A Story of Photographic Time Travel in Edinburgh


What’s it about?

In 1981, Mike found an old photographic negative of a woman shucking (opening and cleaning) oysters. It led him to work as Production Manager on a film about two Victorian photographers, David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson.

In the 1840s, Hill and Adamson were the first photographers to create artistic portraits of working people – soldiers, sailors, fishwives. For the film, Mike not only needed to re-create scenes of 19th century Edinburgh, but also find authentic actors, costumes and props.

This is a story of Edinburgh in the 1980s and the 1840s, of science, art and artisans, and how to make a costume drama with no costumes.

You can watch the film, In Camera, at https://vimeo.com/509315627 .

Who’s telling the story?

Mike’s jobs have included newspaper boy, shop assistant, dishwasher, hop picker, children’s playscheme worker, community drama worker, lecturer in cognitive sciences, and professor of educational technology.

In 1984, Mike took time out from researching a PhD in Artificial Intelligence to work as Production Manager on a film directed by Alistair Scott for his graduation from the National Film School.