Portraits 2017-07-14T09:23:28+00:00

Portraits

Replying to an ad in the Personal Column of The Times in 1961, I met Dorothy Wilding who gave me my only lessons in photography. A small, sparkling, patient lady, Miss Wilding had sold her business and was bored to tears in retirement. She received myself and another student in a makeshift studio set up in her elegant Mayfair mews house. She taught us her technique with plate camera, lighting and posing the subject, very much inspired (as she recounted) from the way movie stars were lit in the early days of the cinema. For retouching of the plates, we were sent to a retired colleague of Miss Wilding’s in Putney; for darkroom technique, Walter Bird had been persuaded to arrange for his assistant to teach us in the basement of his studio in Queensgate. Although subsequently I have made no studio portraits, the experience with Dorothy Wilding was invaluable.