Antique Photography 1900s

Antique Photography 1900s

Antique photography refers to the late Victorian and Edwardian style photography that was prevalent from the end of the 19th century to 1914

During the Edwardian period, photography was becoming increasingly popular and accessible to the middle class. Advances in technology, such as the introduction of handheld cameras and improvements in photographic film, made it easier for amateur photographers to capture moments and preserve memories.

The Belle Epoque refers to the same vibrant period of incomparable prosperity that developed before the First World War. Photography from the early 20th century offers a vision of an era that was a decisive turning point towards modernity, marked by profound changes. Towards the end of the 1880s, photography won the hearts of enthusiasts with the introduction of the first Kodak camera. It was also against this backdrop of peace and international trade that the so-called "minor" arts were given their rightful place, giving way to new forms of artistic expression with dazzling impact, as exemplified admirably by Art Nouveau. The antique photographs of the Belle Epoque offer you an image of unrivalled artistic influence, with the urban landscape of the great cities of the 19th century set to monumental rhythms by the famous Universal Exhibitions, which were a huge international success. The very first shots taken by photographers are astonishing testimonies to the belle époque. Nadar, for example, was a key figure in these years, both photographer and inventor. His sometimes astonishing portraits of artists and people have gone down in history. 

Edwardian antique photography encompassed a range of subjects and styles. It included portraits, landscapes, still life, and documentary photography. Many photographers focused on capturing images of daily life, including street scenes, family gatherings, and leisure activities. In terms of style, Edwardian photography often had a soft, romantic quality. The use of natural light and subtle compositions were characteristic of the period. Portraits, in particular, were often posed and formal, reflecting the social conventions of the time. The Edwardian era was a time of great enthusiasm for the art of photography, with many photographers experimenting and pushing the boundaries of the medium. Pioneering photographers, such as Julia Margaret Cameron, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Steichen, made significant contributions to the development of photography during this period.

Antique photography techniques and processes used during the Edwardian era included the use of glass plate negatives, which were widely used before the introduction of roll film. This required photographers to carry a large, bulky camera and a portable darkroom to develop their images. However, advancements in roll film and more compact cameras gradually made the process more convenient. 


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