150 Year On – brief followup

From Ralph Courtney:

Subject: 150 Years On – brief followup

September 18th, 2012

NPR thought it would be interesting to find Alexander Gardner’s exact camera locations at Antietam and to duplicate his compositions with the same kind of wet plate camera; here’s the link if interested:

ttp://www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow/2012/09/17/161266475/same-camera-different-century-capturing-civil-war-sites-150-years-later

While not mentioned in the NPR story, William Frassanito made a pioneering effort in the 1970′s to identify camera positions at some significant Civil War battlefields; some of them were very difficult to locate, but he largely succeeded and took photographs (albeit not wet plate!) from the same positions to compare what differences the passage of over a century might have made.  We have his 

‘Antietam : the photographic legacy of America’s bloodiest day’ 

at E474.65 F7 in the General Collection; he also wrote about camera positions in a book on Gettysburg (not in our library catalog) and in one called:

Grant and Lee : the Virginia campaigns, 1864-1865 

available at Loussac at 973.738 FRASSAN

And for those who may be intrigued by wet plate photography, no one has ever described either it or family portrait photography better than Lewis Carroll in his poem ‘Hiawatha’s Photographing’ – he changed the poem a little over time, so after reading the first verse that ends with 

‘Mystic, awful was the process.’

scroll to the bottom to read, under the heading ‘Verses added later…’ just how mystic and awful the process was, and then scroll back up to finish the poem.  Here’s the link:

ttp://people.virginia.edu/~ds8s/carroll/hia.html

Enjoy.

–Ralph

 

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