Quote Originally Posted by kaishowing View Post
Seeing the age of the camera I just assumed that it was an 'uncover the lens and count to 10' type camera. Do you happen to know about what time that they could regulate shutter speeds?
Also was there any advancement in chemical processes that could possibly allow the image to be transferred to the plate more rapidly?

That particular image was dated August 1887, and as far as the people at the heritage centre are aware, that's an accurate notation.

It's a stunning collection which the heritage society are in the process of digitising - just for sake of preservation. I would imagine that after that has been done the plates will be carefully stored away safely for future generations.
The Johnston collection is huge. There are over 10,000 shots like the one in question from all over the county, plus another 40,000 portraits.
To sort through it all will take years, but one that has captured the local people's imagination - luckily.
There were a huge number of photographic innovations in the 1880s. For example, silver gelatine dry plate negatives were in use by then. These were faster and much more convenient than the earlier wet plates. By faster, I mean that they reacted to light more quickly so you could have shorter exposure times. Judging from the picture of his 'portable camera' I'd say it probably was an 'uncover the lens and count to 10' but the photographer may well have been counting to 1 by then. I'm not sure when the first automatic shutters came into use.