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Squadron Photographic Section


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#1 Starlight

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 05:12 AM

To my knowledge the processing of photographs taken from the air was initially a centralised function, but that as the numbers of photographs increased, each squadron had its own photographic section, operating around a mobile darkroom, like the one shown in the attached photo. Can anyone tell me the size of a typical photographic section for an army corps squadron and to whom they reported - equipment officer, recording officer, adjutant. . .?

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#2 flintwich

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 01:37 PM

Good question, as an ex RAF Photographer, I'll try to find this one out.

Haven't seen this pic before, very interesting.

Al

#3 David Underdown

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:04 AM

Saw a blog recently which a detailed description of the development of aerial photography in the British forces, can't seem to find the link immediately, but googling would probably find it

#4 Mooncoin

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:48 AM

In 1916 the RFC School of Photography would train a complete photo section ( one Officer, one Nco and 5 men) The personnel were busy loading magazines with unexposed plates, uploading and downloading aerial cameras to the aeroplanes prior to and after flight and working on the photographic negatives ( developing, washing, drying, and plotting) Several men were constantly engaged in the enlarging room, exposing and developing as many as 100 prints in a hour.
Source: Shooting the Front. Allied Aerial Reconnaissance in the First World War. by Terrence J. Finnegan
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#5 Starlight

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 06:58 AM

In 1916 the RFC School of Photography would train a complete photo section ( one Officer, one Nco and 5 men) The personnel were busy loading magazines with unexposed plates, uploading and downloading aerial cameras to the aeroplanes prior to and after flight and working on the photographic negatives ( developing, washing, drying, and plotting) Several men were constantly engaged in the enlarging room, exposing and developing as many as 100 prints in a hour.
Source: Shooting the Front. Allied Aerial Reconnaissance in the First World War. by Terrence J. Finnegan
Regards.
Mick.


Thanks Mick, that's exactly what I was looking for!
Steve

#6 centurion

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 02:41 PM

To my knowledge the processing of photographs taken from the air was initially a centralised function, but that as the numbers of photographs increased, each squadron had its own photographic section, operating around a mobile darkroom, like the one shown in the attached photo.


It is a darkroom trailer. These were towed by a 3 ton lorry on which was mounted a generator to provide power for the dark room equipment. There was later a darkroom truck.

#7 centurion

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 03:21 PM

More detail. The darkroom trailer contained a developing room and a printing room. Water was always a problem and a large tank was installed at one end - this had a hand pump that allowed a tank on the roof to be kept topped up. The roof tank allowed the running water necessary for some photographic processes .

#8 Starlight

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 04:22 AM

With such a shortage of space in the darkroom trailer (or truck), if they could be producing up to 100 prints each hour, where on earth would they hang them up to dry?

#9 centurion

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:44 AM

With such a shortage of space in the darkroom trailer (or truck), if they could be producing up to 100 prints each hour, where on earth would they hang them up to dry?


Once the print had been though the fixer bath it wouldn't need to be kept in the dark to dry so a tent outside would do. If the weather was fine even just a line between posts.

#10 RobL

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:07 AM

Does anyone have photos of the darkroom trailers/lorries and the chassis used for the lorries?

#11 Starlight

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:50 AM

It would appear that the officer in charge of the Photographic section in a squadron was the Intelligence Officer. I have just seen a letter informing the relative of a man (who worked in the photographic section of 6 Squadron during 1917) who was killed in an air raid. It was signed by his immediate officer, the Intelligence Officer of 6 Squadron.

#12 flintwich

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 08:12 AM

With such a shortage of space in the darkroom trailer (or truck), if they could be producing up to 100 prints each hour, where on earth would they hang them up to dry?


An old way of drying multiple prints was by using a glazing drum.

Basically a heated drum where 2 conveyor belts sandwich the print around a heated drum coming out dry.

Can't find out when these were first used but still looking.

Al