Introduce Yourself!

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    You don’t have to be a daguerreotypist to post here. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Website? Daguerreotypist? Pro? Hobbyist? Vocation?

    My name is Jonathan Danforth. I’m a programmer by day and a daguerreotypist by night/weekend. My website is I live in Durham, NC USA and I’m 28. I’ve been making daguerreotypes since 2004 and I love them for their elegance and visual quality. I make dags all the way up to 8×10″ and I shoot with a Calumet C1 8×10 camera using a handful of lenses (Schneider 150mm XL, Nikkor macro, Ektar 300mm) and I make contact prints.



    Good idea, yes we all need to get acquainted!
    I am Alan Bekhuis of I came to this genre by way of 11 years working in Museums, Archives and other collecting institutions, managing photographic collections. Though from New Zealand I studied at the George Eastman House and my course project was the construction of 19th Century cases for photographic images. Through getting my images on display at a auction preview of daguerreotypes at Sotheby’s NY, it became a business. My case and passe partout making is all self taught and since I have been doing it for 9 years, is not to bad at times. My goal has always been to make the whole image object – daguerreotype in its authentic enclosure and the last few years have been making the images as well. This last year I have upgraded to mercury development and you can see the equipment on the Galleries pages. I wouldn’t recommend being both case and image maker, as it is very taxing keeping up with both. I think Mathew Brady gave up the case making once he became a daguerreotypist, I can see why but I couldn’t give up either now.
    I also do web design, the community site is software driven but my own web site (which soon I will expand and have my dags on) was written from scratch by myself with a macbook pro and Adobe CS3 (viva la MAC!)


    Jon Lewis

    I’m Jon Lewis and I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. I’m 24 years old and have been studying photography in classes and on my own for the past 4 or so years. I shoot and develop black and white film and make prints when I can get into the darkroom at school. I’ve also made several pinhole cameras and I’m currently working on a series of panoramic cyanotypes from negatives exposed in an 8×20 pinhole camera. I have also dabbled in stereo photography.

    I am interested in many different photographic processes but to me, the daguerreotype is the pinnacle of photography. They are unique images with nearly infinite detail and incredible depth. Chemically stable and mechanically fragile, it’s the whole daguerreotype package, image and case, that fascinates me. For the past six months I’ve been researching, in books and online, the daguerreotype process in order to wrap my head around it.

    During the day I work as a ‘multimedia programmer’ which seems to mean I do the programming for the various websites, manage photographs, move data from point A to point B, prep documents to go to the printer, and any number of other things. I’m also trying to convince my work to let me digitize their extensive photographic archives which are from Santa Fe from around the 1890s through the 1940s. Ideally I’d like to do become a photo-archivist/conservator/restorer specializing in daguerreotypes and early stereo photography as well as practicing my own personal daguerreotypy. But for now, I still have A LOT to learn.

    Some of my photographs can be seen here (there is a lot of on there junk since I tend to have pretty low flickr posting standards):

    I also have a half dozen vintage daguerreotypes which I got to use as examples in my own daguerreotypy: … 346427270/

    I hope to be creating my own daguerreotypes soon and I am honored to be in the company of so many great daguerreotypists!


    Andy Stockton

    I am Andy Stockton and I live about five minutes south of San Francisco. I work full time as an analyst/programmer at San Francisco State University where I run the 12 person technology services team for the Housing department. Having never been the type to be satisfied doing just one thing I have also worked the last 16 years part time as a hospice nurse for the second oldest Hospice in the US, now known as Hospice by the Bay. I find the two fields provide a kind of balance in my life.

    I have been a passionate amateur photographer since I was quite young, but had mostly kept my efforts to myself. In the last 3 years I have gotten into digital photography in a big way and have been preparing myself for perhaps the last career change of my life as I move slowly toward retirement from my present careers (two kids to get through college first!). I am – hard though it is for me to say it still – trying to become an artist. Call it an early unborn career.

    I had been grappling for a while however with the realization that digital photography, while challenging and fun, was proving to be unsatisfying to me. There is just this feeling that it is manipulation to the millionth degree. I can’t really fully articulate it yet. I still enjoy digital photography, but the artist I am trying to "let out" wants something really different.

    So on April 22 of this year I had a personal revelation of a sort. I had been thinking about photography when the word daguerreotype popped into my head. Something clicked in a big way, and since then I have been pursuing the skills and equipment I need to produce daguerreotypes. There is something about the depth and beauty of the daguerreotype that I think sets it apart from any other photographic medium.

    I am writing about the process at Writing about it is helping me keep on track, and I hope the site will be useful in the future as a resource for others who want to learn the craft.

    I am looking forward to the discussions on this site and to an expansion of the modern daguerreotype movement.


    70’s Dager

    Hello my name is Walter Johnson and I had started to collect Photographica in 1965 and still at it, but at a very much smaller pace. Offered a job at the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio in 1968 and on Nov. 1968 was to host the first conference to bring attention to the collection of photographic objects. Mr. Beaumont Newhall had come as our key speaker; please check The Daguerreian Society Newsletter, May/June 2006 for the full story.
    Dec. of that year the Ohio Camera Collectors Society was formed and I served as the first president. While at OSU things were to change quickly for the Dept. of Photography and Cinema with the introduction of classes teaching the History of Photography; the 502 class was well received and I became the instructor 1969. My questions about all the 19th century photo processes then were insistent and I felt that I must undertake to try my hand at the Daguerreotype process quickly. I did have several early volumes that contained information and instructions as the making of Daguerreotypes, and after many failed efforts 1969, I did finely made my first image the fall of 1970. The Daguerreian Society was started with the publishing of The New Daguerreian Journal, Aug, 1971, with Vol. 1, No.1, and continued untill July, 1975. Designed with the original journal in mind, the NDJ was to include a ton of information on/or about historic people, process, and cameras and other related tools used to make Daguerreotypes. I also wanted to encourge the use of the Daguerreotype process for modern images, and would show as many new images as possible, the image of Chris Duckworth made on a front surface mirror is a great example; Vol.3 No.1.
    Please enjoy reading my account of Prof. Simon Alexander Wooley in the OSU classroon in the Sept./Oct. 2006 issue of theDaguerreian Society Newsletter.
    I’m always open to any and all ideas about the making of Daguerreotypes or any other 19th century photo process; be safe and enjoy.
    Walter Johnson



    I’m Rob Mertz, many years at photography, almost as many interested in daguerreotypes. I read an article in the early 1970’s that someone had made a modern daguerreotype, but it took me until 1998 to meet Ken Nelson and have him pull one of his images out of the trunk of his car at the George Eastman House :o Wow, was I ever hooked again by seeing that modern dag! I’ve only made a handful of images since 2000 and I am setting up my tools and process so I can take many more.



    Took my first plate 2 years ago in a class from Jerry Spangnoli. Have meant to get the equipment for some time, but recently have jumped into it due to my discovery and restoration of a chamfered box dag camera and wooden tripod.

    With help from my dad, who repairs and restores antique furniture, I have replicated all the period equipment and repaired the camera to it’s full glory.


    corey r

    Hello All,
    My name is Corey Riddell. I am currently trying to get my self all set to teach my self the process. If anyone knows of a good plater in the San Francisco bay area (preferably south or east bay) I would love some help there.
    I am a teaching assistant at the university of santa cruz in our photo department taking some time off before I start my grad work. I don’t think that I need to explain to any of you why I am so drawn to the process but I guess I will anyway. The individual, precious object that a silver mirror sealed in glass has had me wishing for years that i had the time, space and funds to do so. The time and the space is suddenly there but the funding I just have to cut back on the icecream and movie dates. I’m jumping in head first, building a box camera, fuming box, gilding stand, the whole shebang. I’ll be using the Becquerrel development technique (avoiding mercury for the moment as I’m a bit spooked by the cumulative effects of poisoning) so any pointers for a newb are appreciated.
    Photography and tinkering are both a bit of a family tradition, my great grandfather had a wet plate studio in northern california and my father put a camera in my hands when I was 5.

    If you want to take a look at some recent large format darkroom work of mine you can look at my flickr (be warned some images may be NSFW):

    So into this great adventure I dive. To those of you who have already pointed me towards resources and offered words of encouragement, thank you. Its nice to know that there’s others out there who are as wild about this process as I am if not more so.

    corey r



    Hi everyone,

    My name is David Vickers and I’ve been involved in photography on an amateur / semi-professional basis for about 20 years now. I’m just getting in to large format photography and am currently awaiting the delivery of a c1900 5×4 plate camera (Premo Pony #4).

    I also run the freely available Creative Image Maker magazine, dedicated to traditional photographic processes, which has now been online for exactly 1 year.

    My wife bought me the History Of Photography (a short pocketbook of 750+ pages), and as I read through, I becoming more and more interested in the original methods of photography and printing. I’m now looking forward to making my through the various posts on this forum!




    My name is Michael Rhodes and I have been a collector of cased images for years. Recently I have become a case maker. I love the original cases so much that I set out to make my own. After trying a varity of methods to make a traditional cases I realized that what I loved so much about the cases were the detailed embossed patterns. I gave up on original methods and went modern, with a twist. visit me at



    Hi, My name is Brigitte Daguerre. From what my grandfather told me I’m related to Daguerre’s brother. I’m interested in learning how to make them, since I have photography experience already. I live in Los Angeles and looking for a teacher in this area. Are there any? I have read allot and had an artist show me how to make one briefly in his studio but no real hands on experience. Thanks for the help!!


    Andy Stockton

    Welcome aboard Brigitte. It is a pleasure to have a Daguerre family member grace our pages. I am not sure who might be in the So Cal area, but if anyone is they will likely chime in. If you ever get up to the Bay Area Eric Mertens gives individual lessons. He has a gallery on this site and also can be found at

    If you can afford a trip to Paris and want a once in a lifetime experience, go take a class with Jerry Spagnoli in Bry France this fall. Jerry is a world-class practitioner and you can celebrate the 170th anniversary of the announcement of the daguerreian process and see your great-great-great uncle’s home. I am sure they would love to have you.

    More info here:



    Hi, my name is Tyler Scaife. Until recently I was a photo student at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. I have an immense interest in 19th century culture and all things associated with it. That combined with my love of photography and my strong and passionate disliking of the digital photography world… has lead me to dreams of silver plated copper images that no digital camera or computer could think to create. While researching case making techniques I came across a link to this site (thanks Cased Image!) and after looking through some of the threads found a wealth of information that will hopefully put me that much closer to my dreams. A few months ago, I had the pleasure of attending a lecture/demonstration of the daguerreotype process by Takashi Arai at Project Basho. I can’t put into words how just witnessing the process first hand made me feel… As a result I have decided to leave my school -which teaches mostly digital methods of photography- to work and save money to afford supplies and equipment to start working in this medium. If anyone has any websites, books, movies, etc, That would be beneficial for me to look at please send me an email at I am interested in learning everything from image making to case making so any and all information will be incredibly helpful to me and so very appreciated. Thank you allowing me your time. And thank you for providing such an amazing place to learn and converse with amazing artists working in such a remarkable and unique field. – Tyler


    Andy Stockton

    Welcome to the group Tyler. As a site editor and a fellow beginner I am glad you found us. Many of us share the attractions that have led you to daguerreotypes. They are a challenging medium to learn, but well worth the effort. I very much encourage you to share you enthusiasm, your questions and your discoveries with the group. Visit the forum and have at it. When they have time and inclination to speak the experienced members here dispense incredibly helpful information, and looking at their galleries (which are only a digital shadow of the real thing) can be very inspiring.



    This is a great idea for a forum topic! It’s cool to have some idea of a person behind all these names, some of which I have seen around for a while. (Who knew Jonathan Danforth was a programmer?)

    My name is Ronald Fink. I live in the Boston area.

    I have been collecting daguerreotypes on and off for over 25 years now. Before eBay was around, I would find most of my images at PHSNE shows (

    I do as much selling as buying, so I don’t have much of a collection at the moment. Not that I ever want to sell them, it’s just that I have always struggled to make ends meet and of everything I have, dags are the easiest to sell.

    As long as I have been collecting dags, I have been saying “one of these days I am going to make one”. I took a stab or two over the years with no luck at all. For the past six months or so, I have been working on it when I get the chance. I have been able to purchase a dozen or so vintage plates that had no image (or the image was destroyed) so my work so far has been on those.

    I have made about six that are good enough that I don’t want to rub them out. They are not good enough to sell, but I want to keep them. I occasionally share them on facebook, but they all have flaws and I am not ready to call myself a daguerreotypist yet. I feel that I am getting pretty close to having really good images. When I do, I will put some pics up here.

    Now that I introduced myself, I am going to post some questions!


    Andy Stockton

    Thanks for posting Ron and good luck with your continuing efforts. There are many current artists in the forum and most are very generous with their help for beginners. Be sure to look through what is already there. Perhaps you will post more about the world of collecting. I know that some questions have come up about what can be done to attract more collectors to contemporary work. The bulk of them seem only interested in antiques. The forum has a theme for such discussions, “Collecting, Preserving, and Restoring Daguerreotypes”. There is also a gallery of daguerreotypes that have been bought by collectors.


    Paul De Angelis

    Hey Everyone, my name is Paul De Angelis and I’m new around here. Just discovered the site and am thrilled to see all of the beautiful work. I studied architecture at RISD but later became a tattoo artist (yeah, I know… strange choice, but that’s me)and I am a wet plate photographer by hobby/fascination/compulsion. I learned from John Coffer a few years ago and had the amazing opportunity to be Bob Szabo’s assistant when he was here in Atlanta. Mostly I like to make prints (cyanos, salt, albumen, Van Dyke) as opposed to positives, which I view as poor substitute for the Daguerreotype (I am not alone – so did many others in the 19th century!). I hope to learn the art of making mercurial dags in the near future, but it’s tough to travel to the seminars, which never seem to be held in Atlanta and always are a thousand miles away. I also enjoy making accessories for my wet plate work and hope to build my own camera soon (as in ‘next week’ soon!). For now I have a 100-year-old whole-plate camera and some antique lenses I enjoy using to get an authentic look to my images. If anyone would like to learn wet plate photography in exchange for some pointers in the making of Dags, just let me know! In the meanwhile I’ll be lurking around in the shadows…


    Andy Stockton

    Hi Paul – welcome to the group. No need to just lurk. I’m sure your unique experiences will bring interest to the discussions. The editors of CDags are very interested in promoting lively discussions from many different points of view. Masters and beginners and everyone in between are all welcome,



    Greetings all.

    I know some of you and know of many of you. I have been making Daguerreotypes–both Becquerel and traditional–on and off since 2001. However, I haven’t made a plate for more than a year after moving, because my darkroom and studio came second to a functional kitchen and bathroom. However, two days ago I finally hooked and tested my fume hood, and I am just about ready to go.

    It is wonderful that this forum exists. Even a few years ago I had to bug Irv and Jerry to get my questions answered. They were always gracious and quick with their answers, but it is so much nicer to share with a whole community than bother one person. I also notice in the short time that I have been gone that it has gotten harder to find supplies. Rembrandt graphic, where I used to buy copper seems to be gone, and the local lab supply house quoted me $375 for 100ml of bromine! Anyhow, I see lots of links here to new suppliers, which I will have to investigate.

    In the meanwhile, I look forward to exploring the forums.

    jason greenberg motamedi


    Andy Stockton

    Hi Jason, welcome. It is good to know that you are going back into production. I have heard of and seen your work here and there, and doubtless those less beginner than I know it well. CDags, would be happy to set up a gallery for you if you have any scans of your previous work available. (And of course look forward to the next chapter). I will look forward also to the interchanges that your questions and answers will generate. As you say there is great benefit in a community, both for the sharing of knowledge, but also for mutual support of our art.

    In any case dive in!



    Hello everybody.

    My name is Xose Esteban Naves and I am living in Barcelona(Spain).

    I am just begining to work on daguerreotypes after a workshop in Paris with Marc Kereum.

    So I haven’t got much to offer here now. But I hope I will have in the future.

    Anyway I have been making photos for about 20 years, sometimes using old methods as salted paper, gum dichromate, cyanotype and sometimes using “usual” techniques.


    Andy Stockton

    Welcome Xose, we will look forward to seeing your work. Please feel free to join into the discussions in the forum area. Everyone is welcome whether seasoned pro or newcomer. There are also many useful sources of info in the Resources section.



    Hello. My name is Curtis Smith, aka Festus. Born in 1963 in San Jose, Ca. I got my first camera in the late 60’s, and have been taking photos ever since. But started striving to make it an art form only in the last 3 years. 35mm, then medium format, large format, then dabbling in alternative styles. The daguerreotype was the oldest and most difficult, so that’s the one I chose to concentrate on. I made my first plate only a month ago, but have improved greatly with each passing weekend. But still have a long way to go.

    I hope not to offend anyone, but the genre I’ll be pursuing will be in the nude/fetish area. Tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.


    Andy Stockton

    Hi Curtis. Thanks for posting the intro, it is good to have some background to go with the “handle”. I just live an hour or so north of San Jose near the SF City limit. As a fellow beginner (and a site editor) I have been reading your posts with interest and am looking forward to seeing some of your images. You will likely find portraiture challenging. Concerning your subject matter, all daguerreian artists are welcome to post their artwork here. If something particularly offends someone they can tell you about it in the forum. If it offends enough people we occasionally remove postings. It is part of our process as a community of artists to offer both support and criticism. In general we are open to what people offer. Welcome to the site.



    Hey all,

    my name is Nadia and I am currently a art student in London.

    I have a massive fascination for the photographic process and am currently looking for a work placement with anyone that does wet plate photography in or around London (it looks like I may have to search further afield!)

    Any help here would be most welcomed.

    Thank you

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