Research Says Daguerreotype Photos Contain Metallic Nanoparticles

Daguerreotype remains a fascinating photographic process to this day, and recent research gives us more reasons to remain impressed.

It’s been nearly two centuries since Louis Daguerre introduced his daguerreotypes, yet the allure of the early photographic process remains as strong as ever. In fact, it intrigued an interdisciplinary team of scientists to conduct research on the unique characteristics of the images produced on silver plates, particularly how they can look slightly different depending on the viewing angle. They discovered that this curious optical effect is created by the presence of metallic nanoparticles — 19th-century nanotechnology, as they decided to call it.

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This Panoramic Photo was Shot with Multi-Plate, Multi-Lens Daguerreotype

If you’re looking for novel and challenging ways to create your next panoramic photo, the “antorama” will certainly be of interest to you.

Today’s technology has given us many ways to create panoramic photos, but we bet that all of you are yet to try shooting with this technique. San Diego-based Anton Orlov has been busy experimenting with some daguerreotype techniques, but there’s one project that he was able to do successfully. He recently shared with us the results of an interesting panoramic photography method that he developed himself: the “Antorama.”

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National Portrait Gallery’s 50th Anniversary Exhibit Celebrates Daguerreotype

Mark your calendars and time your visit to the National Portrait Gallery for the “Daguerreotypes: Five Decades of Collecting” exhibit opening on June 15th

As part of its 50th anniversary, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will be celebrating the daguerreotype process with an intimate exhibition of fascinating portraits made in the 1800s. A showcase not to be missed, “Daguerreotypes: Five Decades of Collecting” will open on June 15th and will feature 13 small-scale, one-of-a-kind daguerreotype portraits that have become an essential part of the museum’s collection.

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Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat Lens Now Comes in a Gold-Plated Edition

Go for gold with Lomography’s limited edition gold-plated Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens

Some art lenses are complete luxuries to shoot with, and others make sure to also look the part. A perfect example is the limited, gold-plated Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens, which Lomography has recently and proudly introduced as the latest addition to its Daguerreotype Achromat collection. If you’re looking to add a dreamy look to your photos and have a taste for luxurious gear, this art lens should be interesting to you.

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Review: Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens

It’s not often that Lomography calls the press in before an announcement of theirs, but the new Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 64mm f2.9 Art lens demands it. This is a first for Lomo: a lens designed on the daguerreotype methods vs the Petzval style. Like many of the company’s other lenses, this one isn’t about the sharpness, the pixel peeping, the MTF curve charts or any of that crap that doesn’t necessarily matter to the actual content of a photo. Instead, it’s about the look and the creative vision that you can create with it.

Call it hipster, go ahead: but that probably means that this lens isn’t for you. This is a lens for the majority of the photography world– those that care more about capturing and creating an incredible moment.

So what’s so cool about this lens? Besides the uber-retro look and feel, Lomography decided to take the Waterhouse aperture system even further. You’ll get lots of normal apertures and a ton of specially spaced ones that change the look of the bokeh accordingly. This is super cool for video shooters and for still shooters doing studio portrait work, you’re bound to have fun with manual studio strobes.

Today, the company’s Kickstarter for the Achromat lens launches. For the past week, I’ve been working with the lens.

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The Daguerreotype Photography Process Just Turned 175 Years Old

Photo via Photohistory

Photo via Photohistory

One of the oldest photography processes just turned 175 years old. This process was developed way before film and film emulsions and in a time when medium and large format photography ruled the world. Back then, the standard in photography required you to use silver plates coated in a photographic emulsion and had to be individually prepared. When they were set, they were placed in a holder. The camera and lens were then focused on the subject. Then the subject was asked to keep very still and the plate loaded into the camera. Now it was time to shoot. A very long exposure was taken due to the narrow aperture needed to get anything in focus at all–so subjects had to remain very still.

When the shot was over, the plate holder and plate were brought into a darkroom and within around 10 minutes an image emerged on the plate. Different chemicals were added to fix the look a bit. We refrain from saying color because of the fact that color photography wasn’t quite around back then.

More history in the form of a video is after the jump.

Via Shooting Film, George Eastman House, Wikipedia

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Want the Look of CineStill 800T in Digital? We’ve Got Some Bad News

We know some of you are looking for the same look of CineStill 800T in digital, but it’s not possible.

I could end this post with the statement above. But it’s true, the look of CineStill 800T isn’t possible without lots of post-production. You can’t get it right out of the camera. You can come close to it, though, just by shooting at 3200K Tungsten white balance. But if anything, it delivers more of the look of a pure Tungsten Film. CineStill has a special, magical process that makes gives it its unique image quality. But if you want it in post-production, you’d need to really work at it. We’ll explain it to you here, but we also believe that you should just give in a shoot some film.

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You Can Own a Vintage “Tintype” of Edgar Allan Poe for $150,000

If you’re an avid collector of historic tintype images or simply interested in curious-looking, antique pieces, this ebay listing should get you intrigued at least.

Previously in our non-camera vintage finds, we’ve seen a number of interesting and historic prints come up, including a vintage Ansel Adams print, signed Henri Cartier-Bresson prints, and a rare Andy Warhol Polaroid self-portrait. Today, we’re adding another intriguing item to our list; a vintage tintype of American poet, editor, and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe. If that’s something you’d like to add to your collection of vintage curiosities, it’s going to cost you $150,000.

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This Could Well be the First Handheld Wet Collodion Selfie Ever

Ever wondered if it’s possible to do a handheld selfie with wet collodion?

We’re big fans of pushing the limits of photography regardless of the medium, so imagine our wonder when someone answered with a resounding yes! Last time we shared some cool stuff from San Diego-based Anton Orlov of the Photo Palace Bus, it involved a 4×5 camera with an f0.7 lens. Recently, he got in touch with us and told us about his recent projects, including what is most likely the world’s first handheld wet collodion selfie ever. But wait, doesn’t wet collodion involve an achingly slow exposure time and sturdy tripods? Well, that’s what he sought to address to create his unique selfie!

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This Gold-Plated and Amber-Covered Leica Standard is Yours for $3,500

This golden Leica Standard could be one of the most luxurious-looking vintage cameras you can add to your collection.

For today’s vintage gem from the depths of ebay, we spotted possibly one of the most luxurious-looking Leica cameras out there. Gold-plated and clad in Royal White Baltic Amber, this Leica Standard will definitely make any photographer or vintage collector feel like royalty. If you’re keen on making space in your collection for this camera, it’s yours for $3,500.

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Explore Photography’s Origins with George Eastman Museum’s Photographic Processes Series

Photography may already have progressed by leaps and bounds, but an interesting video series by George Eastman Museum reminds us of how it all began.

For today and future generations, film photography may already seem to be as traditional as photographic processes go. But it actually stretches way back. For us to be able to appreciate how far photographic technology has come, George Eastman Museum created a series of videos that take us back to the processes that revolutionized how we see and capture the world through photography.

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5 Lenses That Deliver a More Unique Creative Look

As a photographer it is common to fall into ruts with your use of lenses, preferring one focal length or lens over your others, or a certain set of lenses over others. For some nice fast prime lenses are the culprit, for others maybe they are semi-fast zoom lenses, or something else. One thing is for sure – once you get your hands on the lenses you prefer it can sometimes be hard to find a reason to use a different lens unless the situation specifically calls for it over your usual favorite.

One way to help force yourself to change up your look and experiment more with your creative photography is to invest in some unique, creative lenses that offer something more than your standard, modern, optically perfect lens. Today we wanted to highlight several good quality lenses that may help you with this agenda and expand the creative potential of your kit without breaking the bank.  Continue reading…

Ambrotype Photography Made With a Dallmeyer 3A Lens in 1880

Screenshots taken from video. 

Fascination with the roots of photography and subsequent exploration of the traditional practices from the old days have made a strong resurgence recently. We found this short educational and awe-inspiring video made by showing the process of Abrotype photography creating images on glass.

For some background: ambrotypes made an appearance in 1850 and subsequently surpassed daguerreotypes in popularity at that time. Commonly known as a collodion positive in the UK, an ambrotype is a positive photograph on glass made by a variation of the wet plate collodion process. For his personal project with Anbrotype photography, used an FKP 30cm x 40cm camera from the Ukraine made in 1984 with a Dallmeyer 3A lens from London made in 1880.

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This Book Will Teach You The Chemical Side of Film Development

As film becomes more and more a niche product the chances are higher and higher that at some point in the not so distant future, you may have to start developing your own film at home again if you do not do so already. The issue is since film has almost completely been replaced by digital, resources for learning to develop your own images in a darkroom is harder to find than you might think. Continue reading…

How to Shoot Better Portraits for Social Media

Dating websites and social media sites (more importantly) are places where people will want to look their best. Sometimes it helps to have a professional headshot of you for social media, but those headshots should really tell a little bit about the story of who you are. Environmental portraits do a great job of this, but so do portraits that include extra elements that can keep your subject’s mind busy but still showcase who they are.

For that, you just need to do some listening and envisioning.

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Three Steps to Create a Telling Portrait of Someone

Creating a portrait of someone can be pretty simple, but creating a portrait of someone that tells us a little bit about them is more complicated. It requires a connection–and that’s something you should have with your portrait subject right off the bat. This is tough to do, but with a mind focused on creating a portrait and moving things along, you’ll end up creating an image that someone will be very proud of and that tells something about who they are.

Editor’s Note: This post is targeted at those who want to get over their fear of taking portraits of someone and are trying to do so on the streets.

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The History of Photography in 5 Minutes

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 10.47.19 AM

The folks over at COOPH have a brand new short video on the history of photography. It details important moments like the beginnings of camera obscura, the pinhole, the daguerreotype, Kodak, etc. It also includes names that you probably haven’t heard of or even thought of.

This video is easily consumed during a quick break, and you can check it out after the jump.

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Anton Orlov’s 4×5 Camera Has an f0.7 Lens

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All images by Anton Orlov. Used with permission.

Fact: as a camera sensor/film plane becomes larger, the depth of field at a given aperture and focusing distance becomes congruently smaller. Many photographers can barely get anything in focus at f0.95 on a 35mm size full frame camera sensor–so just imagine how tough it would be to capture a scene at f0.7 on a 4×5 piece of film.

That’s what photographer Anton Orlov can do with a new camera that he recently made. By using an X-ray lens with an f0.7 lens, he tries to shoot on 4×5 film–which is incredibly tough to do. Anton was born in Moscow then came to the US in 1994. Here, he got a B.F.A in photography from San Jose State University, and in 2012 he built a travelling darkroom called the Photo Palace Bus. He now resides in San Diego, CA and runs a rental darkroom.

As Anton proves to us, this type of work is far from simple.

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Check Out the History of Photographic Processes with These Videos


The advent of 35mm photography largely simplified the picture-taking process, and cameras become far more affordable and accessible. Before this, however, the process was much slower, more intricate, and greater technical knowledge was necessary to get the result. The history of photography, both as an art form and a technical process, is, in a word, fascinating.

Thankfully, the George Eastman House has put together a beautiful series of videos about photographic processes well before the advent of 35mm photography. The 12-chapter series explores the Daguerreotype, Talbot’s processes, the cyanotype, the collodion, albumen printing, platinum printing, pigment processes, the Woodburytype, the gelatin silver process, color photography and digital photography. Each episode is around five minutes long for easy viewing.

Take a dive with the first video embedded below.

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This Geeky Infographic Chronicles the Evolution of the Camera


Infographic originally made by Online Product Mail. Used with permission.

Peter over at Online Product Mail created a very educational infographic giving viewers a better idea of how the camera has evolved. It starts with things like the Obscura in ancient Greece and also continues on to show things like the daguerreotype well into the modern day.

If you’re a history nerd, you’re bound to stop all productivity for a little bit.