Emile Frechon

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I would like to share a discovery with you, the helpful members of this forum, and I would like to have your thoughts on it.

I have come across photographs by Emile Frechon, a French photographer who photographed in Algeria around the 1900s. I know that he photographed in France, too, but I am most interested in his photographs of Algeria.

I am intrigued by the way in which his photographs seem to glow. I read that he printed with gold, which may account for that fact. I am also intrigued by how otherworldly Algeria and other places look in his photographs; the light looks like a Biblical painting, and seems to be present in every part of the photographs, including the shadows.

I have seen only a handful of his photographs on the Internet. Here are a few:



http://www.iphotocentral.com/search/full_image.php?uSID=3142de4f8d59b597454660fd505b85b1&myNum=0&strImg=..%2FPhotos%2FVintageWorks_Images%2FFull%2F3525Frechonboats.JPG&iID=970 .

Again, I would like to know what you think of his photographs. If you know mor about him, I would appreciate that, too.

Thank you!

-- Matthew Runde (actorm@hotmail.com), March 13, 2002


The photos are lovely. They are all identified as silver images, though obviously heavily toned. Usually gold toning cools a silver image, though there are exceptions to this when gold is combined with other toners. Others may have a better idea what toning was used by looking at the shots. One shot is identified as "silver pigment," which is a completely unknown process to me, and might be a mis- translation from French for all I know.

Good luck in your search,


-- Nathan Congdon (ncongdon@jhmi.edu), March 13, 2002.

looks like albumen. it's a silver handcoating process. beautiful stuff!

regards ec

-- eck wheeler (ew1photo@aol.com), March 13, 2002.

Beautiful work... Ah, those 100 + years old lenses... those emulsions...

-- domenico (applethorpe@earthlink.net), March 14, 2002.

I think the photos are quite nice, but my 6 year old laptop screen does not do justice to the subtle hues of what may be albumen prints.

As a side note, in case you really want to dig into the subject of albumen and such closely related print-out techniques, check out this site for more in-depth studies of it: http://albumen.stanford.edu/library/monographs/reilly/index.html

It's one of the best examples of how one can produce an electronic version of an out-of-print book. Lovely, IMO. Just makes me want to get to grips with eggs and chemicals. :)

-- Jimi Axelsson (jimi@earthling.net), March 14, 2002.

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