Photographic studio

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Glossary Terms

The early daguerreotype photography was optimal for achitecture because many early cameras had a kind of landscape lens which needed usage at small aperture, thus allowing only exposure times of ten minutes even in the sunshine. Soon there was a solution available, the fast Petzval lens which reduced exposure times to 30 seconds. This was still much time to keep still for the photographic model. Photographers had to avoid situations in which wind blew thru hair and dress of the portrayed person, or cold weather caused the model to shiver. Thus closed but light rooms were necessary, often wide rooms with glass roof. The Punch cartoon below shows a cat looking thru the studio's glass roof, the image above even a studio's whole glass roof. Seem to have been typical locations, with the artistic studio or "photographic studio" in a huge attic. The image above shows that mirrors, reflectors and diffusors may have been used to optimize the light falling onto the model.

Soon exposure times in bright light could be shortened by improving the applied photographic processes, but exposure times were still a few seconds. Thus the studio needed special equipment like chairs with small headrest and mise-en-scène furniture, pillars and stuff which also served as stilt on which the portrayed could rest. Some photographers even offered making photographs with huge background painting behind the portayed. When "Flashlight Lawrence" had made his efforts with magnesium powder flashes special tripod based studio flashes were developed soon. As well as bright gas lamps and last not least electric lamps.

oldtime studio



modern studio

The artistic studio

let's have a look into some studios

References and Links