Cumbria

Glass plate camera captures Lake District crags

Chris Fisher on Cam Crag Image copyright Henry Iddon
Image caption Climber Chris Fisher on "Nowt Burra Fleein' thing", Cam Crag, Wasdale

A photographer has followed in the footsteps of a pair of pioneers from the 1900s - almost literally.

Henry Iddon clambered up some of England's highest mountains to capture images of the landscape and climbers using a Victorian glass plate camera.

The large camera originally belonged to the pioneers of landscape and climbing photography, George and Ashley Abraham.

The Lake District images are on display at Keswick Museum and Art Gallery until 12 May.

Image copyright Henry Iddon
Image caption The Underwood "Instanto" camera, dating from 1890, uses glass negative measuring 10in by 12in

Mr Iddon said: "With mobile phone cameras and Instagram, photography has become something very immediate, something that is easy to do with little thought.

"Professional photographers can take thousands of photos on a shoot and later edit the best ones to make them perfect.

Image copyright Henry Iddon
Image caption Leah Crane on "Tourniquet" on the Giant Stone, Little Font, Kentmere

"That sort of technology wasn't available to the Abraham brothers.

"Firstly, the camera and equipment were much, much bulkier and heavier than their modern-day counterparts. They had to be carried up some of England's biggest mountains to get the necessary shots.

Image copyright Henry Iddon
Image caption Posts, Ard Crag, Newlands

"When they had climbed the mountain, they then had to be very careful with the way they prepared the shot.

"They were extremely limited with the number of photographs they could take - the glass plates the camera used were heavy so they could only take a handful with them on each expedition."

Image copyright Henry Iddon
Image caption Pete Gunn on "Full Frontal" in Armathwaite

He added: "It is amazing to think that over 100 years ago rock-climbing was in its infancy, yet with this camera, the Abraham brothers were instigating a whole new genre of photography.

"It's a real privilege to take that process full circle and shoot the extreme sports of today with a camera that was doing the same thing in the late 1890s."

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