Fandom

Camerapedia Wiki

Ambrotype

5,980pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk0 Share

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.

This article is a stub. You can help Camerapedia.org by expanding it.

Ambrotype is a photographic process resulting in positives on glass, originated by Frederick Scott Archer and Peter W Fry in 1851[1]. It was intended as a cheaper alternative to the Daguerreotype. It is based on the wet-collodion process. It was also known, in Britain, as "collodion positive", and in other places as "Melainotype".

Glass plates are prepared, and developed as in the wet-collodion process, but underexposed. This gives a less dark glass negative. The negative is treated with mercuric bichloride to whiten the exposed areas. The plate is mounted in a metal frame with a black background. The background makes the negative appear positive - as the whitened silvered areas reflect light, and the transparent areas show the black background.

The back was sometimes varnished or coated with balsam to improve the image; James Ambrose Cutting of Boston was granted a US patent in 1854[2] on a method of doing this - which makes the image "greatly increased in strength and beauty by imparting additional brilliancy".

Ambrotypes were often hand-tinted to increase the contrast; without this, Ambrotypes are grayish-white and compare poorly to Daguerreotypes.

  1. Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, Focal Press, 1976 edition, p.40
  2. US Patent 11,267: Improvement in Photographic Pictures on Glass

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki