The Expanding Domain


Reminder! Assignment 1 due on Canvas, Monday, February 22.

Southwell Brothers, Queen Victoria, 1864. Albumen carte-de-visite.












Wet-Collodion Process

1848 Frederick Scott Archer exposes iodized collodion while it is wet, resulting in a great improvement of the calotype process
collodion (pyroxylin) = a mixture of cellulose nitrates that is less explosive than guncotton, soluble in a mixture of organic solvents, and used especially in making plastics, coatings such as lacquers, as a coating for wonds or for photographic films











Sally Mann, Last Light, 1989.


Sally Mann in Art 21











Commercial photographers quickly adopted the wet-collodion process
transparency = a direct translation of reality in which subjects were not suggested, as in the calotype and daguerreotype, but were clearly stated adn defined without overt intervention
Wet-Plate Camera

wet-plate chemicals

Wet-Plate Chemicals











Wet-Collodion Spin-Off Processes:
Ferrotype or Tintype













Introduced in 1854
Positive image on glass with an opaque black backing
One-of-a-kind image
Housed in Union Case, just like a daguerreotype
Unknown Photographer, Untitled Portrait,
Ambrotype with half the backing removed to show positive and negative effect.












Tintype/ Ferrotype

  • Ambrotype image made on a thin piece of metal instead of glass
  • Metal plate painted black with asphaltum, then coated with light sensitive collodion solution
  • One-of-a-kind image



Considered an instant process
Unknown, Civil War Soldier, c. 1862. Tintype.











Making a Tintype











Albumen paper

Albumen paper manufacture

1850 first practical prepared paper produced with
albumen = egg white
  • Paper is made light sensitive by 'floating' it on top of a tray filled with silver nitrate solution (producing light sensitive silver chloride in the albumen layer)
  • Paper is hung to dry in the dark
  • Exposed in contact with a negative image
Albumen paper factory





















Salted paper print
from calotype negative
Albumen paper print

Southworth and Hawes, Portrait of an Unknown Woman, c. 1850.
David Octavius Hill, Miss Crampton of Dublin, c. 1845.
Nadar, Sarah Bernhardt, 1865.












Brig Upon the Water

Albumen print advantages:
  • Smooth, glossy surface that looked modern
  • Provided sharper, better contrasted, more detailed print
  • Provided consistency not possible with calotypes
Gustave Le Gray, Brig Upon the Water, 1856. Albumen print.












carte-de-visite = visiting card
Wet-plate image created with a multi-lens camera and printed on albumen paper
Carte-de-visite camera











Andre Adolphe Eugene Disderi, portraits of a man, c. 1860.
Uncut albumen print from a carte-de-visite negative.


more portrait cartes











Hugh Mangum, Portrait Carte de Visites, 1890s































Daguerrian Saloon
Mobile daguerran studios or "Daguerreotype Saloons"











Andre Disderi, Supplicies (Heads of Executed Men), c. 1850s. Carte-de-visite.


other newsworthy carte-de-visites







Abraham Lincoln
Matthew Brady Studio, Abraham Lincoln, c. 1863. Albumen Cabinet Card.
Lincoln campaign button, 1860.











Mike Kelly in Boston Beaneaters uniform cabinet card c. 1888.











The blossoming popularity and accessibility of the daguerreotype greatly influenced the emergence of new classes of image makers, which then encouraged the development of new classes of images...


Occupation Portraits
Shoe cobblers, Daguerreotype, between 1840 and 1860.
Seamstress, Daguerreotype, c. 1853.












Isaac Jefferson (former slave of Thomas Jefferson), tinsmith, nail maker, and blacksmith, Daguerreotype, c. 1845.
Phoenix Fire Company and Mechanic Fire Company, Charleston, South Carolina] Daguerreotype by Tyler & Co., circa 1855.












Vacation Pictures


Platt D. Babbitt, Tourists Viewing Niagara Falls from Prospect Point, c. 1855.



More Tourist Daguerreotypes










Post-Mortem Portraits


Photographer Unknown, Post-mortem portriat of a deceased child, c. 1850 - 1860s.  Daguerreotype.
Photographer Unknown, Parents holding their dead child, c. 1850 - 1860s.  Daguerreotype.