NEW reprint 1887 Photography in the Studio and Field

Photography in the Studio and in the Field , by E. M. Estabrooke. Originally published by E. & H.T. Anthony & Co., New York, NY, 1887. Republished by Lindsay Publications, Bradley, IL, 2007. 5½ x 8½ softcover, 239 pages + 32 pages of period ads in the back of the book. ISBN 1-55918-353-8.

Subtitled, "A practical manual designed as a companion alike to the professional and the amateur photographer," this is a comprehensive look at photography in its adolescence: the cameras, the processes, the formulas, the secrets of manipulation. In 1887 t were no personal cameras. The handheld Kodak was yet to be marketed. The only people producing photographs were professionals and fanatic amateurs - simply because photography was not easy and automatic like it is today. You were deemed to be "advanced" if you merely tried to make pictures.

Lindsay writes that Photography has always been a popular hobby because it offers many different areas of experimentation. But amateur photography has always been divided into the masses and advanced amateurs. Back in the 60s the masses were doing black and white photography. Advanced amateurs w experimenting with color which was still complex and difficult. Then as color became easier, the masses moved into color while the advanced amateur photographers moved into high end black and white.

I would never want to give up digital photography. It makes production of these catalogs and books so much faster, but after using Photoshop™ for more than a decade, I find it anything but exciting. The early chemical methods of photography are so much more interesting. It's like the difference between a Boeing 767 airplane and a biplane…

If you want to move beyond the obvious, (and if you don't, I have no idea why you read this catalog) then this is a photography book worth having.

In the first part you are introduced into "subbing" glass, preparing collodion for making wet plate negatives like Garnder and Brady did, or for making tintypes. You get details and formulas for the developer, fixer, and intensifier.

In 1887, the new modern gelatin dry plates were the rage because they were so much more convenient. You'll get details on "cooking" your own emulsion, coating plates (an art in itself), the developers in use (usually pyro), fixers, clearing baths and more.

You get details on sensitizing albumen paper, making your print, toning, spotting, mounting and all the rest. You get lots of engravings of cameras, lenses, print frames, camera stands, head rests, posing chairs and the other details a professional might need for protraits.

Part II covers field photography. Since gelatin dry plates freed the photographer from carrying around a nasty, corrosive silver nitrate bath, outdoor photography was not only easy but a lot more fun to do.

You get the latest advice on handling dry plates, putting them in plate holders, and exposing them. You get more engravings of detective cameras, satchel cameras, view lenses, drop shutter, Prosch's popular shutter, Eastman's negative paper, printing on albumen, collodio-chloride, and a section on cyanotypes, uranium prints, and more. You even get details on "bicycle photography".

This is a great book, not easily found. The price is a small fraction of what I had to pay to get an original. If you're curious as to how the old boys made pictures, this is a good place to start. It's practical advice, chemical formulas, hardware (still available from collectors and dealers), and artistic hints and tips. With 32 pages of great advertising. Fun book. Get a copy!

Table of Contents: Introduction
Part I. Glass
Quality -- Preparation -- Albumenizing. Collodion
Positive Process -- Formula for Positive -- How to Coat Plates With -- Exposure of the Plates -- Development of Pl...

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