By day he was a Mahogany broker working in the City but in his leisure time George Shadbolt (1819-1901), of Cecile House, Crouch End, was a notable photographer. Pushing technical boundaries and encouraging intellectual exchange on the subject Shadbolt became a founding member of the Photographic Society of London.
Shadbolt was fascinated by lenses which led him to experiment with micro-photography becoming one of the acknowledged pioneers of the genre. He was also instrumental in the development of the enlargement. In 1954-55 he exhibited a series of portraits which were all enlargements, printed on is famously preferred salted paper, from small negatives. I later life he seemed to turn more to landscapes and since he lived in Hornsey we are lucky to have a number of local scenes many of which are in the archives of Bruce Castle.
Country Lane in Hornsey
His son, Cecil Victor (1859-1892), also grew up to be a photographer famous for his his views of London from a hot air balloon – the first of their kind.
Cecil on left with his camera lashed to the balloon basket.
I wonder if living on the Crouch End Heights, with that marvellous view down into the city, fired his imagination for more extreme views.
This is an illustration of one of Shadbolt’s aeriel images
Unfortunately Cecil died in a balloon accident in 1892 but his work is still held in high esteem. Perhaps his name should be added to the plaque commemorating his father in Crouch End.
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