measurement reveals that’s will need to have been an Exakta 6×6, a digicam that solely turned accessible in Germany every week or so earlier than the outbreak of struggle. My guess is it got here to U.Okay. with a serviceman a while in 1945 and that Pitt was making an attempt it out. The lens was a well-known Cooke Aviar 210 mm lens made for big format cameras by Taylor, Taylor & Hobson in Leicester. The Exakta’s roll movie would have captured simply the centre of the picture projected by the lens, thereby rising its obvious focal size. Some particular becoming will need to have been made to adapt the lens to the lens mount of the Exakta. On the time of Pitt’s {photograph}, the score of Ilford HP3 movie was the equal of roughly 250 ASA. So as to use the shutter velocity he did (to seize the hen in flight) it will need to have been a vibrant if not absolutely sunlit day when he encountered the gull.