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Interesting stereoscopic image of early photographers.

This very interesting image turned up in a provincial general auction today. Does anyone have any thoughts on date, participants or the cameras?

 

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Comment by Seán Antony MacKenna on June 25, 2012 at 14:10

As a practicing wet collodion photographer when appearing at historical reenactments I wore my version of a 'mechanics cap'.

Comment by John Bradley on June 24, 2012 at 21:39

Thanks again Ian.

 

Comment by Ian Wallace on June 24, 2012 at 20:45

No John, the camera is in two parts and is focused by sliding one close fitting box inside another - no bellows.

Looking at the gent who may be in uniform, your mention of fenton may be a good clue as to where to look for the outfit,  It is similar to some of the officers uniforms in his Crimean war pictures.  Have a browse at http://allworldwars.com/Crimean-War-Photographs-by-Roger-Fenton-185...

Comment by John Bradley on June 24, 2012 at 19:57

Ian, surprisingly I hadn't noticed ther dark tents in the background! By 'sliding box' do you mean the cameras are on a sliding frame so as to be able to take single lens stereos?

Comment by Ian Wallace on June 24, 2012 at 19:29

At risk of being corrected... I'd say we may be looking at two sliding-box, wet plate collodion cameras?  The tents behind the cameras are presumably for the preparation and processing of the plates.

Comment by John Bradley on June 24, 2012 at 18:42

Michael, Ian and Angela.

Thank you very much for your comments. I think the mid 1850’s date seems right. The mount is thin pale blue card which seems to fit that date and Ian's link on the top hats seems to confirm. 

I believe the background is a real hillside with people rather than a backdrop as if you view it in stereo you can see depth within that part of the image.

As to whether the caps are military or not I’m not sure. I think I’ve seen other photos of civilian photographers of that era with these military style caps. The photo of Fenton on his wagon is one example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Roger_Fenton%27s_waggon.jpg

Similarly Fenton’s photo of the Sanitary commission shows Dr. Sutherland and Robert Rawlinson both in civilian clothes but with this military style of cap.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/photohistorytimeline/3174365987/

Thanks again. Does anyone have any thoughts on the cameras?

Comment by Angela Murphy on June 24, 2012 at 16:56

I also agree with the 1850s date. Re the uniforms, it may be helpful to look at this photo of the British army in Ireland in the 1850s - note the caps. http://multitext.ucc.ie/viewgallery/219?slideshow=33

I'm very curious about the background. It almost looks like a large mural as there is some kind of frame (or fence?) across the bottom of the scene. Good luck.

Comment by Ian Wallace on June 20, 2012 at 22:56

What a great picture.  I agree its probably1850s, look at the style of the top hats here:

http://www.victoriana.com/Mens-Clothing/tophats.htm

 

Comment by Michael Pritchard on June 16, 2012 at 16:27

Wonderful. I'd suggest from the cameras and style of tripods - early/mid-1850s. I wonder if the uniforms of the two men in the foreground would provide another clue?

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