I just completed a class on Civil War Photography for the SAIL program at Collin College.
The first class presented the following topics:
- In 1837 the first successful photographs was created by the daguerreotype process
- The technology of wet plate photography used the reaction of silver oxides
- Photographers took over a million ambrotypes (glass) and tintypes (metal)
- The carte de visite (cdv) process used a glass, wet-plate negative that allowed for unlimited copies to be made on albumen paper
- Stereographs were 3-D photographs taken with a twin-lens camera
- Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and Timothy O’Sullivan were the most famous Civil War photographers
Please see Civil War Photography – Class One (pdf)
In the second class, we examined the range of topics and subjects photographed from soldiers to presidents. We also viewed 3-D photographs.
The following links feature images from the Civil War.
- 3-D Anaglyph Photographs
- 3-D Photographs Exhibit
- The Camera Goes to War – PBS
- Civil War Photos Net
- Pictures of the Civil War – The National Archives
- Tom Liljenquist – 700 tintypes donated to the Library of Congress
Please see Civil War Photography – Class Two (pdf)