Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (, and the historical time period in which she lives.

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I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, December 14, 2009


Pioneer wildlife photographer, Arthur Radclyffe Dugmore, and author of THE WONDERLAND OF BIG GAME (1925) photographed and made cinematic films of African wildlife just before and about the same time as mystery character, Jade del Cameron (Mark of the Lion….Treasure of the Golden Cheetah). And one of the means that Jade used to capture images of wildlife was to use flash photography.

In today’s world, that means a built in electronic flash. In Jade and Dugmore’s time, it was a far more laborious process, one involving a large amount of chemicals, batteries, wiring and a good deal of luck.

Flash photography involves a trip thread. The animal steps on this, completing a circuit to a battery (small dry cells) which simultaneously ignites the flash powder in a pan and opens the shutter. Placing these threads near a water hole is trickier than it may first appear as smaller beasties are capable of taking the picture. “If the thread is placed under water, frogs or turtles may try to do the tight-rope act. . .” The thread leads to a device, generally handmade, that makes use of a magnetic tripping device. Dugmore says that “the flash ignition fuse is of the sort used to fire blasting charges…an electric squib.”

Since the first animals that come to a kill are generally hyena and jackals, flash photography rarely captures a lion. Dugmore tried putting the trip line up higher, but hyena often hold their head as high as a lion’s so, while avoiding jackals, the photographer might find more hyena pictures than desired.

Some care must be given to the flash powder. Dugmore adviced “at no time have your face near the powder when the wires are connected.” He suggests testing your connection before putting the powder in the pan, a strong tray 5-8 inches in length. He advised protecting the powder with waxed paper to prevent dew from caking it.

Next week: Christmas time in old Nairobi.
All quotes are from A. R. Dugmore, Wonderland of Big Game, 1925.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. An excerpt and information on pre-ordering signed copies is available at the website: Follow short updates on

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Blogger David Lucero said...

I finished reading Suzanne Arruda's novel The Leopard's Prey and found it fascinating! I too am a writer and had my first book published this year. It's a political thriller titled THE SANDMAN, by David Lucero.
I chose to read Suzanne's book because I'm doing research for another thriller that takes place in Africa during the Big Game hunting era of the 1950s. Her book takes place much earlier, right after WWI. Her description of characters leaves you wanting more and I can't wait to read her next book The Treasure of the Golden Cheetah, not to mention catching up on the other books about Jade.
Jade is a fascinating, single-minded woman who enjoys her freedom during a time when woman recently were allowed to vote in the US. She loves her main squeeze Sam, a veteran pilot, but doesn't want to be tied down. When a murder takes place that threatens to land Sam in jail, Jade goes on a mystery hunt to find the killer.
Suzanne definitely has a knack for writing and I'm looking forward to reading more of her stories.

Keep on writing, Suzanne!

David Lucero, author of THE SANDMAN

Wed Dec 23, 11:16:00 PM CST  

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