At the peak of their popularity, the tintype photograph captured the blank, unfocused gaze of Civil War soldiers, along with the solemn expressions of their worried loved ones. Inexpensive, small, lightweight, and durable, several tintypes could be conveniently tucked away in a soldier’s jacket pocket, making them a favorite memento among fighting men. Read more
The Civil War has long been viewed through a black-and-white lens. Photographs taken by the early pioneers of photography; Matthew Brady and Alexander Gardner, have greatly impacted our perception of the war. Soldiers, towns, battlefields and political figures are remembered as ghostly figures, draped in drab shades of grey. I’ve often wondered if the nostalgia we have for this period in history would be any different if those historical moments were captured in color.
During the American Civil War, Mathew B. Brady, Alexander Gardner, and other photographers enjoyed tremendous business success due in large part to the popularity of the carte de visite (abbreviated CDV). Cartes de visite provided soldiers, family and friends with an affordable way to share photographic portraits with one another. Cartes de visite provided a soldier with a picture of what he was fighting for; his family. And for those on the Homefront, cartes showcased images that helped explain the war. Read more
As your collection grows, you’ll want to keep a visual inventory of all the items in your collection. In addition to remembering what’s in your collection, such images will also help with insurance documentation and estate planning. And for those of us losing our minds, it’s often easier to go through pictures to remember what you have rather than digging through storage boxes, display cases, and notes in search of an item. This article will guide you through the basics of photographing your collection.