Just to show how it was done.
From the looks of his large format reflex camera, I expect the picture he's taking is better quality than this one.
Kind of depends on how still he holds that big lunky box, lense quality, and how fast the speed of the film is also. I believe back then it wasn't very fast. I love the huge viewfinder cone on the top. Definitely a different photo story... picture of a man taking a picture....
nobody mowed the lawn in these old photos, i like the look. its like houses out in a pasture
Oh the strain. One more piece of pie for lunch and they would be sitting on the ground.
My Dad, who became a photographic hobbyist after WWII, once commented that the reason most people in turn-of-the-century photos are not smiling is because of the necessary, very long exposure time. Holding a steady smile for that length of time was difficult and remaining perfectly still was critical to a well-focused photo.
I suppose that was true in the Civil War era, when cameras didn't have shutters and the photographer would pull the cap off the lens, click a stopwatch to time the exposure and then re-cap the lens. Perhaps, by the time cameras became a little bit more sophisticated and flexible acetate film replaced glass plates with painted-on emulsion, folks had gotten used to grimacing into the camera.
Here are a few highlights from Kodak history, up through the Model T era. George Eastman was the Henry Ford of photography, radically transforming the industry from what it had been before.
1878 - George Eastman was one of the first to demonstrate the great convenience of gelatin dry plates over the cumbersome and messy wet plate photography prevalent in his day. Dry plates could be exposed and developed at the photographer's convenience; wet plates had to be coated, exposed at once, and developed while still wet.
1885 - EASTMAN American Film was introduced - the first transparent photographic "film" as we know it today.
1888 - The name "Kodak" was born and the KODAK camera was placed on the market, with the slogan, "You press the button - we do the rest." This was the birth of snapshot photography, as millions of amateur picture-takers know it today.
1889 - The first commercial transparent roll film, perfected by Eastman and his research chemist, was put on the market. The availability of this flexible film made possible the development of Thomas Edison's motion picture camera in 1891.
1891 - The company marketed its first daylight-loading camera, which meant that the photographer could now reload the camera without using a darkroom.
1895 - The Pocket KODAK Camera was announced. It used roll film and incorporated a small window through which positioning numbers for exposures could be read.
1898 - Kodak marketed the Folding Pocket KODAK Camera, now considered the ancestor of all modern roll-film cameras. It produced a 2 1/4-inch by 3 1/4-inch negative, which remained the standard size for decades.
1900 - The first of the famous BROWNIE Cameras was introduced. It sold for $1 and used film that sold for 15 cents a roll. For the first time, the hobby of photography was within the financial reach of virtually everyone.
1908 - Kodak produced the world's first commercially practical safety film using cellulose acetate base instead of the highly flammable cellulose nitrate base.
1913 - The introduction of EASTMAN Portrait Film began a transition to the use of sheet film instead of glass plates for professional photographers.
1923 - Kodak made amateur motion pictures practical with the introduction of 16 mm reversal film on cellulose acetate (safety) base, the first 16 mm CINE-KODAK Motion Picture Camera, and the KODASCOPE Projector. The immediate popularity of 16 mm movies resulted in a network of Kodak processing laboratories throughout the world.
There at least two Wet plate photographers in the T community. John Coffer, a master, and myself who does OK. Wet plate isn't that messy, you just need to drag a bunch of stuff around with you. As for the long exposure times and smiling, well that has been pretty much dispelled as a myth. My short exposures are half to 5 seconds. Who can't smile that long? Shoot, modern point and shoot cameras take a full second to focus and expose.
Nice history Steve: I remember when George Eastman's birthplace home was moved from Waterville, NY out to Rochester. The site is now the church parking lot. Eastman made a great contribution to the school to build the auditorium.