Early Processes


Notes July 15th, 2010
History And Survey Of Photography
[Arielle And Mike]

Photographic Techniques And Processes:
[ http://www.npg.si.edu/exh/brady/intro/cont4.htm ]


  • Used plates brushed with bithumen and exposed to light, then washed with lavender oil
  • developed by Joseph Niepce
  • Photograph: "View from the Window at Le Gras" was an 8-hr exposure

[ http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/permanent/wfp/heliography.html ]

[“Helio” referring to The Greek god of the sun and “graph” meaning writing. “Sun Writing”]

Uses humen (of Judea) which hardens in relationship to the sun.
They couldn’t get the silver to fix.
[“To fix” – continue to be sensitive to light]

[ http://www.fi.edu/learn/sci-tech/daguerreotype-photography/daguerreotype-photography.php?cts=photography ]

Invented by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre using Niepce’s notes to figure out the silver nitrate process.
Developed with heated mercury vapor and sensitized to light with heated iodine vapor, forming silver iodide crystals on the silver surface of the plate.

  • Used silver nitrate coated copper plates (negative on metal)
  • A negative that loooks positive due to shiny surface
  • 5-60 min. exposures
  • kept in a "Union Case"

[Interesting: There was a Greek myth of a mirror with memory.]

Union Case
Popular cases used to store Daguerreotypes.
America used cases lined with velvet.
Europe used cases lined with silver.

Momento Mori (Remember Me/Myself)
It was popular to photograph the deceased in honor of remembering them (as photographs were expensive.)
Children were most often photographed.
They were photographed outside the studio or in a studio with a skylight/sun roof to use natural light to capture the image.

[ http://www.rleggat.com/photohistory/history/calotype.htm ]

[“Calo” meaning beautiful, this translates to “Beautiful Print”]
Invented by William Henry Fox Talbot
Uses a salt-coated paper, using silver chloride in a salt bath.
It was the first photo process with negatives.
Used by Gustav Le Gray.
Unfortunately was a bit blurry.

[ http://albumen.conservation-us.org/ ]

Uses egg whites to bond silver to glass or paper.
[Albumen refers to the part of the egg that is forming the bond]
Faster than the original Calotype process.
Creates both negatives and prints.
This process was used by Gustav Le Gray to create composite images during the 1850s
Uses salted paper print from the calotype photo process.

Wet Plate Collodion
[http://www.johncoffer.com/Main_Page_files/handout.pdf ]

Invented in 1851 by Frederick Scott Archer
Also uses negatives.
Was cheaper than the Daguerreotype.
Required a darkroom.
A glass plate is cut and polished, then coated with silver nitrate.
It takes only 15-20 seconds to develop the plate.
Potassium chloride is used to change the negative into a positive.

[http://www.rleggat.com/photohistory/history/ambrotyp.htm ]

Uses the wet collodion process, however, creates an originally positive image.
Leaving on the black background behind the image plate creates a positive, and peeling off the black background creates a negative.

Pressed resin and wood shavings were combined to create a new union case.

[http://www.edinphoto.org.uk/1_early/1_early_photography_-_processes_-_tintype.htm ]

Photograph on a thin iron plate with collodion.
It becomes cheap enough to now make yourself and studios begin to appear.
Touristic photographs emerge.
Used by Civil War Photos.

[ http://www.photography.com/articles/history/cyanotype/ ]

[“Cyan” meaning blue]
Invented by John Herschel in 1842
Uses iron salts.
Creates wax paper negatives.
Becomes the commonly used “blue print”

Carte De Visite
[Visiting Card]
Used by the wealthy upper class, similar to a personal business card.
Traditionally when arriving at a home, an individual would present the card to the butler, which would be delivered to the homeowners to announce the arrival of the visiting individual.
People began to trade pictures of themselves.
A camera was used with multiple lenses to take multiple pictures within the camera (aprox. 4-8 pictures at a time that created a 3 ½ by 2 ½ inch image.)
It was the beginning to the idea of the “postcard” idea.
Celebrity cards circulate, scrapbooks begin, and trading cards/sports cards are created.

Travel Log
Became a fad after portraits.
As Egypt, Palestine, The Middle East, And Northern Africa, were being colonized by Europe, photographs were taken of the exotic, unknown, and newly discovered territories.

The French Photographer, Du Camp, illegally uses the calotype process to show images of his travels (Northern Africa and the Middle East.)
125 calotypes are assembled for the “First” book of photography.

[http://www.rleggat.com/photohistory/history/stereosc.htm ]

[“Stereo” meaning tube.]
Invented in 1874.
Had two lenses resembling binoculars to provide a sense of a 3 dimensional image.

[http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/features/brownieCam/ ]

A camera made by Kodak using pre-coated dry plates.
This allowed for multiple pictures, each coming with 100 frames.
The film was made of celluloid. [Very flammable!]
After the pictures had been taken, the camera would be sent to Kodak, who would then print your photos for you and reload new film into your camera.
The camera cost only $1 and brought photography to the public.
It was advertised towards women and children.
“You push the button, we do the rest!” -Kodak