JAIC 1999, Volume 38, Number 2, Article 2 (pp. 124 to 143)
DIFFERENCES IN IMAGE TONALITY PRODUCED BY DIFFERENT TONING PROTOCOLS FOR MATTE COLLODION PHOTOGRAPHS
ABSTRACT—Matte collodion photographs were the dominant medium used by commercial portrait photographers at the turn of the century. These prints usually display a black neutral tone and have a matte surface and an excellent stability. For this reason, they have often been mistakenly identified as platinum prints. The tonality of matte collodion prints can also vary from purple to brown. This article will examine the possible factors responsible for these differences in tone. A brief history of printing processes will be given, followed by a description of the matte collodion process and the different toning protocols described in photographic treatises and journals of the period. Results of elemental analysis will also be discussed.