Traditional Photographic Techniques

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Photographs produced using printing processes developed before 1875, or during the nascent phases of the medium. Early photography masters, such as Gustave Le Gray and Eugene Atget, used printing processes like gum bichromate, collodion, salt print, cyanotype, and palladium prints, which employ a base (paper, film, metal, or glass), an emulsion (gelatin, collodion, or albumen), and a light-sensitive material (most often silver). The dominance of digital photography today may account for the recent resurgence of the Polaroid camera, and the popularity of Instagram. However, some contemporary photographers, such as Sally Mann and Joni Sternbach, have continued to engage in labor-intensive printing processes, often to exploit the special tonal effects and surface qualities created when silver reacts with light.