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THE WISTERIA TRELLIS --- Passing the Day in Old Japan

This rustic, yet lovely roadside scene was taken over 130 years ago, and certainly has a lot going for it. It's hard to beat old country scenes like this.


Movement of the babies, and the swinging tips of the wisteria blooms indicate the slow shutter speed. Actually, there probably wasn't any camera shutter for the "wet plate" image --- the photographer would have just uncovered the lens, "felt" the exposure, then replaced the lens cap. Probably only a second or so (two at the most?) His dark tent would be close by.


Back then, folks probably waited so long for the photographer to get "set up", by the time he took the cap off the lens, they had returned to a more "natural state" as seen here.


Good to see the young and old together just sitting around on buckets, taking their ease in old Japan. Simple scenes and character studies like this are few and far between from the early days of the Meiji era.


Like Wisteria ??? Here's some MORE pretty pix for you from old old Japan. Enjoy !




Taking the picture :


".......[The collodian wet plate process] was the first widely used photographic process which resulted in a negative image on a transparent photographic medium [a piece of glass]..... With the collodion process..... the photographer could make an unlimited number of prints from a single negative; this was typically done on albumen paper.


In addition to the convenience of creating negatives, the collodion process had numerous other advantages. It was an inexpensive process, especially in comparison with the daguerreotype..... It was also fast for the time, requiring only seconds for exposure.


[However....] The wet collodion process had a major disadvantage; the entire process, from coating to developing, had to be done before the plate dried. This gave the photographer about 10 minutes, sometimes less, to complete everything. The plate would be dripping silver nitrate solution, causing stains and troublesome build-ups in the camera and plate holders. This made it an inconvenient process for field use, as it required a portable darkroom.


The silver nitrate bath was also a source of significant trouble. Through repeated use, it would become saturated with alcohol, ether, iodide and bromide salts, dust and various organic matter. It would lose effectiveness, and would often result in mysterious failures of plates to produce an image.


Despite its disadvantage, wet plate collodion became enormously popular. It was used for portraiture, landscape work, architectural photography and art photography.


It is, in fact, still used by a number of artists and experimenters, owing to its unique and sometimes unpredictable qualities........"


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Taken on September 24, 2008