Albumenized salt print from wet collodion negative, on original mount.
The collodion process, announced in 1851 by the Englishman Frederick Scott Archer, was the most complex of all the early black-and-white photographic processes, calling for a glass plate as the vehicle for the photo-graphic layer. The use of the glass plate offered the advantages of considerably increased light sensitivity and a more brilliant and precise image. The disadvantage lay in the no fewer than eighteen various steps that the process required, from the sensitizing the plate with a fluid mixture of ether alcohol, collodion, iodine and bromide salts, through the exposure of the plate in the camera, and ending in the development and fixing of the negative. Because the plates had to be exposed while still wet, a traveling photographer had to carry along - in addition to the camera, tripod, glass plates and chemicals - a complete darkroom tent.
His most famous photographs were of Rochester, such as the present work. This is believed to be the only known print of this image.
Frederick Scott Archer
Albumenized salt print
16.2 x 21.9 cms (6.37 x 8.61 ins)
Albumenized salt print from wet collodion negative, on original mount
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