Thursday, 18 December 2014

Soap film photographs #1

Further to the previous post - Professor Boys' Rainbow Cup and other marvels - this evening I made a trial attempt at photographing soap films. This was just using the usual Canon Ixus pocket camera, handheld, looking at a detergent film in the handle of a bottle-opener. The setup is dark background, and strong reflected light.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Professor Boys' Rainbow Cup and other marvels

More on bubbles... A recent post at Ptak Science Books - Bubble Aeronautics - put me in mind of a book from childhood: RM Abraham's Easy-to-do entertainments and diversions: With cards, string, coins, paper, and matches (Dover Books, c. 1962). It had a good section on experiments with bubbles, with a recipe for soap solution that "for the best effect ... should be made according to the following formula recommended by Professor Boys".

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Diamonds in the sky

I don't normally enthuse about adverts, but this current Sony 4K "Ice Bubbles" one, showing soap bubbles freezing in cold air, is very pretty, though I'm not sure quite what to make of it.

Mount Misery

Mount Misery is another interesting topographical poem from the 1860 The Vecta Garland, and Isle of Wight souvenir. A number of locations have this name: notably the highest points of St Kitts (renamed Mount Liamuiga on its independence in 1983) and of West Point Island in the Falklands). Midlane's Mount Misery, however, isor rather wasonly a mile and a half north-east of Newport.

Monday, 8 December 2014

The Dropping Rock

similar elsewhere
Another Blank, Missing and Empty Thing, and in fact another rock that's disappeared from history: the Dropping Rock, a spring that was formerly a fixture of St George's Down, near Blackwater, a couple of miles south of Newport, Isle of Wight. It's the subject of one of the poems in Albert Midlane's 1860 The Vecta Garland, and Isle of Wight souvenir.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Albert Midlane's Vecta Garland

Looking for topographical images of the Isle of Wight Undercliff (in the search, so far unsuccessful, of finding an identifiable image of Gore Cliff at the location of Chad's Rock prior to the 1853 blasting) led to me an illustrated poetry anthology The Vecta Garland, and Isle of Wight souvenir, by Albert Midlane.

Friday, 5 December 2014

The timeline of Chad's Rock

Another post inspired by the interesting category History of Blank, Missing and Empty Things at John Ptak's blog Ptak Science Books: the fate of "Chad's Rock" (aka Chad Rock), a picturesque monolith on the Isle of Wight Undercliff that regularly appears in paintings and photos of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but which no longer exists.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Isle of Wight: Heaton Cooper / Hope Moncrieff guide

Another nice example of what's findable on the Internet: the fairly rare 1908 A&C Black guide, Isle of Wight. The text is by Ascott Robert Hope Moncrieff (1846-1927), a regular contributor to the Black's Guide stable, but also a prolific writer of gung-ho adventure stories for boys. The book is probably better known, however, for its exquisite series of plates from water-colours by the landscape painter Alfred Heaton Cooper (1863-1929).

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Isle of Wight photo tours - Victorian-style

With the sheer ease of photography nowadays, it's easy to forget the complications that the hobby presented in the late 1800s. I just found a nice batch of Photographic News articles in which amateur photographers of the time describe their Isle of Wight visits. The details are sometimes geeky, but often interesting in their descriptions of the technical problems and general impressions of the Wight by Victorian photographers.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Kestyns of Cather Castle

Further to the brief comment in Carisbrooke Castle #1, I just checked out Robey F Eldridge's 1897 The Kestyns of Cather Castle, a novel by an Isle of Wight author, which turns out to be available as a PDF from the British Library.