Sunday, November 23, 2008

restoring daguerreotypes

Holding back the years: "Like any art, daguerreotypes are subject to the ravages of time. Life Sciences Division researchers John Miller and Valerie Golovlev are developing a way to clean and restore occluded daguerreotypes by using a laser process that cleans impurities and blemishes from the image’s surface.

“There is something magical about the way daguerreotypes look, and much of it may have to do with the surface structure involved in the process,” says Miller, who specializes in photonics, or optical, research. “The pictures are made up of little bumps of silver crystals. They reflect light in a way that suggests depth, and at certain viewing angles you can get either negative and positive images. It’s really a nanostructured image.”

The heyday of Louis Daguerre’s process was from 1840 to 1860. After a century and a half, many photos have deteriorated. Miller says the deterioration is from impurities that tarnish and obscure the image. . . . .

restoring daguerreotype photography museum - Google Search

“A typical daguerreotype gets a bluish oxidation circle around the edges. It gives it an antique quality, but eventually it can obscure the image,” he says, explaining that the surface deposits can be composed of silver oxide, silver sulfide or even contaminants from a brass mat or cover glass."

laser Daguerreotype - Google Search - Study of surface tarnish on daguerreotypes - Google Search


Post a Comment

<< Home