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Case study

Roger Fenton's photographic processes

Fenton printed from glass plate negatives

A glass plate being prepared by pouring a collodion mixture on to it


Roger Fenton made his photographs by printing from glass negatives, using a process called the wet collodion process. The negatives were then shipped back to Britain where they were used to make prints in two different ways – the salted paper print and the albumen print.  These two short films demsontrate the techniques as they would have been used in the mid-1850s, illustrating some of the dificulties facing Fenton as a photographer 'in-the-field' during his Crimean commission.

These films were made to accompany the exhibition 'Shadows of War' at the Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse.  

Related exhibition
Roger Fenton's Photographs of the Crimea

The first exhibition to focus exclusively on Fenton's pioneering photographs of the Crimean War