...Photographs should be protected from extended exposure to intense light sources. Limit exhibition times, control light exposure, and monitor the condition of the photographs carefully. Prolonged or permanent display of photographs is not recommended. Use unbuffered ragboard mats, and frame photographs with archivally sound materials. Use ultraviolet-filtering plexiglass to help protect the photographs during light exposure. Reproduce vulnerable or unique images and display the duplicate image; in this way, the original photograph can be properly stored and preserved.

Disaster preparedness begins by evaluating the storage location and the potential for damage in the event of a fire, flood, or other emergency. It is important to create a disaster preparedness plan that addresses the specific needs of the collection before a disaster occurs.

The location and manner in which photographs are housed can be the first line of defense. Identify photographic materials that are at higher risk of damage or loss. Remove all potentially damaging materials such as paper clips and poor-quality enclosures. Store negatives and prints in separate locations to increase the possibility of an image surviving a catastrophe. If a disaster occurs, protect the collection from damage by covering it with plastic sheeting and/or removing it from the affected area. If using plastic, make sure not to trap in moisture as this could lead to mold growth. Evaluate the situation and document the damage that has occurred. Contact a conservator as soon as possible for assistance and advice on the recovery and repair of damaged materials.

PS .If your photograph requires special attention or you are unsure about how to protect it, you should contact a conservator.To search for a conservator near you.

Cabaret of Spirits ATELIER

Cabaret of Spirits ATELIER

Treatment Options for Photographic Materials may include

mold removal
surface cleaning
stain reduction (only if possible and safe to do so)
tape and adhesive removal
separation from poor quality mounts
consolidation of cracked or flaking emulsion
mending tears or breaks
conservation of cased photographs and case repair
electro-cleansing of tarnished daguerreotypes
rehousing options
four-flap enclosures
clamshell boxes
polyester sleeves
conservation framing


Hundreds of millions of photographs have been lost over the years to natural disasters, wars, and the age-old urge to clean house. So there is something special about every old photograph that's survived. Someone decided to make it... someone else, to buy it... and a lot of someones decided to keep it over the years. Whether you're the caretaker of a treasured family album or a collector who has searched out the classics of photography, it's important to preserve and protect the images you value. Fortunately, there is new information about what to do and what to avoid. And there are specialized products available to help.



"most viewed this week on the years"

new meeting

new meeting

in studio

in studio
please send scanned in ;

Me: I am modern day alchimist practicing photographic process of the 19th Century and the handcraft

Me: I am modern day alchimist practicing photographic process of the 19th Century and the handcraft

last year

strawberry passion

my website

about me "work and lifestyle"

My photo
~ *~ It all starts as a photographer... the path leads me to specialized in the conservation & application of fine art and historic photographs and restoration of paper ... working in my Boudoir, CABARETøf SPIRITS ~ *~

Archive you missed the past months

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

an Ambrotype

An ambrotype is a weak negative image on glass rendered positive by the addition of a dark background. Frederick Scott Archer, an English sculptor, discovered that light-sensitive silver salts could be mixed with collodion, a sticky liquid that rapidly hardens and which had seen use as a field bandage for the British military.

"Dead Time"
430 mm x 360 mm
Art Gallery of New South Wales


This mixture could then be applied to a glass plate and exposed in a camera while still wet; hence the term "wet plate process." In 1854, James Cutting of Boston took out a patent on this process, and Marcus Root coined the name "ambrotype" for it, from the Greek ambrotos (immortal). The process was cheaper and easier than the daguerreotype and contributed to the demise of that earlier process. Like the daguerreotype, an ambrotype was also produced as a unique object, although in principle, a print could be made from the negative on the glass. For an illustration of how a dark background makes the negative ambrotype plate look positive.

Whole plate 16.5cm x 21.5cm
Half plate 11.5cm x 14cm
Quarter plate 8.2cm x 10.8cm
One-sixth plate 6.8cm x 8.2cm
One-ninth plate 5cm x 6.3cm

Using the same case as a daguerreotype, the ambrotype was sealed inside a wooden case or a frame with a bright brass mount and under glass. The case was usually provided with a hinged lid and covered with leather or similar and some American cases were moulded using shellac with wood-fibre and gum and known as a Union case. The cases should not be taken apart or interfered with in any way.

hand coloured ambrotype 1/4 plate

They were displaced by the cheaper carte-de-visite photographs.
There is little to date them, as often no studio is named, so the best way is to see what the people were wearing (not easy). As a rough guide few will be as early as 1854, but large numbers were produced around 1858 before carte-de-visite were produced (1859/1860) and not so many up to 1866 (no real cut off date). So the bulk of them would be c.1858 plus or minus a few years.
The tintype is actually an image produced on a very thin piece of iron, not tin. The process is quite similar to the ambrotype: the light-sensitive collodion mixture is applied to the iron plate and exposed in the camera while still wet. Because the plate has previously been given a black finish, the negative produced by the camera actually results in a positive image. Hamilton Smith, a chemistry professor at Kenyon College in Ohio, discovered this process in 1854. His student Peter Neff financed the development of the process and patented it in 1856.

Tintypes were even cheaper than ambrotypes. They were also durable and could be sent through the mail. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers during the Civil War had tintypes made by studio or itinerant photographers to leave as mementos with loved ones and friends or to send home by mail from the front. Tintypes rapidly supplanted both daguerreotypes and ambrotypes because they were cheaper, easier to produce, and readily transportable. Other names for the tintype include "melainotype" and "ferrotype." Tintypes are also unique items like the daguerreotype, although some studios employed multiple lens cameras to produce multiple images from a single portrait sitting.