Eight hand-coloured photographs of cottage garden plants will be exhibited in the Writtle College Library following their appearance at the RHS Autumn Show.
Writtle College former student James Walker took traditional black and white photographic prints, measuring 16ins by 12ins, and each of these was hand coloured using traditional techniques. They will be hung in the College Library from 1pm on Friday 11 January to Easter.
James, from Hatfield Broad Oak, said: “The RHS Autumn Show mainly consists of flower and vegetable displays but it also exhibits photographers' work.
“To exhibit, I had to submit photographs to a panel which assessed whether the standard was high enough to show. A few photographers were picked and given exhibition space to show a series of photographs, which had to be garden-related and show a common theme.
“I decided to photograph cottage garden plants in the traditional way - using film and printing these in black and white. I then hand-coloured the prints using photographic dyes directly onto the silver gelatin print.
My idea was to give an impression of the traditional botanical prints by using this method. Medals are awarded at the show and I was pleased to receive a bronze at my first show.
“Previously, I had done lots of book covers which tended to be black and white photographs which I then hand-tinted. It was this style that I loved doing, so - having always had an interest in flowers and plants - it was a natural decision to produce a series of hand-tinted still life images.”
James first came to Writtle College in 2002 while running a commercial photographic business and has studied modules in horticulture part-time as well as evening lectures and day courses.
Dr Jill Raggett, Reader in Gardens and Designed Landscapes at Writtle College, said: “We value the support of former students to help enhance the opportunities for those now studying at the College. James, who had previously had his photographic work displayed at the RHS Autumn Show, offered us a unique opportunity to appreciate these hand-tinted photographs in the style of Victorian botanic images and we are very pleased that they will be exhibited in our Library.”