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05-29-2016, 04:38 PM - 5 Likes   #1
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Old Photo's found

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/05/29/100-year-old-images-from-toronto...iscovered.html

05-29-2016, 05:39 PM   #2
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Great stuff!
05-29-2016, 10:41 PM   #3
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Those photos are fabulous. Thanks for sharing the link.
05-30-2016, 05:04 AM   #4
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Neat article but the author knew nothing of the time. In 1910 the wet process was long out of use. The part describing how he had to haul the equipment up the mountain, mix the emulsion and coat the glass before taking the exposure belonged to the era of Matthew Brady and William Henry Jackson. It ended in the 1880's thanks to people like George Eastman et al. In 1910 pre coated glass negatives were readily available form several companies.

Be that as it may, the photographs themselves are very good. It took a lot more time to take a photograph back then and the results usually show.

05-30-2016, 05:21 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
Neat article but the author knew nothing of the time. In 1910 the wet process was long out of use. The part describing how he had to haul the equipment up the mountain, mix the emulsion and coat the glass before taking the exposure belonged to the era of Matthew Brady and William Henry Jackson. It ended in the 1880's thanks to people like George Eastman et al. In 1910 pre coated glass negatives were readily available form several companies.

Be that as it may, the photographs themselves are very good. It took a lot more time to take a photograph back then and the results usually show.
QuoteQuote:
The earliest flexible films of the late 1880s were sold for amateur use in medium-format cameras. The plastic was not of very high optical quality and tended to curl and otherwise not provide as desirably flat a support surface as a sheet of glass. Initially, a transparent plastic base was more expensive to produce than glass. Quality was eventually improved, manufacturing costs came down, and most amateurs gladly abandoned plates for films. After large-format high quality cut films for professional photographers were introduced in the late 1910s, the use of plates for ordinary photography of any kind became increasingly rare.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photographic_plate
But was the wet process out of use in the Camera clubs? Is it possible amateurs were still using their own emulsions? You'll notice, that the negatives are on 3x3 glass plates. Are you saying those were commercially available somewhere? I have no idea, but, when I think "glass plates" I think, "photographer mixed emulsions". Sounds like glass plates almost made it to the 20s. It is unlikely that any individual photographer today would still be using 4x5 film. But I've seen people doing it. I've seen images made with pinhole cameras, and i'm not absolutely positive, but I'm pretty sure I've seen amateurs using their own emulsions on glass plates within the last 5 years. After all, there are still gun clubs for people who like shooting muzzle loaders.

Proof that someone didn't mix their own emulsions is not a description of what products were available. If one of his relatives says he mixed his own emulsions, I'd think that might be more reliable than speculation based on what everyone else at the time was doing. Especially since they guy went through the same Photo Arts program I did. He very likely knows how to determine the difference between a commercial emulsion and a hand made one. Many of the people who came through Ryerson Photo arts went on to earn BA's in photography at Rochester. This wasn't your typical community college program.

The Toronto Camera Club

Back then


And today
Welcome to the Toronto Camera Club website

Last edited by normhead; 05-30-2016 at 07:05 AM.
05-30-2016, 05:28 AM   #6
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Nice find thx
05-30-2016, 08:52 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
But was the wet process out of use in the Camera clubs? Is it possible amateurs were still using their own emulsions? You'll notice, that the negatives are on 3x3 glass plates. Are you saying those were commercially available somewhere? I have no idea, but, when I think "glass plates" I think, "photographer mixed emulsions". Sounds like glass plates almost made it to the 20s. It is unlikely that any individual photographer today would still be using 4x5 film. But I've seen people doing it. I've seen images made with pinhole cameras, and i'm not absolutely positive, but I'm pretty sure I've seen amateurs using their own emulsions on glass plates within the last 5 years. After all, there are still gun clubs for people who like shooting muzzle loaders.

Proof that someone didn't mix their own emulsions is not a description of what products were available. If one of his relatives says he mixed his own emulsions, I'd think that might be more reliable than speculation based on what everyone else at the time was doing. Especially since they guy went through the same Photo Arts program I did. He very likely knows how to determine the difference between a commercial emulsion and a hand made one. Many of the people who came through Ryerson Photo arts went on to earn BA's in photography at Rochester. This wasn't your typical community college program.
There were several companies making glass plates. I actually have some that I salvaged from a recycling bin at Kodak back in the mid 1980's, The images are still of excellent quality. The plates were manufactured by The Hammer Hammer Dry Plate Company of St Louis, MO. They had an excellent reputatin for quality and consistency. Eastman Kodak, Cramer Dry Plate Company and Central Dry Plate Company round out the main dry plate manufacturers in the US.

By the time the photos above were taken, around 1910, dry plates were well established, and much appreciated. No more need to pack your dark room with you. No more chemicals to haul around etc. Exposure consistency was also much better than with the wet process. they significantly lowered the cost of taking a photograph which opened the world of photography to a much wider group of users.

William Henry Jackson did all his early photography using the wet process. You went into the tent, mixed the emulsion, coated the glass plate, ran to the camera. made your exposure. Then you had to process the image before the emulsion dried too much. If it dried completely, you could not develop the image. Then you could evaluate the image to see if it was a keeper or not. With practice you may get more keepers than not, but things like temperature at which your emulsion was mixed and your plates were coated affected emulsion sensitivity etc. Experience led you to know how much you may have to adjust exposure under such conditions.

One of the reasons George Eastman started working on a dry film system was they he ruined some of his clothes when the chemicals he was using spilled on them.

Glass photographic plates had a very long run in some situations because of the stability of the glass. They were used by astronomers for a long time. They didn't shrink, curl or expand like film base does. This is very important when you want to compare images made decades apart. Image stability was, and still is important in several industrial ans scientific applications. I do know that they were still available into the the 1970's but not sure how long after that.
05-30-2016, 09:01 AM   #8
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Well I think we've pretty much extracted what we can out of this topic?

My closing argument is, if the family tradition is, he made his own emulsions, there is no reason to believe that wouldn't have been possible, however unlikely.

05-30-2016, 12:35 PM   #9
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I just took a look at the photos, and I find it particularly interesting that pixelation and compression artifacts were already a problem back then.
05-30-2016, 06:11 PM   #10
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Another reminder how spoiled we are these days.
05-31-2016, 05:35 AM   #11
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It's always cool to see these collections pop up. Photography was a lot more labor-intensive back then, for sure.
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