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Photographic Processes Beyond the Digital Realm

By Jules Ebe on June 5th 2013

Today, most of us shoot digital, foregoing the cost and labor of the film medium and darkroom. Yet, it was not long ago that chemists and artists alike dominated the photographic process. In fact, mathematicians and chemists largely influenced the invention of photography, with an entertainer thrown in the mix.

Recently, The George Eastman House created a series of short movies explaining some of the major chemical processes developed throughout photo history.

photo process-1

Starting with the first patented process, the Daguerreotype, through Collodion, Albumen Print, The Woodburytype, The Platinum Print, and the Gelatin Silver Print, each process is described within its historical and technological context.

And aside from all the educational stuff, its is pretty cool to watch how each process produces a stunning fixed image that survives in museums and the hearts of photographers around the world.

So lets start where it all began, with the first process to receive a patent by both the French Government, and touted by the French Art and Science Societies: The Daguerreotype – developed by Nicephore Niepce and Louis Daguerre

You may also recognize one process, the collodion print, as the grandfather of the wet plate phenomenon.

The Daguerrotype

The Collodion Process

The Albumen Print

The Woodburytype

The Platinum Print

And my personal darkroom favorite:

The Gelatin Silver Print

Which photographic process is your favorite?

Until Next Time . . .

Stay Inspired ~ Jules

[via DIY Photography]


is a Southern California based Conceptual Artist and Photographer. Her work has been featured in several print publications and selections can be seen in local gallery exhibitions. Connect with her on Facebook and Google+.

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