I-38242 | Rideau Falls, Ottawa, ON, 1869

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Rideau Falls, Ottawa, ON, 1869
William Notman (1826-1891)
1869, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Wet collodion process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Photograph (77678) , waterfall (388) , Waterscape (2986)
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Keys to History

The problem of long exposures and slow emulsions remained. This photograph of the Rideau Falls is beautiful in its smoothness; the reason the water looks so smooth is that it was moving during the exposure and created a blur. The blur enhances the image in this case, but would be unacceptable in a portrait. Because the emulsion reacted slowly to any change in the sitter's position, if she moved her eyes or an arm, the resulting photograph would show her with blank eyes, a fuzzy arm or even two arms.

Source : In the Eye of the Camera [Web tour], by Nora Hague, McCord Museum (see Links)