John Falconer, British Library
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia
At the 19 January 1859 meeting of the Bengal Photographic Society, ‘Mr Stewart forwarded a number of stereoscopic views taken on the dry plates which the Society had brought out from England; some of these were very good, the half tones of the foliage coming out well. Mr Stewart gave the following particulars:-
I may mention that the palm scene is from a negative taken on the prepared plates of Messrs. Hill and Norris. Exposure 2 minutes for each picture, with an exceedingly small stop. The dry plates answer admirably, and develope rapidly and beautifully when the exposure has been properly timed. Of another subject I have a much finer negative, which I kept three days after exposure before developing, and the development is perfect. The plate not in the smallest degree affected by the delay. The secret if there is any seems to be in washing the plates thoroughly in distilled water, by placing them in a chemically clean porcelain dish, allowing them to remain in it for 5 minutes, and tilting the water backward and forward over the surface from time to time. After pouring on the developer, keep moving the plate. The details begin to stand out beautifully in the course of half a minute or so. I used Mr Rowe’s citric acid developer as it was to hand, and not that given in the printed instructions accomapnying the plates. There is however not much difference inthe formulas. The quantity of Nitrate silver solution to the developer I employed was about the same as Messrs Hill and Norris recommend.
At 16 February 1859 meeting of the Bengal Photographic Society, ‘Mr H.J. Stewart mentioned that he had been very successfully working the dry collodion plates which the society had received from England, that in no instance, when the exposure had been sufficient, had he found them to fail, and strongly recommended them to the attention of the members.’ Also shown ‘By Mr H.J. Stewart, of Garden Reach a further collection of his stereoscopic photographs taken on the dry plates above referred to. The half tones were well brought out and the negatives sharp and intense.’
Elected to the committee of the Bengal Photographic Society Feb 1862.
- Λ The Englishman, 22 January 1859.
- Λ The Englishman, 24 February 1859.
- Λ Journal of the Bengal Photographic Society, vol. 1, no. 1, 1 May 1862.