Monday, April 16, 2012


 I've been reading Julia Margaret Cameron - Her Life and Photographic Work by Helmut Gernsheim,
and feeling very fortunate to be living in an era of digital cameras and photo editing software.

Julia used the wet collodion process. 
 Here's a glimpse of what this Victorian photographer went through to accomplish her work:
 "Mrs. Cameron had to balance a 15" x 12" glass plate between the thumb and
 first two fingers of one hand, while slowly pouring on collodion with the other;
 the plate had then to be tilted gently in all directions
 to make the collodion form an even coating. 
 The next step was to dip the plate into the silver nitrate sensitizing bath."

"The development had also to be effected by balancing the plate on one hand 
while quickly and evenly pouring the developing solution over it. 
 If no mishap occurred during fixing, rinsing, and drying, 
damage could still occur long after varnishing, 
which was necessary to protect the coating before positives could be printed on it. 
 The negative had to be warmed in front of a fire uniformly and
 "as hot as the hand will bear". 
 The varnish was poured on and drained off in the same way 
as the collodion and developing solutions."

"For printing the negatives, prepared albumenized paper could be bought,
 but it still had to be sensitized with silver chloride - hence the term "silver print." 
This and the printing and fixing of the positives were simple operations
compared with the making of the negative.
They were not developed but "printed out" by contact copying,
the frame holding negative and print being exposed to daylight for several hours,
during which the image slowly appeared.
After fixing and thorough washing, 
the prints were toned with gold chloride to give them a warm sepia tone
 and make them more permanent,
then finally rinsed."

"It has been a real labor," she wrote to Sir Edward Ryan,
 "for in all freezing weather I have poured nine cans of water fresh from the well 
over each photograph."
(Note - all excerpts are from Gernsheim's book)

Oh my, we have it easy!

On another note of good fortune, I found out that my elaborate beaded necklace, 
Tudor Splendor, has been juried into the Bead Dreams Competition.  
This exhibition will have pieces from all over the world in it. 
 Happy day!!!

Wishing you happiness and good fortune in all your creative endeavors.
See you again in a couple weeks.


  1. Good morning, Anna!
    Beautiful macro detail on the two yellow daffodils with just the frilly edge in focus. I like the bud in black and white too, especially the first shot where I get a glimpse of the other flowers and leaves and the decorated background.
    How interesting to read about Julia Margaret Cameron. Yes, we are fortunate to have things easier, and not just in photography!
    Congratulations on your Tudor Splendor necklace being juried into the Bead Dreams Competition! Well done!
    Have a lovely and creative week!

  2. Wonderful details from this yellow flower called daffodil. Beautiful ! Kind regards, Synnöve

  3. Beautiful shot. I am thankful everyday for the advances in the photography. Have a wonderful week:)

  4. Congrats on the nomination - how exciting.

  5. Such creamy goodness in that daffodil ruffle. Congratulations also.

  6. So true!! What an amazing age we live in with technology. I can't imagine the discipline it took to be a photographer back then. Lovely, lovely photos, Anna.
    Congratulations on your acceptance-how exciting!!!!

  7. Such stunning images, Anna, those 2 very different looks at a daffodil! With you, I'm very grateful to live in the digital age. So glad you got in the juried competition. Nice going!

  8. Hi Anna,
    Lovely pictures you have here. Especially your first shots of the yellow flower. I love how you have just the front petal in focus.
    Congratulations on getting into the competition and good luck with it.
    I'm so glad we don't have to work like that to make images - it would put you off a wee bit wouldn't it?

  9. Yes, we do have it easy...even from the days of darkrooms not all that very long ago. Congrats on the necklace, you've been having a lot of success!

  10. wow, that sounds like quite a process she went through for her art! thanks for sharing this (and congrats on the necklace!)

  11. Hi Anna,
    I am so happy for you that you have daffodils blooming that you can photograph, and enjoy spring colors!! They are both show such an interesting angle, and I really like seeing their ruffled edge right up close, with the rest out of focus. Well, another congratulations for your splendid necklace. What an exciting year you are having. I enjoyed you sharing how the old photo processes were done. We definitely do have it made with digital, and computer software.

  12. Gorgeous images, Anna! I love the black and white of the sweet narcissus. Elegant and timeless.

    I am also very appreciative of the technology of photography that we use today. I wonder what it will be like in another 100 years?

    Have a great week ahead!


  13. Congratulations on the necklace showing. How lovely for you!

  14. Lovely images Anna!
    I hope all is well for you dear Anna !
    See you soon !Monica

  15. Can you even imagine???
    Truly a labor of love, and something I could never see myself being able to accomplish, but then again, you just never know. This sounds like a great book Anna. Thank you for sharing it here. Will definitely be checking it out.

    I absolutely love your daffodils, and a very, very big congratulations to you. This is so truly well-deserved!


  16. Thank you for brightening my day with your beautiful post and photos, Anna! :)

  17. These are just amazing! Really nice work! Thank you for showing me what great photos look like!

  18. Beautiful photos!

    It must have been so much more time consuming for photographers back in the days before digital. I was in my 20s when purchasing my first digital camera and remember all the trips prior when we would snap photos sparingly so the film would not be wasted. Then having to keep fingers crossed when developing the film in hopes that the photos came out great!

    Congratulations on your juried necklace.

  19. These photos are just stunning!

  20. Again you have impressed me with these pictures. I really like the art you put in them.

  21. Splendid selective focus in these macro images.

  22. Hi Anna
    always such a delight and pleasure to visit you. I enjoy the insights that you share and will most definitely be checking out the book. Congrats on Tudor Splendor. you are very gifted and deserving of recognition. I've recovered from the nasty and am feeling stronger - thanks for your kind thoughts. An email will be forthcoming. happy week to you my friend.

  23. Goodness, don't we just have it easy! Would I have taken up photography if I'd had to do all that? I'll never know, but I think I'm put off a bit even by faffing around with film. Three cheers for digital!

    Congratulations on your necklace; will you be putting a photo of it on here?