Looking through lenses at the Civil War

In honor of the anniversary of the first major battle of the Civil War, I herewith reblog this post.

Woolgathering and Widdershins

IMG_2949    Arriving at the Zoar Civil War weekend last Saturday, I glanced at the schedule of events and immediately headed to the main tent for a talk on Civil War photography presented by Michael Rhodes of Medina. I was not disappointed.IMG_2943
Rhodes, wearing a red shepherd check shirt, gray trousers and brown vest complete with pocket watch and sporting a brown bowler hat, had a reproduction camera lens housed in a wooden case mounted atop a wooden tripod. He explained the techniques of early photography — ISO of about 3, exposure times of 7 to 15 minutes, requiring a neck brace to hold the sitter’s head still — and the procedure involved taking a tintype, a process that evolved from the first method of taking photos. The camera had no button — one took a photo by removing the lens cover, and a quick exposure could be effected by holding…

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