INNOVATIVE 19TH CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHER.
By Bill Dobbins
Édouard Baldus (June 5, 1813, Grünebach, Prussia – 1889, Arcueil) was a French landscape, architectural and railway photographer. Édouard-Denis Baldus was born on June 5, 1813 in Grünebach, Prussia. He was originally trained as a painter and had also worked as a draughtsman and lithographer before switching to photography in 1849. – Wikipedia
Baldus was well known throughout France for his efforts in photography. One of his greatest assignments was to document the construction of the Louvre museum. His skills included architectural and landscape photos along with many other types of photography. Relying on the technology of the time, he used wet and dry paper negatives as large as 10×14 inches in size. From these negatives, he made contact prints. In order to create a larger image, he put contact prints side by side to create a panoramic effect. This was a technique that was going to be copied by others from then on.
He was renowned for the sheer size of his pictures, which ranged up to eight feet long for one panorama from around 1855, made from several negatives. – Wikipedia
Despite the documentary nature of many of his assignments, Baldus was inventive in overcoming the limitations of the calotype process (described here). Long before airbrushing or Photoshop, he often retouched his negatives to blank out buildings and trees, or to put clouds in white skies; in his composite print of the medieval cloister of St. Trophime, in Arles (1851), he pieced together fragments of 10 different negatives to capture focus in depth in a panoramic view of the interior space and also render detail in the brightly lit courtyard outside.
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