Glossary – Collodion Process

After its simultaneous discovery by Frederick Scott Archer and Gustave le Gray in 1851, the collodion process for producing wet-plate negatives quickly superseded the earlier Daguerrotype and Calotype methods for capturing images. Glass Collodion negatives were more sensitive to light (meaning that they required shorter exposures) than either of the older processes and were capable of finer detail than the grainy paper negatives that were used for Calotypes.

However, the entire process (from treating the plate to development) needed to be completed in the ten to fifteen minutes it took for the chemical solution to dry out, making it tricky to use in any but the most controlled situations. Once a practical dry-plate method (discovered by Richard Leach-Maddox) had been introduced in 1871, Collodion negatives quickly fell out of use and the process was effectively obsolete by 1881.

 


Reference:

Wikipedia – The Collodion Process: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collodion_process

Badger, G (2007) The Genius of Photography. London, Quadrille Publishing Limited

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One thought on “Glossary – Collodion Process

  1. Pingback: Exercise 1.1: Jean-Baptiste Frénet – Madame Frénet et fillettes, c.1855. | Simon Chirgwin's Learning Log

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