Re: Restoration of the tri-color camera. An update.

From: Katharine Thayer ^lt;>
Date: 03/21/05-03:24:50 AM Z
Message-id: <>

Katharine Thayer wrote:

> Thanks, Michael for clarification. But that begs another question: how
> were the prints made? Since the website page about re-creating the
> images says nothing about how the prints were made, can we assume the
> prints are digital prints made from the composite images?

Curious, I searched further and can find no details anywhere about the
making of these prints, which rather suggests to me that my initial
thought that these are digital prints from the composited digital image
is probably the correct assumption. This seems to have been a digital
project from beginning to end; the original purpose, according to a
library of congress staffperson, was first of all archival, to digitize
the glass negatives for archival purposes. Then they thought it would be
interesting to show a few dozen of the images as color images, and
commissioned a digital photographer in Maryland to do the digital
composites for the exhibition. They sent him very high-resolution
digital scans of the negatives, and he inverted the negatives,
composited them into one image, and adjusted this image in Photoshop to
maximize color balance, saturation, clarity, as well as contrast and all
that, in other words to maximize the image, He coined a clever but
superfluous name "digichromatography" for the simple Photoshop
techniques that he used to composite and adjust the images.

There was an earlier attempt to make color prints photographically from
the glass negatives (it was unclear in the information I found what
color printing method was used) for an exhibition in 1986, but according
to library personnel, this attempt was not satisfactory because the
colors in the color prints made from the glass negatives were low in
saturation, not vivid. A couple examples of the projected images from
the glass plates that I saw on the web showed images rather muddy in
color and dark, although no doubt Michael is correct when he says that
it would depend on the light and the filters used, how the image would

Received on Mon Mar 21 11:20:37 2005

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