Over a hundred and fifty years after its invention, the ambotype does not cease to fascinate.
The ambrotype is one of the most beautiful, most magical photographic techniques. It is a technique where the image takes the form of a shiny layer of metalic silver covering a glass plate. It is a technique that is different than any we know today; here the images are created on materials the photographer has to prepare with his own hands, sensitized minutes before they are used, and the image itself appears almost miraculously in the photographer’s hands. And some image it is! First of all, an ambrotype lookes like a precious jewel, almost like jewellery; after all it is a layer of the purest silver shining on that glass plate. Secondly, the reality shown in an ambrotype does look different, more beautiful. Blue eyes take unearhly brightness; you can see every little vein and every little detail of the retina. The reds…. just disappear and the whole picture, suddenly appearing in front of the photographer’s eyes, is a thing of magic. And remains magical for years.
Anyone interested in the technique may also find my book The Ambrotype – A Practical Guide useful.