Experiencing 19th Century photography

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Rambow (right) shows some of them the 4x6 photograph that resulted from their efforts to stand as entirely still as possible for 10 seconds.

Pictured (from top to bottom) is Rambow, manager of the H.H. Bennett Studio Wisconsin Historic Site, and Jenna Loda-Eddy, also from the site, located in the Wisconsin Dells, preparing to strike a portrait of the participants.

Lastly, this is the group portrait (which turns out reversed) that came of the experience. If you look very closely on left side of this finished version, you can see the silhouette of a young boy who wanted to look like a “spirit” in the photo. So, after 5 seconds of standing for the shot, he was instructed to move quickly out of the frame. For more information about the historic site, visit hhbennettstudio.org. To see a few short video clips, with more educational information about the tintype process, go to the Courier Press Facebook page. (Photos by Correne Martin and Wendy Scherer)

A group of Fridays at the Fort attendees enjoyed stepping back in time to experience the sights and smells of an 1875 tintype photography studio, on the grounds of the Ft. Crawford Museum in Prairie du Chien Aug. 2. 

They learned about 19th Century photography and witnessed the developing process, using the same wet plate photography method used by H.H. Bennett over 100 years ago. Ultimately, many of Friday’s viewers had a group portrait “struck” by David Rambow, with authentic historic lenses that captured the moment on a thin 4x6 sheet of metal.

The next free Fridays at the Fort will focus on fur trade animals, at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 9.

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