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


  • Thanks again Ian.


  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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:

    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.

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

  • 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.

    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.

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


  • 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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