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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 photographers  -  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.

 

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.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks

Click here to select Other Photographers

Other Ayton Pages

 

Extracts from other EPS Wednesday Meetings

 

EPS Wednesday Meeting

1 March 1882

Some Photographic Experiences

including Enamelling and a recent discovery

for the Fixing of Silver Plates

 Alexander Ayton

Dry Plates

Alexander Asher mentioned that the subject of dry plates was engrossing much interest in 1882.

He said that he had first encountered dry plates about 25 years ago.  He believed these were called collodio-albumen, but he was very disappointed with the results, so he had nothing more to do with dry plates until now.  He said:

"I commenced with plates by Messrs Wratten and Wainwright, and had considerable success, especially with pictures of children.

By-and-bye the rejected plates began to accumulate to such an extent that the question arose  -  What is to be done with them?  After a good deal of consideration, I determined to make my own emulsion and re-coat them."

After some initial difficulties with the gelatine not setting in the hot summer of 1880, Alex Ayton was successful.  He then described his latest method, one which he had not seen published:  

"I prepare the material for 20 ounces by the alkaline process (that is, with ammonio-nitrate of silver) and 20 ounces, by the acid method, boiling for 10 or 12 minutes.  

Neither of these , so treated, would separately yield a rapid plate; but by mixing both together with the excess of gelatine, allowing it a night to set and afterwards washing thoroughly, I obtain an emulsion of the very highest sensibility and certainty."

He also referred to refer to other methods he had used  -  including the formulae by DR Elder and WB Bolton, and the method which he found to give the best results, using ammonium bromide for the alkaline method and potassium bromide for boiling, mixing both together with the full quantity of gelatine.

Enamelling

Alexander Ayton discovered his method of enamelling by accident.  It consisted of the following stages, which I have set out in the form of a table:

Prepare the plate

-  clean the plate

-  finish with wash leather, no talc or French chalk

-  coat with plain collodion

-  put on a rack until dry

-  varnish with a white lac varnish

Prepare the print

-  wash the prints all night so they are tolerably free of soda

-  dry the prints

-  immerse the prints with a glass rod, one at a time in a solution of 2 volumes of sulphuric acid to one of water
[This changes the tone from the usual brown to black.
he acid converts the size of the paper into jelly, which is washed out, leaving the paper appearing when wet like blotting paper, and when dry like parchment]

-  wash again, adding a few drops of ammonia to the last water
[This restores the brown colour.  The whites have now become more pearly and the shadows more velvety, and if finished plain present a matt surface not unlike platinotype.]

For prints to be finished with a matt surface

-  cut to size

-  tone

-  mount while wet with gelatine  [starch is no use]

-  burnish in the usual way  [if desired]

Carte-sized prints for enamelling

-  coat on the back with gelatine

-  pin up till dry

-  cut to size

-  mount upon thin Bristol board 
[by damping the card and pressing through a lithographic machine]

-  touch up the spots and rectify any defaults with Indian ink [If the prints are to be coloured, use water colours, but without gum or any other medium]

-  coat with thin collodion

-  soften with hot water

-  float with a weak solution of gelatine on to the varnished plate which sets immediately

-  put up in an airy place till the next morning

-  when dry, strip the prints off the glass

Closing Remarks

Alex Ayton then gave a full description of other methods he had used.   He closed his lecture with the following remarks:

"While upon this subject, I cannot refrain from expressing my dislike of secret processes, whether genuine or otherwise.  It has not been by secrecy that photography has progressed so far, nor will the process-monger add much to its progress in the future

... By these remarks I endeavour to repay in some measure the many useful hints I have received from this and kindred associations"

 

Ayton Photographers

More Pages

Alexander Ayton Sen
 and family

Alexander Ayton Sen + Alexander Ayton Jun + family      

Londonderry Studios

    Photograph taken around 1900 of Ayton Studio at Shipquay Place, Londonderry

Which Alexander Ayton?

Alexander Ayton Jun
and family

Alexander Ayton jun.  -  Edinburgh professional photographer     Alexander Ayton's wife and eight of his children

Edinburgh studios      family     lectures

enamelling + dry plates    cabinet prints

bazaar        cricket            rugby          

cdv 1- 5      cdv 6-12           death

Edinburgh, Leith, Portobello

Glass Plates

Platinotype

   Platinotype photo from the studio of Alex Ayton, Bruntsfield, Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Photographic Convention - 1892

comments       photo

enlarged       detail      more

 

Extracts from other EPS Wednesday Meetings

 

__________________

 

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 photographers  -  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.

 

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.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks