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

Walter S. Pitt’s images had been used as an example Malcolm Smith’s seminal guide, The British Amphibians and Reptiles printed by Collins within the New Naturalist sequence in 1951. Pitt’s images additionally appeared in magazines on aquaria and there’s 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 may need been a gifted beginner photographer. However I might discovered nothing additional. I requested if anyone had info in a publish on right here on 22 February 2018. A few days in the past the President of Tub 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 this time, by probability whereas in search of 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 marketing consultant 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 kids.

Affirmation that this was the Walter Pitt I used to be in search of has additionally appeared since I did the searches in 2018. On eBay at current is a clipping from a 1946 difficulty 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 Better Black-backed Gull alighting on a rock. From the caption the main points 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/one 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 unique images 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 ability acquired by Walter Pitt.

*The digicam is attention-grabbing. The adverse measurement reveals that’s will need to have been an Exakta 6×6, a digicam that solely turned out there in Germany every week or so earlier than the outbreak of warfare. 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 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. As a way to use the shutter pace he did (to seize the hen in flight) it will need to have been a shiny if not absolutely sunlit day when he encountered the gull.


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