Early Photographic Processes: The Woodburytype

The Woodburytype process is a photomechanical process invented by Walter Woodbury in 1864. It is technically not a photographic process as it does not involve light in the actual making of the print, but rather it is a type of relief achieved via printing press.

The process starts with a mold that was created using a photographic image. The mold is a sheet of lead etched with groves that represents the different tones of the original photograph. The George Eastman House explains it succinctly:

Lead as a soft metal is used to record the impression of chromated gelatin that becomes hard and insoluble when exposed to light. The gelatin layer is washed in warm water leaving a low relief of high points where light struck the plate, and low areas that can be washed away.

When pressed under extreme pressure against the lead, it leaves an impression like an intalio printing plate. Since it was made through a negative, when inked, the ink stays in the deep areas corresponding to the dark sections of the negative (the absence of exposure) and has progressively less ink where the hardened gelatin is raised and doesn’t take the ink, and from the negative are the light areas.

The ink is retained by another layer of gelatin that is pulled off and transferred to a paper support, which is a print recording the full tones of the original negative, and the lead can be used for multiple printings.

For a time, it has been the preferred method in producing illustrative material for books and other publications.

You might also like:

written by geegraphy on 2013-03-04 in #lifestyle #gelatin #lead #prints #early-photographic-process #printing-press #george-eastman-house #woodburytype

More Interesting Articles

  • What Tech Websites Are Saying About the Lomo'Instant Camera

    written by chooolss on 2014-05-29 in #news
    What Tech Websites Are Saying About the Lomo'Instant Camera

    It's only been a couple of days since Lomography launched its first dedicated instant camera via Kickstarter, but it seems to have already caused quite a stir not only here in the community but in other websites as well. See what the press is saying about the new Lomo'Instant camera in this first of two parts of our press recaps!

  • Marcus DeSieno's 'Cosmos'

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-02-18 in #people #lifestyle
    Marcus DeSieno's 'Cosmos'

    In this aptly-titled series, one photographer attempts to comprehend the vastness of the universe through a rather unusual process.

    5
  • Marcus DeSieno on Merging the Old and New, Manifesting the Unseen, and Exploring the Vastness of the Universe with Photography

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-03-04 in #people #lifestyle
    Marcus DeSieno on Merging the Old and New, Manifesting the Unseen, and Exploring the Vastness of the Universe with Photography

    Marcus DeSieno is a Tampa-based photographer who specializes in merging early and modern photographic processes for his body of work. In this exclusive follow-up feature, DeSieno opens up about his process and gives a detailed walk through on his odd yet undeniably fascinating series, "Cosmos," which was previously featured here on the Lomography Magazine, and "Parasites."

    5
  • Shop News

    Colorsplash your World!

    Colorsplash your World!

    At 30% off you can now color your analog images with 12 different color gels. Experiment with 35mm slide film and play with the built-in color flash for the most intense colors!

  • Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-04-22 in #gear #news
    Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    Capture the world and all its contours in vibrant, wide-angled photographs any time, any where! The LC-A 120 is an adventure of its own with lots of exciting functions to experiment with, like seamless long exposures or full ISO control. It's also super-fast and ultra-compact - perfect for your everyday. If you're worried about the Medium Format film, don't be! You are free to use any 120 Film you want and there are plenty to choose from. In fact, that's what makes this camera so versatile! Scroll through this gallery for a little taste of the glorious shots this nifty invention is capable of.

  • Bolt from the Blue: Cyanotype Workshop

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-08-12 in #lifestyle
    Bolt from the Blue: Cyanotype Workshop

    One of the earliest photographic printing processes, cyanotype printing produces cyan-colored prints using a mixture of ammonium iron(III) citrate and potassium ferricyanide. It was discovered in 1842 by English scientist and astronomer John Herschel who mainly used it for reproducing notes and diagrams. The process was later adapted by Anna Atkins in producing her photographic book about algaes called Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions.

  • Painting Delights: Going Wild with the Pixelstick

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-03-17 in #gear #news #lifestyle #tipster
    Painting Delights: Going Wild with the Pixelstick

    Ever since light painting was invented, it inspired artists from all around the globe to magical creations that capture hidden movements and reinvent the world we live in. "Life is a fairy tale, stay wild little child!" is what they want to tell us. Bringing light to life became the next challenge for anyone rigged with a film camera and a creative mind. Now, how can you take your analogue light paintings from the ordinary to the outstanding? After the carriage came the car, so we definitely need some spacy inventions to follow the old school light pen. So here it is, our new best friend: The Pixelstick!

    8
  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Shoot wider and bigger with this new instax camera that has film format twice the size of the instax mini films!

  • A Catalog of the World's Places

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-05-21 in #world #lifestyle
    A Catalog of the World's Places

    The way a space is rendered in color and light reveals something of the photographer's experience. Pier 24 makes this clear in the diverse collection "Sense of a Place."

  • Photo of the Day by zorki

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-03 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by zorki

    With its vivid colors and dramatic lighting, this photograph of a lone deer is definitely one for the books.

    1
  • Pee Film Soak By Brigette Bloom

    written by chooolss on 2014-08-07 in #gear #tipster
    Pee Film Soak By Brigette Bloom

    Photographer Brigette Bloom's series "Float On" and her rather unusual film soak recipe has been making the rounds in the Internet recently. But just in case you haven't seen it yet, Brigette has given us the green light to republish her recipe right here in the magazine's Tipster section! As she has so rightly put it, "Let’s all support each other and spread the creative energy!" Check out Brigette's tipster right after the cut!

    5
  • Shop News

    LC-A+ Starter Pack

    LC-A+ Starter Pack

    With the LC-A+ Starter Pack, Pair the LC-A+ with a 35mm; whatever combo you end up selecting, they're sure to be mindblowing!

  • Transient Living: The Craft and the Craftsmen of Denver, Colorado

    written by maliha on 2014-12-10 in #world #locations
    Transient Living: The Craft and the Craftsmen of Denver, Colorado

    The people of a city, to me, speak volumes about its culture and sense of community. And that is why I sought out the people who make Denver that much more interesting after the initial period of settling down. My search lead to a few establishments that have contributed to making Denver what it is today. In the second story on Transient Living, I present to you two of such establishments: The Craftsman & Apprentice, and A Small Print Shop.

    2
  • The Lomography XPro Slide 200 Film and My Holga: An In-Depth Review

    written by Lorraine Healy on 2015-03-23 in #gear #reviews
    The Lomography XPro Slide 200 Film and My Holga: An In-Depth Review

    An Argentinean writer and photographer living in the Pacific Northwest, Lorraine Healy is a long-time fan of plastic cameras and is the author of "Tricks With A Plastic Wonder," a manual for achieving better results with a Holga camera, available in eBook form at Amazon.com. In this article, Healy explains how she fell hard in love with the Lomography XPro Slide 200 film and why she takes it on her many travels.

    3
  • Filmmaker David Lynch as Photography Curator

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-03-25 in #world #lifestyle
    Filmmaker David Lynch as Photography Curator

    "The photographer remains the same but it’s the viewer that is the magic part of the whole process," David Lynch says in this video by LA Review of Books. "Every viewer who stands in front of a certain photograph—they’re getting a different thing."

    1