Introduction to Early Photographs

Since the time of primitive humanity people have been attempting to find the best way to document their lives, events and activities through pictures. Pictures have advanced from cave drawings to Renaissance paintings by masters of the art to digital photography that is a hobby for many people. The process of producing photographs has dramatically changed from the first development of photos in the early nineteenth century to modern digital photography. Photography was invented more than once throughout the world; however, most of the initial inventions of photography happened around the same time in the nineteenth century. Photographic positives are achieved when the dark to light scale is not reversed from that of the image being photographed. A negative, in reference to photographs, occurs when the scale is reversed from that of the image. Collodion solutions were attained by dissolving cellulose nitrate in ether and alcohol. This solution was used in the production of different forms of photographs. During the nineteenth century, photography was continuously progressing. There are many remaining photographs of different development and production types that need preservation methods to be enacted. Some of the most unusual types of photographs are those that have a backing medium that is not paper based, such as: metal, glass and textile backings. Proper photographic preservation measures should be performed for these unusually based photographs also. Proper preservation efforts range from the air that is circulating in the photograph storage area to any matter that comes into contact with the photographs.

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