Egg White, Salt and Silver Nitrate

3

Since the beginning of photography there have been many photographic processes. Some of them remain to this day, some crashed and burned within two decades of their release even if the quality of the resulting image using that process what pristine. It's safe to say economics and practicality had a lot to do with it.

Daguerreotype
The daguerreotype was the first photographic process made available to the public. It was announced in Paris, in 1839 and involved a process in which a silvered metal plate was exposed to iodine fumes, forming a light-sensitive surface of silver iodide. The plate was then exposed to fumes of mercury and the photograph developed in a salt solution. The reason for it’s eventual demise was the fact each photograph could only be produced once which opened the doors for the negative-positive processes that allowed for unlimited copies.

The above photo is of Andrew Jackson in his late 70s in either 1844 or 1845, a year before his death, not too long after the daguerreotype was revealed.

Cyanotype
The cyanotype/blue-print is one of the longest surviving photographic processes. Invented in 1840 by Sir John Herschel, it involved a mixture of ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide used to produce a light sensitive paper. It was relatively simple in administering as it required no development or fixing. What it did involve was “washing”. Amateurs in the nineteenth century, architects (hence “blue-prints”), and engineers fancied this photographic process.

The above photo is of visually impaired artist John Dugdale titled “Self Portrait with Long Hair” done in 1995.

Waxed Calotype Negative
Patented in 1841 the calotype process was the first practical negative-positive photographic process. The process involved a sheet of quality paper being treated with light-sensitive silver compounds and then exposed inside the camera. The image was developed in gallo-nitrate of silver. The negative-positive process is the basis of modern photographic practice. Digital imagery is now challenging this. Photographers often applied heated wax to the developed negative to increase printing transparency and hide the fine fibers found in the paper.

The Scottish portrait and historical painter Thomas Duncan is pictured in this calotype, taken in 1844.

Salted Paper Print
The process involved soaking quality paper in a salt solution and then proceeding to brush it with a solution of silver nitrate to produce light-sensitive silver chloride. The sensitised paper/negative was then exposed to sunlight which resulted in an image that was then fixed and toned. Though, we today appreciate the sharpness of an image the softness of the salted paper print was prized by early photographers.

American businessman Cyrus W. Field is pictured above in 1858, the year in which he laid the first telegraph cable across the Atlantic Ocean.

Wet collodion negative
Introduced in 1851 and by the end of that decade it had almost entirely replaced the first practical photographic process, the daguerreotype. It remained the standard form of photography from onset till the early 1880s. The preparation process of the glass negative for exposure involved the sheet of glass being coated with a solution of iodised collodion and then made light-sensitive by immersion in a bath of silver nitrate. The glass negative required sensitising and exposing while chemicals were still damp which is why it was known as a “wet process”.

The above deteriorated wet plate shows Theodore Roosevelt, another American President.

Albumen Print
Announced in 1850, the Albumen, named after the fact egg white was used in sealing the paper. It was the most widespread medium between 1850 and 1890. The surface layer of the mix of albumen and salt made the photo much more dense, giving it a sharpness that the salted paper print didn’t have. What’s more is that the fixed print could be toned to create a wide variety of colours.

Carbon Print
First patented by A. L. Poitevin in 1855, the carbon print process involved realizing that gelatin mixed with an alkaline bichromate becomes insoluble when exposed to light. It was brilliantly thought that Carbon as well as other pigments could be used as to obtain a range of tones and colors in the final image.

The above portrait is of the poet Charles Baudelaire taken in the 1860s.

Photogravure
This intaglio printmaking/photo-mechanical process involves coating a copper plate with a light-sensitive gelatin tissue, exposing it to a film positive image, and then etching to highlight the shadows of the original. What you got was a printing plate to use for replications.

The beautiful image above is of the contemplative Victor Hugo in 1883.

Information for this article was taken from The British Library

written by soundfoodaround on 2012-03-20 in #lifestyle #waxed-calotype-negative #photogravure #photographic-processes #historic #cyanotype #salted-paper-print #albumen-print #experimental #daguerreotype #wet-collodion-negative #carbon-print

3 Comments

  1. oneira1927
    oneira1927 ·

    Great article!!!

  2. weaver
    weaver ·

    very very interesting!

  3. mj_crn
    mj_crn ·

    i love making cyanotypes !

More Interesting Articles

  • Speakers' Corner: Interview with Photographer Philip Wolmuth

    written by anamartaml on 2015-07-25 in #people
    Speakers' Corner: Interview with Photographer Philip Wolmuth

    Having a respectable career photographing social, political and economical matters, Philip Wolmuth is capable of starting a dialogue with the public via his thought-provoking photographs. Going through the collective of images on his latest work, it seems impossible not to be instantly affected by the rawness of the emotions captured within the images. The passion, the anger, the commotion, the rebellion, the fervor, the shouting, the devotion; his work is inebriating. It's as if the images are screaming at you and, for a short while, you are transported to the Speakers' Corner without actually setting foot on that location.

    4
  • CineStilll Launches Campaign to Bring Tungsten Film to Medium Format Territory

    written by cheeo on 2014-10-03 in #news
    CineStilll Launches Campaign to Bring Tungsten Film to Medium Format Territory

    It’s a good day for all film shooters and film aficionados out there. Another effort has been mounted to keep the analogue flame burning. CineStill recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of their medium format CineStill 800Tungsten film.

  • Petzval History Series: The Early Life of Joseph Petzval

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-06-09 in #people #lifestyle
    Petzval History Series: The Early Life of Joseph Petzval

    The Petzval Lens was the first truly practicable portrait lens ever created and thus was the ultimate gift to early photography. We at Lomography feel that this lens and its inventor deserve some attention so here is the first of a series of articles on Joseph Petzval and the first Petzval Lens.

    1
  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • I am a Mad Analogue Scientist: New Experiments with 35mm Films and Chemicals

    written by blackfairy on 2014-08-07 in #gear #tipster
    I am a Mad Analogue Scientist: New Experiments with 35mm Films and Chemicals

    Unfortunately, it happens sometimes that your resulting pictures are not what you expected - the image doesn't look that good, the colors are bland, and the subject is banal. Indeed, it couldn't be picture of the year! Herein I propose a second chance for your pictures by modifying your 35mm negatives. Just pick up some ideas from here, experiment, and scan your negatives with the Lomography Smartphone Scanner. Anything is possible: burning, scratching, putting on hydrochloric acid, balsamic vinegar, nail polish, bleach, or raspberry juice... use your imagination and write down your new film soup recipe! You can find a sample of the effects in this article.

    13
  • Petzval Lens Test: The Independent Record Market

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-07-29 in #news
    Petzval Lens Test: The Independent Record Market

    Each year The independent Label Market takes place at the Old Spitalfields Market and brings together some of the most interesting independent record labels. It’s the perfect place to meet label owners, talk about music and buy some exclusive and new releases. I took along the Petzval lens and was surprised at the reaction it received!

  • Loving the Lomo'instant!

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-01-16 in #news
    Loving the Lomo'instant!

    It's only been a few months since the lovely Lomo'instant camera was officially launched online and in the Lomography stores. Since then this Instant compact camera has been flying off the shelves. You've all been busy experimenting and uploading your amazing shots so we've decided show you some of the best shots out there to inspire you to get creative!

  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • The LomoChrome Purple and How Its Colors Convinced Me in the End

    written by pearlgirl77 on 2014-07-29 in #reviews
    The LomoChrome Purple and How Its Colors Convinced Me in the End

    I wasn't very impressed when the LomoChrome Purple was first released. At least not so much that I wanted to get my hands on it at once. Of course I liked some pictures but eventually, I wanted to test it and what can I say? It was love at first sight!

    10
  • What Photography and Tech Websites are Saying About the New LC-A 120

    written by chooolss on 2014-09-25 in #news
    What Photography and Tech Websites are Saying About the New LC-A 120

    It's only been a few weeks since we launched the newest member of the LC-A family, yet the Internet has already been abuzz with much talk about it. We're thrilled to see all the coverage that photography and tech websites and blogs have given the LC-A 120, so we've rounded up some of them to share with you right here!

  • Total Eclipse of the Sun Competition

    written by jacobs on 2015-03-20 in #gear #news #competitions
    Total Eclipse of the Sun Competition

    Did you catch the solar eclipse that happened recently? Word on the street is that it even resulted in a total eclipse in some areas of Europe, making it a pretty rare occasion for the folks that got to see it! We're guessing that some of you even had your cameras to catch the whole shebang on film — which is why we're throwing a competition for the best eclipse and sun inspired shots out there. Come on in and check out the details!

  • Shop News

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    At 25% off you can take dreamy 35mm images with this little black beauty. Beam coloured light into your shots with its accompanying Diana Flash Back accessory and be the analogue king of the night.

  • The New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Lens at the Lunar New Year Parade

    written by antoniocastello on 2015-06-13 in #gear #lifestyle
    The New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Lens at the  Lunar New Year Parade

    Since Lomography launched its new Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens project on Kickstarter, we've been seeing a variety of pictures, from images of snow monkeys in Japan to behind-the-scenes shots of New York Fashion Week. Many of these pictures were shot with digital cameras, but we've yet to see how the Petzval 58 performs on an analog Canon Rebel camera loaded with black and white, and x-pro film. Join us on a trip through the heart of New York's Chinatown during the Lunar New Year Parade.

  • LomoAmigo: Larissa Lily at Kew Gardens

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-10-09 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo: Larissa Lily at Kew Gardens

    Larissa Lily is a UK based photographer and writer who agreed to share some of her Petzval shots with us and explain a bit about her love for film photography. She took it on a recent trip to Kew Gardens, and here are the results.

  • Photo Stories: Snow Monkeys by ihave2pillows

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-06-28 in #world #locations
    Photo Stories: Snow Monkeys by ihave2pillows

    Ever since it opened in the '60s the Jigokudani Yaenkoen park in Nagano Prefecture, Japan has been visited by people from all over the world to observe the famous snow monkeys, or the Japanese Macaque. Lomographer ihave2pillows had the wonderful opportunity to see the snow monkeys up close a couple of years ago, and here are some of the photographs that he had shared with the community.

    1