George Dannatt

 
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Photographer

Dutch fishing boats at anchorage, c.1932Encouraged by his father Dannatt took seriously to this branch of observation at about age fourteen. 'Seriously' because, in those days, photography was hard work. Heavy glass plates were loaded into 'holders' in total darkness. In the darkroom they were unloaded and developed and then, when dry, were printed either directly or in the enlarger.

As the industry grew film-packs in lieu of plates were introduced, then actual roll film. But for the serious photographer the whole process remained in his own hands: black and white, of course, (still the preferred medium) The remains of anti-tank barriers, across the Chesil Beach, Fleet, 1987but never any question, indeed any possibility, of snap and produce an immediate result. All this was good training for close observation, care, selectivity.

The illustrations are from c.1932 which show some feeling for form (Dutch fishing boats at anchorage) and from 1987, even stronger feeling for form (the remains of anti-tank barriers across the Chesil Beach, Fleet).