Sunday, 24 August 2008

Things I do - # 08/199

At Ham House the Earl's library is full of rare books. It would be nice for people to see what's in them.

Here is one of the Library Volunteers setting up a book to show some interesting pages discovered by the Archivist - perhaps with a note hand written in 1771 saying what the Earl thought about a new essay by Voltaire, or a note by the Countess written into an 1850s cookery book.

On the photo rig is my Olympus C7070 wz 7.1 mega pixel compact camera. This camera is well suited to this sort of job. It allows total manual control of all settings, and has an excellent macro capability giving pin sharp reproduction and a realistic appearance to the pages. The extremely useful swiveling viewfinder screen (see it sitting upright on the camera) helps us to position the pages perfectly and the technical screen display aids easy tweaking of the camera settings. Electronic wireless shutter release control helps us to work swiftly.

The selected pages will be on display. The books are too old and sensitive to be frequently handled by the general public, but our display will help them to discover that this library is not only rare and serious, but often amusing and engaging. It was a library that people really used - just like the internet is used today.

Click on the Ham House National Trust Link on the right hand side to see more details of Ham House.

Technical: Snapped with Olympus E3 set on Aperture priority f5.6 and set at ISO 200 using Olympus 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 zoom lens (the one I dropped onto the stone floor! As you can see; it's perfect!).


  1. Interesting reading. Didn't understand before how all this worked. Thanks again for giving us an insider's view.

  2. Perhaps you'll put up a selected page or two when the work has been completed.

    Do you see much barrel distortion?