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Dating Old Photos
Dated Imprints
Public Domain

NOTICE: A greatly expanded and PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED version of this material is being prepared as an ebook - watch this space for availability announcements.

Identifying Other Photographic Image Types

There are a great variety of other types of photographic and photo-mechanical images beside those already mentioned, but they are much less common or else more recent inventions. The most important ones will be briefly described here, with a listing of other types at the end, which we will describe in further detail eventually.

It is actually rather difficult to even define what constitutes a distinct 'type' of photograph. Most photographic processes rely on two stages, the negative, which is exposed in the camera, and then the positive, which is printed from the negative. As we have seen in our discussion of cased images, those photographs are 'direct positives' produced in the camera, one at a time. With the negative-positive processes, how much difference is needed to create a distinct 'type'? Are albumen prints made from a paper negative, wet plate and dry plate distinct types? They certainly have distinguishing characteristics. How about CDVs made with albumen prints, carbon prints, platinum prints or calotypes? All just CDVs or distinct 'types'? And just look at our description of the Ivorytype to see an example of one term being applied to may distinct processes. We list here some of the various technologies, but the question of 'types' remains open for now ...


The autochrome method produced positive color transparencies. Early autochromes are on glass plates, and were sometimes used in magic lanterns, though they were easily damaged by that technique of projection. Later autochromes were on plastic. Typically they were viewed directly with strong back-lighting, or produced as stereo views and seen through the stereo-viewer. Expensive to produce, they were more used in commercial and fine art contexts than by average photographers.


The hyalotype is a positive image on glass, and was used to project enlarged images on a wall or screen using the magic lantern. The most common size was 192mm x 83mm, though various slightly less wide versions exist, down to 83mm x 83mm square. They were produced in black and white, but often were hand tinted, just as with paper photographs.

There were also slide strips used in magic lanterns, measuring 165mm x 44mm to about 200mm x 60mm, but those I've seen have had painted images -- perhaps some hyalotypes were produced in those dimensions too.


Ivorytype -- has a nice ring to it doesn't it? Perhaps that is why it has been applied to various totally-distinct photographic processes.

The earliest references, called Mayall's process, used a collodion negative to contact print a positive image onto a thin sheet of natural or imitation ivory coated with light sensitive silver chloride in an albumen binder. While the image was still wet, the albumen binder was rubbed off leaving a faint image which was gold toned to make it darker and more permanent. When that was dry, the image was painted over in color in the same fashion as a traditional ivory miniature.

Another description, sometimes called American Ivorytype, suggests a paper salt-print be made, then stretched over a glass sheet and painted in vigorous colors -- much denser than normal coloring. Then another glass plate is coated with melted wax and kept warm, so the wax does not harden, and the colorized paper print is placed face down on the waxed surface, and smoothed against it.

Another process, sometimes called Toovytype uses an image printed directly on milk glass, then colorized and wax coated.

Another is described as: a picture produced by superposing a very light print, rendered translucent by varnish, and tinted upon the back, upon a stronger print, so as to give the effect of a photograph in natural colors; - called also Hellenotype.

Or one could use two colored prints on separate sheets of glass, assembled with a space in-between. Also called Hallotype.

Oliver Sarony (brother of the famous New York photographer Napoleon Sarony) suggested that simply waxing (or oiling or varnishing) a colored salt print, the subject of which was photographed against a light backdrop, then backing the piece with white paper, produced a print that emulated painted ivory.

Ivorytype should not be confused with the cabinet cards labeled 'Ivoryette' or 'Ivory Process' -- terms intended to imply results similar to the ivorytype, but that simply consisted of burnishing methods for regular prints.

Laundary List of Types of Photographic Processes

  • Abration tone
  • Acetate film
  • Agfacolor
  • Albertype
  • Albumen
  • Algraphy
  • Ambrotype
  • Amphitype
  • Amylotype
  • Anaglyph
  • Anthotype
  • Anthrakotype
  • Archertype
  • Argentotype
  • Argyrotype
  • Aristo paper
  • Aristotype
  • Artotype
  • Atrephograph
  • Atrograph
  • Aurotype
  • Autochrome
  • Autotype
  • Baryta coated paper
  • Bayard process
  • Bichromate process
  • Bichromated gelatin
  • Bichromated gum arabic
  • Bichromatic albumen
  • Bitumen of Judea
  • Breyertype
  • Bromoil
  • Burneum
  • Calotype
  • Cameo
  • Carbon print
  • Carbon print
  • Carbro
  • Casein pigment
  • Catalisotype
  • Catalysotype
  • Catatype
  • Cellulose diacetate negative
  • Cellulose nitrate negative
  • Cellulose triacetate negative
  • Ceroleine
  • Chalkotype
  • Charbon Velour
  • Chripotype
  • Chromatype
  • Chromogenic negative (C-41 and RA-4 processes)
  • Chromogenic positive (Ektachrome, E-3, E-4 and E-6 processes)
  • Chrysotype
  • Chrystollotype
  • Cliché verre
  • Collodion paper
  • Collodion process
  • Collotype
  • Color paper
  • Contact print or sheet
  • Contretype
  • Copper Photogravure
  • Crystal photo
  • Crystoleum
  • Cyanotype
  • Daguerreotype
  • Dallastype
  • Diaphanotype
  • Diazotype
  • DR5 chrome B&W positive
  • Dry collodion
  • Dry plate
  • Dufaycolor
  • Dye coupler
  • Dye destruction
  • Dye destruction (Cibachrome and Ilfochrome)
  • Dye diffusion transfer
  • Dye transfer print
  • Dye-transfer process
  • Eburneum
  • Ectograph
  • Ectographe
  • Electrotype
  • Enamaline
  • Enamel photograph
  • Energiatype
  • Feertype
  • Ferroprussiate paper
  • Ferrotype (see Tintype)
  • Fluorotype
  • Gaslight paper
  • Gaudinotype
  • Gelatin-silver
  • Gelatino-Bromide
  • Gem tintype
  • Ghost photograph
  • Gum Dichromate
  • Gum bichromate
  • Gum over platinum
  • Gum printing
  • Hallotype
  • Heliochrome
  • Heliography
  • Heliotype
  • Hellenotype
  • Hillotype
  • Hyalotype
  • Hydrotype
  • Intermediate negative
  • Internegative
  • Iron salt
  • Ivorytype
  • Jews pith
  • Kallitype
  • Kodachrome (K-12 and K-14 processes)
  • Lambertype
  • LeGray
  • Leggotype
  • Levytype
  • Linograph
  • Linotype
  • Lippmann plate
  • Mariotype
  • Meisenbach
  • Melainotype
  • Melanograph
  • Metotype
  • Mordançage
  • Negative
  • Oil printing
  • Opalotype
  • Ozobrom
  • Ozobrome
  • Ozotype
  • Palladiotype
  • Palladiotype
  • Palladium Print
  • Palladium processing
  • Pannotype
  • Paper negative
  • Paynetype
  • Photo instrumentation
  • Photocollography
  • Photogram
  • Photogravure
  • Photolithography
  • Photosculpture
  • Phototype
  • Physautotype
  • Pinatype process
  • Platinotype
  • Playertype
  • Plumbeotype
  • Salt print
  • Salted paper
  • Self-toning paper
  • Sepia
  • Sepia paper
  • Shellac
  • Siderotype
  • Silver bromide
  • Silver chloride collodion
  • Simpsontype
  • Sphereotype
  • Stannotype
  • Sun printing
  • Talbotype
  • Tintype or Ferrotype
  • Tithnotype
  • Transferotype
  • Uranium print
  • Van Dyke
  • Vescicular film
  • Wash-off Relief
  • Wax paper
  • Wet collodion plate
  • Wet collodion process
  • Wet plate process
  • Woodburytype
  • Wothlytype

NOTICE: A greatly expanded and PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED version of this material is being prepared as an ebook - watch this space for availability announcements.

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