Portrait Types


Figure 1.--This lovely American cabinent card portrait shows a young American family. This is the full cabinent card. HBC which focuses on the image usually crops the paper mount off. This is also the color of the image. HBC generally converts these images to grey scale. The color, scricpt style, and other features of the mount can be useful in dating it. The mount suggests that this card, for example, was made in tge late 1890s or early 1900s. Note how the mother has added a lace collar and floppy bow to the boy's ather mature-looking suit.

The photographic industry began with the Daguerrotype in France in the late 1830s. Other processes like the ambrotype and ferrotype soon follwed. The CDV became the standard format in the 1860s. It was generally replaced by the cabinent card in America, but CDVs continued to be popular in Europe. Most photographs taken in the 19th century were portraits. While there were a few amateur photographers and some wealthy people had cameras by the 1890s, the vast majority of photographs were taken in studios by professional photographers. It was not until 1900 with the appearnce of the Lodak Brownie that snap shots began to appear. Quite a number of different types of photographs were taken by these professional photographers. Printed images in today's digital era are sometimes confused with photogrpahs. Photographs are printed on photosensitive paper, which means the paper reacts to light, not ink. Ink prints, while they may depict a photograph, are not real photographs. This distinction is made by the presence of photosensitive paper and a saturation of the black areas within real photographs. Ink prints use tiny dots of ink, whereas photographs do not. Here are some of the different types of photographs. As mentioned above this meant in the 19th century that they were in effect the different types of photographs. HBC plans to go into more detail, but this will briefly sketch out some of the principal portrait types.

Chronology

The Daguerreotype was the first first photographic portrait and first appeared in 1839. It was the only coomercial process in the 1840s. Dags were also made in the 1850s, but new less expensive photographic processes appeared--ambrotypes and tintypes. Work at the time was going on to develop negarive base processes. This work and the development of albumem paper revolutionized photography in the late 1850s. The SDV print quickly became the dominant portrait type in the 1860s. As it was a negative process, multiple prints could be made. And as it was printed on paper, it made a photographic portrait less expensive. The cabinent card also appeared in the 1860s. CDVs continued to be made into the 20th century, especially in Europe. Cabinent cards became very popular in America. The albumen process dominated photography until replaced by silver gelatin paper at the turn of the 20th century.

Country Trends

popular photography began in France with the Daguerreotype in the late 1830s. There were soon Daguerreotype studios throughout Europe and North America. Because of the commercial importance of photography, the industry soon spread to other countries. This proved to be same procedure as different process were developed. Thus there were no processes exclusive to a particular country. The technology was such that a eager entrpreneur could easily replicate the process and set up a commercial process. Even so differences did develop betweem countries. We do not note nearly as many cased dags in Europe as in America. And cabinet cards generally replaced CDVs in America by the 1880s, but in Europe we continue to see the CDVs even at the turn of the 20th century. We have begun to develop country chronologies: America, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, and others countries.

Specific Processes

Most photographs taken in the 19th century were portraits. While there were a few amateur photographers and some wealthy people had cameras by the 1890s, the vast majority of photographs were taken in studios by professional photographers. It was not until 1900 with the appearnce of the Lodak Brownie that snap shots began to appear. Quite a number of different types of photographs were taken by these professional photographers. Printed images in today's digital era are sometimes confused with photogrpahs. Photographs are printed on photosensitive paper, which means the paper reacts to light, not ink. Ink prints, while they may depict a photograph, are not real photographs. This distinction is made by the presence of photosensitive paper and a saturation of the black areas within real photographs. Ink prints use tiny dots of ink, whereas photographs do not. Here are some of the different types of photographs. As mentioned above this meant in the 19th century that they were in effect the different types of photographs. HBC plans to go into more detail, but this will briefly sketch out some of the principal portrait types.






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Created: September 13, 2000
Last updated: 5:30 PM 4/5/2009