Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks

Engravings and Engravers

  

Descriptions of 
Engraving and Etching

Processes

Please scroll down the page, or select one of these headings ...

Woodcutting

 Wood Engraving

Copper Plate Engraving

Steel Plate Engraving

Etching

Aquatint

Stipple Engraving

Photogravure

Lithography

  

1.

Woodcutting

Process

-  A picture is cut into a raised block of soft wood, cut along the grain.

-  The raised parts of the picture are inked.

-  A dampened sheet of paper is laid over the block

-  An impression is taken by applying pressure by rubbing by hand with a burnisher or putting the block through a printing press.

Comments

This was the first process to be used in Europe for printing on paper.  The grain of the wood can sometimes be seen in the final print. 

  

2.

Wood Engraving

Process

The wood engraving process, like the woodcutting process is a relief process.  i.e. it is the raised parts that are inked.  Wood engraving  is similar to woodcutting (above) except that:

-  hard wood, cut across the grain, is used.

-  the picture to be cut could be traced onto the block or, since the 1860s transferred photographically onto the block.

Comments

Wood engraving like woodcutting, is a relief process.  i.e. it is the raised parts of the block that are inked and form the picture.  Thin white lines cut into the wood can result in the engraving having the appearance of a white drawing on black.

Edinburgh

Robert Bishop, partner of James Ross in 1844,  was a  wood engraver.

   

3.

Copper Plate Engraving

Process

This is an intaglio (not a relief) process.  i.e. it is the grooves, rather than the raised portions that are inked.  The steps are:

-  A drawing is cut into a copper plate using a burin, a metal tool with a sharp point, to remove the metal and create the lines of the drawing.

-  Ink is applied to the plate with a dabber or roller, and forced into the grooves.

-  The surface is cleaned with soft muslin.

-  A sheet of paper is laid over the plate

-  The plate and paper are passed through a rolling press that applies pressure and forces the paper into the grooves to pick up the ink.

  

4.

Steel Plate Engraving

Process

-  The process is the same as for copper plate engraving above, except that a steel plate was used.  Steel is harder and so more difficult to cut, but the plate lasted longer and could create a larger number of impressions before being too worn to use.

Comments

Steel Plates have been used since the 1820s.  

Steel plates can be distinguished from those on copper.  The parallel lines and the lines in the cross-hatched areas tend to be finer and closer together on steel engravings than on copper engravings.

This was a skilled trade, with individual engravers often being responsible for just one aspect of an engraving, such as use of a roulette to create texture, or engraving faces, or interlining.  In later years, equipment was produced for drawing parallel lines mechanically.

Steel plate engraving is considered to have achieved its greatest results between 1820 and 1860.  But by 1840 the industry for books was already going into recession.  Large single loose prints for collectors continued for much longer.  [Ray McKenzie]

From the late 1850s onwards, the 'steel plates' used were, in fact, copper plates faced with steel.  So the engraver had the advantage of a  hard-wearing surface combined with a more easily engraved metal beneath.

  

5.

Etching

Process

The etching process is similar to Steel Plate Engraving (above) in that a picture is formed by grooves on a metal plate, and these grooves then filled with ink.  

However,  for etching, the metal used may have been zink, and the  picture was bitten into the plate with acid, rather than being cut in with a tool.  The process was:

-  Prepare a  'ground'.  This is a waxy substance impervious to acid, normally a mix of beeswax, asphaltum, pitch and gum-mastic.

-  Heat the metal plate, and rub the block of ground over it until it melts, spreading the ground over the surface with a roller or dabber.

-  Smoke the ground with burning tapers to make it black.

-  Draw the picture onto the metal with a needle.  This will open up bare metal.

-  Varnish the back and edges of the plate to protect them.

-  Insert the plate in acid.  

-  Remove from the acid after a period, which can vary from one minute to two hours.

-  Add varnish to those lines where no further action is required, then return the plate to the acid (then repeat these steps as necessary).

-  Remove the varnish and ground from the plate.

-  Ink the plate and create prints, as described in engraving (above)

Edinburgh

Edinburgh has had many engravers, including:

- Alexander Runciman
-  John  Runciman
-  John Kay
-  Sir David Wilkie
-  John MacWhirter.

Please  click here for further details.

 

6.

Aquatint

Process

Aquatint is an etching process that uses a porous ground.  This creates an etching with texture and tone.

-  Use aspheltum and resin to create a finely powdered ground.

-  Shake the ground over the plate and allow the dust particles to settle.  

-  Heat the metal plate gently until the ground melts on it.

-  Etch the plate with acid as for the etching (above).

-  Ink the plate and create prints, as described for engraving (above)

   

7.

Stipple Engraving

Process

Stipple engraving is a cross between engraving and etching.  The process is:

-  Prepare the plate with a normal etching ground.

-  Use an etching needle to make dotted patterns

-  Immerse in acid until the dotted areas become small pits. 

-  Add to these pits that have been bitten out of the metal by scraping away further metal with a burin as in engraving.

-  Ink the plate and create prints, as described for engraving (above)

 

8.

Photogravure

Process

Photogravure was invented in 1869, and widely used by the 1880s.  It consists of transferring a photographic image onto a metal plate.  The process is:

-   Project an image onto a sheet of light sensitive gelatine.  The gelatine will harden and become insensitive to light in proportion to the amount of light received.

-  Attach the sheet of gelatine to a plate, possibly first covered in aquatint ground.

-  Immerse the plate in warm water to remove soft gelatine.

-  Immerse in acid, then proceed  as for etching (above).

-  Ink the plate and create prints, as described for engraving (above)

Comments

The instructions above are for hand photogravure.  

During the 1880s, a machine photogravure process was also invented.  The machine photogravure used a screen consisting of tiny square dots, rather than a ground, and  normally ending with printing from a drum.

This enabled high quality prints to be created cheaply and quickly and so took over from the earlier engraving and etching processes for commercial printing.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh has had many companies describing themselves as photo process engravers, some also claimed to be photographers.  These included:

-   J M Bell & Co
-  
Archibald, Fowler & Ferrier Ltd
-  
Alexander Wood & Son
-  
David Stevenson & Co.

Please  click here for further details.

 

9.

Lithography

Process

Lithography was invented in Munich in 1798.  It relies on the fact that grease and water repel each other.  

-   A picture is drawn using a greasy medium

-  The drawing is protected by sponging the stone with a solution of gum arabic (to protect the surface from further grease) and weak acid (to open up the surface)

-  The surface is then dampened with water that settles only on the unmarked areas

-  Greasy paint is applied to the surface with a roller, and so adheres to the areas that have been drawn.

-  The picture is transferred to paper by laying the paper, supported from behind on the stone or plate.

Comments

The surface used for the lithograph was originally limestone.   Stone is still often preferred by artists, but for practical reasons, zink has been used from from about 1830, then aluminium from about 1890.

The picture can be drawn with chalk, crayons or printing ink in grease.

Colour lithography usually involves the use of several stones to make a single colour print

 

The notes above are taken from the book Printmaking by Susan Lambert.  This booklet also gives many other details.  
My notes above are fairly basic.  I hope soon to add more details of  particular relevance to Edinburgh.

 

 

Engravers and Engraving

Books

Modern Athens - 1829

Old & New Edinburgh - 1890

Other engravings

Early engravers

More recent engravers

Engravings and Engravers

Engravings - index

Processes

Engravings

Etchers etc

Photographers

A selection of  Engravings

 

__________________

 

Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks