Looking At The 19th Century Photographers Media Essay

It go really easy to do comparings between the student of the oculus and the f-stop of a camera or between the retina of the oculus and photographic movie, one time we get the basic similarities of the optics of the two systems, comparings becomes easy. Early 19th century. Photographers produced rough images utilizing documents impregnated with silver nitrate or Silver chloride. Their “ exposure ” darkened with clip ; a method to forestall the. Continued reaction of visible radiation with the Ag-treated photographic documents had yet to be. Discovered. In 1839, nevertheless, Louis J. M Daguerre patented the find that produced Light-fast images. His process relied on Ag halide photochemistry, but included a procedure for doing the image permanent. Treatment of the open photographic home base with quicksilver bluess, followed by rinsing. With sodium hyposulfite ( Na2S2O3 ) , dissolved the Ag iodide from the unexposed

Part of the home base. This combination of AgI-covered Cu home bases, quicksilver vapour, and

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Hyposulfite fixative produced the most popular exposure — daguerreotypes — of the

Time period between 1840 and 1860. William Henry Fox Talbot s improved procedure for

Coating Ag halides straight on paper in combination with a hyposulfite fixative replaced

The daguerreotype by the terminal of the 19th century.


The earliest mention to the construct of silver-based black and white picture taking is that of J. H. Schulze who observed in 1727 that a mixture of Ag nitrate and chalk darkened on exposure to visible radiation. In the early 1830 ‘s, Louis Daguerre, discovered by accident that quicksilver vapour was capable of developing an image on a silver-plated Cu sheet that had been antecedently sensitized by iodine vapour. The image, which was called a daguerreotype, could be made lasting by rinsing the home base with hot concentrated salt solution. In 1839 Daguerre demonstrated his photographic procedure to the Academy of Sciences in Paris. The procedure was subsequently improved by utilizing Na thiosulfate to rinse off the unexposed Ag salts.

In 1841, an Englishman, William Henry Fox Talbot introduced a new system, the calotype procedure. The Talbot procedure involved a paper than had been sensitized to light by a coating of Ag iodide. A negative image was produced on the exposed photosensitive paper by bathing it in a solution of Gallic acid in a development procedure basically the same as that used today. If the paper base employed was translucent, the original negative image could be laid over another piece of allergic paper which, when exposed and developed, yielded a “ positive or direct transcript of the original. The procedure would be tantamount to what is termed “ contact printing ” today. Although the callotype procedure required less clip than that of Daguerre, the Talbot images were non peculiarly crisp because of the fluidness of the medium employed to suspend the Ag iodide crystals.

Originally, the Ag salts were held on glass utilizing egg white as a binder. This provided comparatively crisp images although they were easy damaged. By 1871, the job had been solved by Dr. R. L. Maddox, an amateur lensman and doctor, who discovered a manner to fix gelatin scatterings of Ag salts on glass home bases. In 1887 George Eastman introduced the Kodak system in which a Ag halide-in-gelatin scattering was coated on a cellulose nitrate base and loaded into a camera. The camera could take 100 images and when all were exposed, camera and movie were returned to Rochester, New York, for processing. With those inventions the age of modern picture taking had arrived.

Photochemistry of Silver Salts

. A typical photographic movie contains bantam crystals of really somewhat soluble Ag halide salts such as Ag bromide ( AgBr ) normally referred to as “ grains. ” The grains are suspended in a gelatin matrix and the ensuing gelatin scattering, but traditionally referred to as an “ emulsion, ” is melted and applied as a thin coating on a polymer base or, as in older applications, on a glass home base.

Potassium thiosulphate

Figure 1 shows a conventional representation of the silver halide procedure. When visible radiation or radiation of appropriate wavelength strikes one of the Ag halide crystals, a series of reactions Begins that produces a little sum of free Ag in the grain. Initially, a free Br atom is produced when the bromide ion absorbs the photon of visible radiation:

Ag+Br- ( crystal ) + hv ( radiation ) Ag+ + Br + e-

The silver ion can so unite with the negatron to bring forth a Ag atom.

Ag+ + e- Ag0

The grains incorporating the free Ag in the signifier of Ag4° are readily reduced by chemicals referred to as “ developers ” organizing comparatively big sums of free Ag ; that sedimentation of free Ag produces a dark country in that subdivision of the movie. The developer under the same conditions does non significantly affect the unexposed grains.

The radiation or light sensitiveness of a silver halide movie is related to the size of the grain and to the specific halide composing employed. In general, as the grain size in the emulsion additions, the effectual light sensitiveness of the movie additions – up to a point. An optimal value of grain size for a given sensitiveness is found to be because the same figure of Ag atoms is needed to originate decrease of the full grain by the developer despite the grain size, so that bring forthing larger grains reaches a point of decreasing returns and no farther benefit is obtained.

All photographic emulsions contain crystals of changing sizes, but within a given emulsion the scope is from less than 0.1 micrometer in slow emulsions to a few micrometers in “ fast ” negative emulsions.

To understand the cardinal chemical science of silver-based picture taking, we must look at the photochemistry of Ag salts. A typical photographic movie contains bantam crystals of really somewhat soluble Ag halide salts such as Ag bromide ( AgBr ) normally referred to as “ grains.

Figure 1: A Simplified Schematic Representation of the Silver Halide Process

An interesting modern invention in photographic emulsion engineering is related to the basic construct of Ag halide grain geometry. In a classical Ag halide crystal, typically a three-dimensional crystal lattice, the construction will be comparatively symmetrical in that the orientation of the crystal in the coated movie will ever show the same approximative surface country to be exposed. Extensive research attempts led to the development of grain precipitation processes that produced flatter “ tablet ” grains in which the crystals possessed a more asymmetric geometry, and in which a larger surface country was presented for exposure for the same given weight of Ag halide ( Fig. 2 ) . That development resulted in important betterments in movie sensitiveness and decreases in the sum of Ag needed to obtain a given sensitiveness – and a potentially of import decrease in the cost of the movie.


The Ag halide procedure is by far the most of import of all of the radiation-sensitive photographic systems in usage today. The chief ground for this high quality is the high sensitiveness of the system – the sum of beaming energy required to bring forth a utile image – and the utmost flexibleness of the system in footings of seting sensitiveness, contrast, tonic scope and other such facets of the merchandise. The impact of a individual photon on a silver halide grain, for illustration, produces a karyon of at least four Ag atoms, and that consequence can be amplified every bit much as a billion times by the action of a properly chosen cut downing agent or “ developer. ”

Figure 2: A Conventional Representation of Cubic and “ Tablet ” Silver Halide Grains

The Ag halides employed are silver bromide, silver chloride and Ag iodide. The first two may be used individually or combined, depending on the sensitiveness and tonic qualities desired in the merchandise. Silver iodide is ever combined with silver bromide or Ag chloride.

As already noted, the Ag halides used in picture taking are scatterings of microscopic crystals in a colloidal binder that is normally bone gelatin. Although such scatterings are referred to as emulsions or photographic emulsions, they are truly scatterings.

When an exposed movie is placed in a developer solution, the grains that contain silver karyon are reduced much faster than those that do non. The more nuclei nowadays in a given grain ( i.e. , the greater the exposure of that grain ) , the faster the reaction with developer and the darker the image at that site in the movie. Factors such as temperature, concentration of the developer, pH, and the entire figure of karyons in each grain determine the extent of development and the strength of free Ag ( inkiness ) deposited in the movie emulsion in a given clip.

Not merely must the developer be capable of cut downing silver ions to liberate Ag, but it must be selective plenty non to cut down the unexposed grains, a procedure known as “ fogging, ” within the clip frame of the development procedure.

The developer is oxidized in the procedure. If non decently protected it can besides be oxidized by air, a procedure that, if non prevented, will ensue in the loss of developer activity. To assist forestall such effects, commercial developer solutions normally contain preservatives such as Na sulfite.

Gelatin= the movie matrix

Gelatin is a protein extracted from animate being fells, bone, and sinew that belongs to the category of substances known as hydrophilic ( “ H2O loving ” ) polymers, which besides includes other proteins, gums, starches, and a broad assortment of man-made polymers. Photographic class gelatin is normally produced by an alkalic extraction procedure utilizing bovid castanetss, although some acidic procedures have been developed. Some particular gelatins are besides used that are derived from pigskins. The beginning and quality of the natural stuffs used in the gelatin procedure, the conditions employed ( pH, temperature, clip, etc. ) , and the presence or absence of certain possible contaminations are of critical importance to the production of stuff suitable for usage in modern photographic systems.

Gelatin solutions have the utile belongings of acting as a liquid when warm and puting to a comparatively difficult gel when cool. When coated on a substrate and dried it is flexible and moderately immune to physical harm, but it readily absorbs H2O same as in the development procedure. By and large, the coated gelatin scattering will incorporate some stuff such every bit methanal as a “ hardener ” that serves to bring forth a limited figure of transverse links among protein ironss that improve the physical features of the coated stuff. The gelatin swells quickly, absorbing H2O and dissolved development chemicals, but it does non fade out or disintegrate at normal temperatures. These belongingss are indispensable in the readying of a photographic emulsion, in surfacing it on movie base or paper, and in the procedures of development, arrested development and lavation.

Gelatin is more than a agency of keeping the sensitive Ag halide salts in topographic point on a on a movie base, nevertheless. It is an built-in portion of the procedure and can significantly impact the belongingss of the concluding photographic merchandise. Controling the features of the gelatin is perfectly indispensable to the photographic emulsion readying, the procedure of surfacing the emulsion on the movie base, the adhesion of the coated stuff to the movie base, the wetting features of the coated stuff in the development procedure, the physical features of the dried developed merchandise, and the long-run stableness of the developed image.

In the readying of a photographic emulsion the gelatin besides acts as an anti-coagulant or stabilising colloid. The silver halide formed in unstable gelatin does non precipitate out of solution but remains uniformly distributed throughout the readying, maturation, and surfacing procedures. The gelatin is an of import factor in finding the disparity or scope of grain sizes of the Ag halide. By suited ordinance of the concentration of the gel, the temperature, and the rate of add-on of the constituents, the grain size distribution can be controlled to run into specific demands.

In the Ag halide scattering, gelatin molecules adsorb at the surface of the Ag halide grain, environing the grain and organizing a barrier that stabilizes the scattering. The adsorbed bed besides, in all likeliness, affects the radiation sensitiveness of the grain and makes decrease by developers, more governable. This is of import in the development procedure and makes it possible to obtain coveted consequences from a given system based on easy controlled parametric quantities such as developer chemical science, development clip, temperature, etc.

photographic emulsions

The exact methods used in fixing commercial photographic emulsions are closely restrained trade secrets, but the basic processs are good known. There are two general categories of emulsions, the features of which are determined by the terminal usage. They are “ negative ” emulsions that are used for exposure in cameras and bring forth a reversed or negative image, and print images that produce the concluding exposure that we show off to our friends and relations.

Silver bromide

. The readying of a negative emulsion involves four distinct, but interrelated, stairss:

( 1 ) The formation of Ag halide crystals in gelatin through a precipitation procedure,

( 2 ) The recrystallization of the Ag halide grains by physical or Ostwald maturing

( 3 ) A rinsing procedure that removes extra soluble salts from the emulsion.

( 4 ) A digestion or chemical sensitising procedure affecting the warming of the emulsion to increase its sensitiveness to incident visible radiation.

The Ag halide is formed through the reaction of a halide and ammoniacal Ag nitrate, in a dilute ( about 1.5 per centum ) solution of gelatin at a temperature between 45° and 70° C. The halide and the silver solutions may be added to the gelatin together, in what is termed a double-jet procedure, or individually ( single-jet ) , in which instance the halide is added foremost followed by the Ag nitrate solution. The concentration of gelatin, the temperature, and the concentrations of the two solutions and the rates of add-on are of import factors in finding both the mean size and the size-distribution of the scattering of Ag halide and all must be carefully controlled.

After crystallisation, the emulsion is stored for several hours at a moderate temperature during which the norm crystal size additions via Ostwald maturing in which the smaller crystals tend to fade out while the larger crystals grow as crystallisation karyon.

Following this maturing procedure the byproducts are removed and the sum of free halide is reduced. Historically this was accomplished by chilling the emulsion to a gel and coercing it through a pierced screen to organize “ noodles ” which were so washed in running H2O. Other methods, which are by and large trade secrets, but include membrane filtration techniques, are now used in some instances.

After rinsing, extra gelatin is added to convey the emulsion to its concluding gelatin composing. Quite frequently, the added gelatin is rich in sulfur incorporating aminic acids. The concluding emulsion is so heated to a temperature between 50° and 800C for about an hr to ease the interaction of the S in the added gelatin and the Ag crystal

The sulfur-silver halide interaction increases the figure and size of the Ag sulfide sensitiveness centres and improves the features of the grains. An alkalic gold thiocyanate may besides be added at this phase to increase the sensitiveness of the emulsion.

Other additives to the concluding emulsion may include:

antifogging substances to retard the development of unexposed grains of Ag halide when the image is developed ;

a gelatin hardener to forestall the gelatin from inordinate swelling in processing ;

wetting agents and other constituents to command the wetting and other fluid features of the emulsion during the coating operation ;

wetting agents, lubricators, and anti-static agents to command the surface belongingss of the dried emulsion ;

Color-sensitizing dyes that expand the scope of light sensitiveness of the emulsion.

stabilizers to retard alterations in the size and size distribution of the grains ;

Because the printing of images on paper is carried out in the darkroom under closely controlled conditions, the light sensitiveness of the emulsion is non every bit critical as other ocular facets of the concluding print such as the tone and contrast of the image.

The emulsions used for developing documents differ from negative emulsions in a figure of of import respects. In fixing the paper photographic emulsion, the Ag may be added to the gelatin solution incorporating the soluble halide, as in the readying of a negative emulsion, the halide may be added to the gelatin Ag solution, or the Ag and soluble halide may be added at the same time. The rate of add-on and the concentrations involved are all designed to bring forth all right, uniformly sized crystals. In some procedures, precipitation takes topographic point in a somewhat acerb solution to suppress recrystallization and growing of the crystal size. An surplus of soluble halide is avoided for the same ground.

Paper emulsions are by and large non heat ripened, as are negative systems, since that would ensue in larger mean crystal sizes and tend to increase the sensitiveness. Nor are they by and large washed, because the concentration of salts is low and their presence tends to cut down farther maturation in storage and alterations in sensitiveness. In add-on, when the emulsion is coated on the paper, a important sum of the soluble salts is absorbed by the paper stock and therefore removed from the system. Those ions that remain in the emulsion may hold a desirable influence on the colour or contrast of the concluding image.

The velocity or sensitiveness of an emulsion can be adjusted in many instances by the usage of color-sensitizing dyes ( see below ) . Other additives may be antiseptics, such as phenol or thyme camphor to suppress the growing of micro-organisms ; hardeners, such as alum, methanal and glyoxal to better the physical features of the emulsion during storage and development ; and wetting agents, such as saponin or other wetting agents to cut down surface tenseness and ease the coating of the emulsion.

Particular documents with wider scopes of pertinence in footings of contrast, spectral sensitiveness, tonic qualities, etc. , may be produced in one of two ways:

( 1 ) By the alloy of two emulsions of different contrast and colour sensitiveness, and

( 2 ) By sensitising in such a manner that the consequence varies with the wavelength of the exposing visible radiation.

The Ag halide grains in a paper emulsion rarely exceed 0.01to 0.02 micrometers as compared with from 1.0 to 2.0 micrometers in a negative emulsion and the sum of Ag halide in the coated paper per unit country is about one-fifth that of a negative stuff

The Fixing Procedure

Once the developed image is obtained, a big sum of unexposed and undeveloped Ag halide remains in the emulsion. If that Ag halide is non removed before the image is exposed to radiation capable of bring forthing a latent image, the image will go on to darken. The procedure of taking the residuary Ag halide from the image is called “ repair. ”

The Ag halides are merely somewhat soluble in H2O ; hence, to take the stuff staying after development it is necessary to change over it to soluble composites which can he take by rinsing. Sodium thiosulfate, normally termed “ sodium thiosulphate, ” has been used for this intent since 1839.

The reactions in repairing can be written as follows:

AgBr + S2O3-2 — & gt ; AgS2O3- + Br- ( surface assimilation composite )

This is followed by

AgS2O3- + S2O3-2 — & gt ; Ag ( S203 ) 2-3 ( desorbed )

And by

Ag ( S203 ) 2-3 & lt ; — & gt ; AgS2O3- + S2O3 -2 ; AgS2O3 & lt ; — & gt ; Ag+ + S2O3-2

Within bounds, the rate of arrested development is indicated by the glade clip, i.e. , the clip required to take all seeable hints of silver halide from the image. This clip depends on the concentration of thiosulfate, the temperature, the agitation of the solution, but more peculiarly on the emulsion and the extent to which the repair bath has been used. Fine-grain emulsions fix in less clip than those of larger grains, and paper emulsions of Ag chloride fix faster than bromo-iodide negative emulsions. Thickly coated movies, other things being equal, fix more easy than those with a thin emulsion coating. The fixing clip increases appreciably as the solution becomes depleted. With continued use the halide-ion concentration rises in proportion to the sum of Ag halide dissolved. When the merchandise of the silver-ion and the halide-ion activities reaches the solubility merchandise of the least soluble Ag halide nowadays, the solution will fade out no more of that Ag halide and arrested development will needfully be uncomplete

It is normally desirable to indurate the gelatin after development, and while this may be accomplished by a indurating stop bath prior to repairing, the usual pattern is to unite indurating with repairing. The conventional repair and indurating bath contains in add-on to the repair agent:

1. An organic acid, normally acetic, to supply the necessary sourness to halt development and make the proper pH for effectual hardening.

2. Sodium sulfite, which prevents the decomposition of the thiosulfate by the acid and signifiers colorless oxidization merchandises of the developer therefore forestalling staining.

3. Alum as a hardening agent.

The hardening produced by alum is due to the reaction of the aluminium ions, Al+3, and the carboxyl groups of the gelatin with the formation of cross-linkages between concatenation molecules. The grade of hardening, other things such as temperature, alkalinity of the movie when placed in the repair bath, etc. , being equal, depends on the pH of the solution which in bend depends on the comparative proportions of acid, sulfite and alum.

Since the add-on of developer tends to increase the pH of the repairing bath, the solution should be buffered against an addition in pH. For this ground weak organic acids, such as acetic acid, are used in penchant to a stronger acid, such as sulfuric. The add-on of boracic acid increases the utile indurating life of K alum baths and reduces the inclination of the bath to organize sludge.

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