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 guide, The British Amphibians and Reptiles revealed by Collins within the New Naturalist collection in 1951. Pitt’s pictures additionally appeared in magazines on aquaria and there’s point out that he was the recipient of one among first 4 Amazon sword crops 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 may discovered nothing additional. I requested if anyone had data in a publish 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 may discover—who was a member of that Society in 1888. As we speak, by likelihood whereas on the lookout for any person else, I discovered that Walter S. Pitt was a member of the Avicultural Society and that his tackle was listed. A search in ancestry.com 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 advisor 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 situation 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 Higher Black-backed Gull alighting on a rock. From the caption the small print of the digital camera 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 guide, survive anyplace?

Lastly, a few of the color plates by Pitt from Malcolm Smith’s guide. The newts had been photographed in an aquarium, one other photographic talent acquired by Walter Pitt.

*The digital camera is fascinating. The damaging dimension reveals that’s will need to have been an Exakta 6×6, a digital camera that solely turned obtainable in Germany per week or so earlier than the outbreak of warfare. My guess is it got here to U.Ok. 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 giant 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 growing 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 ranking of Ilford HP3 movie was the equal of roughly 250 ASA. With a purpose to use the shutter velocity he did (to seize the fowl in flight) it will need to have been a shiny if not absolutely sunlit day when he encountered the gull.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *