Pretty Victorian Creatures – New Photographs, and New Old Photographs

Holy Fritatas, I’ve been been busy.  The Victorian Steampunk Ball is this Saturday and I kinda went off the deep end and decided to make new costume pieces for it…with two days in which to do it.  Madness.

I have some cool things to show you, though.  I purchased two Victorian images in their original frames, from Etsy, and they arrived yesterday.  Such exquisite little souls…

The first is a tin type from c. late 1860s (my estimation).  It’s a complete package, with all pieces of the original box frame, working little latch, unbroken glass, exquisite.

Tin types were a more stable form of photography that replaced the Daguerreotype around about the 1860s.  Metal plates (hence the “tin”) were coated in wet collodion, then exposed to light to make the image.  Exposure times were considerably less than earlier Daguerreotypes – 10 seconds instead of 10 minutes.

This is now officially the oldest thing I own.  I don’t know who the woman is, and I’m trying not to get lost in musings about who she was, her life, her loves…I scare myself.

My second treasure is another Victorian photograph, but the tin type’s classy glassy sister, an Ambrotype.  Ambrotypes were also made using wet collodion on a plate, but instead of metal it was glass.  The resulting image left a shiny silver negative that when backed with black created a positive image.

These two sisters, to be honest, quite creep me out, especially since in-person this glass image has a strange depth and three-dimensional quality.  These sisters don’t have their full frame case, but the pressed copper frame is quite beautiful.

My last item to share with you is a new photograph I spent all day yesterday working on.  My beautiful roommate, Stephanie, sat for me, and we did some early 20th century-inspired photos.  This one is in the style of a carte-de-visite, quite literally a photo calling card that became extremely popular in the second half of the 19th century.  Apparently these albumen print cards were traded like baseball cards.  They were the original “school picture wallet photos.”

In other Vintage Photo News, Chris has purchased both a box & bellows camera, and a lens to go with it, which means *real* plate photographs, such as tin types and ambrotypes, are in the future (/giddy dance!/).  In the digital world, I’ve started working with a program called Lightroom, one in the Adobe Photoshop family specifically geared towards photographers.  It has sensitive tools for correcting and enhancing things like color, brightness, contrast, etc.  I’m still doing the bulk of my antiquing in Photoshop, though, and having a lot of fun closely studying original antique and vintage photos.

There’ll be more to come – I’m starting to book some new faces in for photo shoots.  It’s addicting 🙂


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