Coming to MNBP I had several objectives. One of which was to photograph the Park using "old style photography."
At the time of the Civil War, photography was still evolving. Only about 20 years earlier Daguerre had brought the Daguerreotype to the world. Photographers were able to produce incredibly beautiful images. However, they were single use pictures; a positive on a piece of tin. One picture that one person can view at a time. At the same time in England a Mr. Talbot was working on printing processes as well, eventually producing a silver print on salted paper which he called Calliotype. This at least allowed multiple prints to be produced from a single image.
By 1850 a process called collodion was created, where a negative could be created on a glass plate. The exposure times were significantly improved, from minutes to a second or so. And these crisp negatives could be used to create many finished prints.
The prints were known as albumen prints. An upgrade to the basic salt paper print.
I create salted paper prints using casein, which is milk proteins instead of egg proteins (albumen).
Below are 2 test prints I made here on the battlefield. All using analog equipment, film, and traditional techniques. And all without a darkroom!
The images were taken with a 4x5 view camera (similar to the equipment used by the Civil War photographers, 157 years ago). The negative is then sandwiched with the salted casein paper and exposed to the sun and then processed through various solutions to set the image and make it permanent.