In the Eye of the Camera, 1840-1867
Miss Pominville, Montreal, QC, 1863
William Notman (1826-1891)
1863, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
8 x 5 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords: female (19035) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
Keys to History
Miss Pominville's picture was taken using the third form of wet-plate process, a wet-plate negative. This type of photograph is responsible for the standard concept of photography that prevailed between 1855 and 1980: a positive print from a negative. The wet-plate negative (actually more of a sticky plate than really wet) was exactly the same as for an ambrotype, but the exposure was longer, resulting in a denser negative image on glass. The negative was then used to produce positive prints, usually on paper, which were sold to the client. The photographer kept the negative on file and the client could then order prints in any quantity required.