To viewers of British television, Ken Morse is one of the most ubiquitous names in the business. You'll rarely find a documentary that doesn't feature his name on the credits. But if you were to ask the average member of the British viewing public what he did, most people wouldn't have a clue.

Let's explore the shadowy world of Ken Morse, and his enigmatic tool of the trade, the rostrum camera.

The rostrum camera is designed to take broadcast quality images of printed material, for example photographs and paintings. Such images are used frequently in documentaries and current affairs programmes.

Traditionally such photographic work would take several hours to complete but in the modern digital age high quality work can be produced in a matter on minutes. "What we once did manually in eight hours, I can do in a quarter of an hour by computer," Ken says. "People book me like they do a dentist, for a few hours or a day. They hire me and my equipment. On a very busy day, I can do 13 or 14 jobs. I’ll work whether it’s seven o’clock in the morning or nine at night. I’m always here for the job." This explains his enormous body of work.

Morse's relationship to the camera began at age 11, when he was a projectionist in the local cinema (Cinema Paradiso or what?). He also worked for an animation company, assisting in the stop-frame photography for the classic Animal Farm, based on George Orwell's book.

You too can hire the legendary Ken Morse! If you ever find yourself in need of the best rostrum camerawork money can buy, contact:

Ken Morse Rostrum Cameras
Unit B5-B6 The Workshop, 2a Askew Cres, Shepherds Bush, London, W12 9DP England
Tel: +44 208 749 0245
Fax: +44 208 749 0309

(inspired by last night's Big Train)

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.