Argentine Photography: Formats--Silver Nitrate

Figure 1.-- This studio portrait was not a large siz or come with a paper frame. It was printed in large numbers in the popular 3 x 5 size (3.10 x 5.10 in) so copies could be sent to friends and family. .

A new photographic process became popular afte the turnnof the 20th century. Trends seem similar to Europe and America. Both studio and amateur snapshot photography were dominated by the silver nitrate process. Gelatin silver prints became the the standard means of printing black and white photographs from negatives. The orocess was developed (1870s), but not ready for commercial use for some time (aboit 1895). So at the turn of the 20th century you have a shift from the ambumn process to silver nitate processing. The silver prints were more stable, did not turn yellow and were simpler to produce. Gelatin silver prints remain the standard black and white chemical print type today.The roll film developed by Kodak in the United states was crucial for amateiur snapshots. This all came together with the Kodak Brownie (1900). Thus we begin to see snapshots emerging from Argentina as in other countries after the turn-of-the 20th century. We note large numbers of family snapshots after the turn-of-the 20th century. Some photographers seem to have used paper more common with snapshots in America. Snapshots were printed in different sizes, shaps, margins, and edges. We have found more snapshots from Argentina than any other Latin American country. This seems to be combination of a a relativly large population and an economy that almost reached developed status. Prosperous countries are the countries most likely to have substntial photographic records. Studio photography also changed over from the albumen process to silver nitrate printing. The same diversity observed with snapshots was also true of studio prints which were also done with a varity of paper frames. The 1941 studio portrait here with ragged edges in the previous page seems similar to formats in America and Europe at the time. The bavkgrounds used by the studios also changed over time. Silver nitrate dominate photography until the 1970s when color printing began to become more common.


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Created: 2:47 AM 8/20/2017
Last updated: 2:47 AM 8/20/2017