Where do these photographs come from?
The original photographs are photographic plates made of glass
as shown below They are
positive stereoplates with the left print and the right print on
the same plate. These prints were taken with a camera called
Verascope Richard. Most of these plates are sepia although some
are black and white.
These photographs are family pictures which were taken by my great uncles Laurent and mostly Augustin Seguin. Aviation was their passion and they did a lot in this field back then.
Laurent Seguin invented the Gnome engine which was lighter than the other engines in use at that time because it was at the same time the wheel engine which was a very heavy piece. Besides the air cooling was very efficient, simple and light. A lot of the photographed aeroplanes are set whith such an engine. The two brothers were probably visiting their clients or attending the air meetings. They had their Verascope camera with them always.
Augustin was a pilot but he had a terrible plane accident which let him leg paralyzed. He quited piloting then and got interested in numerous new technologies. One of them was the stroboscope which he used to observe the rotating machines in the Gnome engine factories. He invented a new technic called Stroborama.
As the two brothers had a lot of activities and were successful, they happened to travel a lot. They braught back from their trips many photographs. It is to be noticed the quality of the picture, often very artistic.
About 400 pictures will be featured on this site when I am finished with the cleaning and selection of the plates that I have to photograph and process to be on the site.
How do I process the photographs ?
I first clean the plates : I use a glass cleaner on the glassy side and a specific cloth for films on the gelatinous side.\par For the first plates , I took a picture of the plate with my " Digital Sony Mavica FD81 " camera set with a 4 dioptries close-up lense. I used it in black and white mode. The pictures were 1024 X 768 dots. I then had to reframe them as the original pictures are the shape of a square. For this step I made a lightening boxe out of a large metal box in which I put a energy saver type of bulb, two reflective mirrors and a non translucent glass and a suportive frame that fits the Verascope plates.
Actually, I prefer scanning them with an excellent AGFA Duoscan.
After having the 2 pictures in a computer format, I put the left picture in the red layer and the right picture in the green/blue layer (cyan : complementary color for the red). Then I conform the right picture to the left one as there is often slight shifts eventhough I take the pictures with great caution. Then I reframe the whole work to take out the parts with only one foreground. I get down the resolution to get 600X800 points which is the best ration for picture quality/time loading. I use Photoshop on PC.\par }
This machine is the Richard " taxiphote " . It was the vieving machine perfectly suited to watch these plates in stereo : the plates are stored in special trays, and a simple button permits to load the the next plate.