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EdinPhoto - Home Page      Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.      At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.            At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photogrpahers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.  Details of who owns the copyright of photographs and other mateiral on this web site.

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Early Photographic Processes

Photogravure

1879 -

Discovery

Photogravure is a photomechanical process.  Printing plates are etched from photographic images.  This process can produce high quality prints in large quantities.

The process is derived from Talbot's photoglyphic engraving.

In 1879,  Karl Klic (Klietsch) (1841-1926) modified the process by using copper cylinders instead of plates.

This was known as rotary printing or rotogravure.  However, Klic kept this process to himself, and it was not until 1910 that rotogravure started to be used in newspaper printing.

Process

Photogravure consists of etching an image on a copper plate, previously-prepared with a grained surface, so that the etched area can hold printing ink.

Description of the process

1.  Prepare a copper plate by cleaning with a weak acid then with potash.

2.  Lay a ground upon the copper plate.
The ground is made by up of fine dust and bitumen.  Warm  the plate gently until the bitumen adheres to it. 

3.  Use the original negative to make a carbon positive on a transparency, and allow to dry.

4.  From the carbon transparency make a carbon negative onto, say, Autotype tissue.
This is called a resist because it will, at a later stage, resist the action of the etching fluid.

5.  Lay the resist on the grained copper plate and develop (as for a carbon print) with warm water. Then dry the resist, using alcohol to do so.
This will leave a coating of gelatin on the ground copper surface, thinnest in the shadow.

6.  Etch the copper plate through the resist.
Do this by placing in a dish containing perchloride of iron.

7.  Wash the resist off the copper plate, then print from the plate.  
The printing is normally performed by a professional copper plate printer.

I believe that the notes above were taken from a book published in the late 19th century.  Below is a rather different description based on an account in Looking at Photographs by Gordon Baldwin

Alternative description of the process

Proceed as above, except replace steps 3, 4, 5, 6 by:

3a.  Use a negative of the picture to be reproduced to create a transparent positive

4a.  Coat a tissue on one side with gelatin sensitised with potassium dichromate, then expose it to light under the transparent positive.  The gelatin will harden more on those parts receiving the greatest amount of light.

5a.  When wet, firmly press this tissue, gelatin side down, onto the prepared copper plate, then peel away the backing in warm water.

6a.  Place the plate in an acid bath, where the parts with the least covering of gelatin will be etched more deeply.

1893 Lecture

The process above was described at a lecture given to the Photographic Society of Great Britain in 1893.

The journal Photography, commenting on the lecturer, Mr Dennison,  reported:

"... the Society, and photographers generally, have been in luck's way to secure so capital an exposition and so lucid a lecturer upon an almost unknown process."

[Photography: 2 Mar 1893]

Result

The photogravure process is generally highly regarded, being able to produce high quality copies, with the images with charcoal blacks and bright whites, embedded in the fibres of the paper.

Results using rich sepia ink can also be very attractive.

Photogravure images have been described as having the subtlety of a photograph and the art quality of a lithograph.

[Appalachian Arts web site]

The finished picture shows the mark of the plate around the picture.  The process can produce

In Edinburgh 

James Craig Annan visited the Austrian printer Karel Klik.  In three weeks, Annan was taught the photogravure process, and for a cost of 2,500 Austrian Florins was granted permission to use the process in Scotland.  He was not allowed to disclose details to others, the penalty for doing so being 10,000 Austrian Florins. [Bill Buchanan]

In the early 1890s, he made photogravure prints from some of Hill & Adamson's calotype negatives, and to used them to promote Hill & Adamson's work internationally by sending the photogravures to exhibitions.

James Craig Annan made a fine set of photogravures of his father's images of the Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow. T&R Annan published these in 1900.

In 1892, when the Photographic Federation of the United Kingdom came to Edinburgh for their annual excursion and series of meetings, Edinburgh was well covered by reports in the photographic journals. 

The British Journal of Photography reported on a visit to James Good Tunny's studio, mentioning that in addition to processing his own work, JG Tunny also handled photogravure work for the trade.

Thirty years later, photogravure still appears to have been  topical.   Victor L Alexander gave a lecture to Edinburgh Photographic Society on the photogravure process on 5 April 1922.

 

 

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Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page      Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.      At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.            At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photogrpahers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.  Details of who owns the copyright of photographs and other mateiral on this web site.

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Frequently Asked Questions

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