BLAST FROM THE PAST: Lismore Photographic Society on an outing to Boatharbour in 1903.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: Lismore Photographic Society on an outing to Boatharbour in 1903. Richmond River Historical Society

Photos from late 1800s part of new historical exhibition

PHOTOGRAPHS from Lismore in the late 1800s plus the machinery used to create them are just some of the features of a new exhibition at the Richmond River Historical Society Museum.

Launching tomorrow, Securing the Shadow: Early photographers on the Richmond features the works of prominent early photographers of Lismore and district and their tools of trade.

As far back as the 1870s, across the Richmond River region of Northern NSW photographers were capturing on film the changing landscape and its peoples, their enthusiasm for the new medium extending into the new century and the advent of moving pictures, Richmond River Historical Society President Robbie Braithwaite said.

The photographers featured operated on the Richmond through to 1920, she explained, with some early film shot in Lismore in 1928 even included in the show.

"Of particular interest is an album of then-and-now photographs of Lismore's first permanent professional photographer John Dawson Forbes, who had a studio in Woodlark Street," Mrs Braithwaite said.

"The earliest of these photos, made using wet-plate technology, dates back to 1876 and in the album they are paired with photos of the same scenes in 1904."

Another of the featured photographers, Fred Radford, she said, was an early pioneer in the field of pictorialist or impressionist photography which is characterized by soft focus and atmospheric effects.

"He was highly regarded and had a number of portraits included in the Royal Photographic Society's annual exhibitions. Originally from Adelaide, he came to Lismore in 1913 and stayed until 1918," she said.

"While here, he produced a beautiful Souvenir Album of the Richmond-Tweed District Commercial Traveller's Patriotic Carnival held at Lismore in May 1915 (The month after landing at Gal- lipoli), which will be on display."

Also prominent in the exhibition is a large box camera which was owned by Nurse Bessie Pocock (Later Matron Pocock, one of the first Australian women ever to go to war as a nursing sister) from Copmanhurst and used by her at the Boer War where she was decorated for her services.

Securing the Shadow: Early photographers on the Richmond launches tomorrow 5.30-7pm at the Richmond River Historical Society Museum, 165 Molesworth Street, Lismore.

To RSVP to the launch, email to info@richhistory.org.au or call 6621 9993.

The exhibition then runs from to October 4, open 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday.



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