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the photographer

Marinus J. Ortelee

Master Daguerreotypist
Stationsstraat 4
4421 AK Kapelle
Tel.: +31 113 - 330 674
Fax: +31 113 - 330 671
The Nederlands

Marinus J. Ortelee has been a photojournalist for more than 20 years. He did extensively research regarding historical processes. The Daguerreotype had always had a special interest in his mind. In 2007 he quits his job as photojournalist to become a full-time Daguerreotypist.

Since the beginning of this century he has crafted Daguerreotypes of the highest quality which are increasingly desired worldwide.

After extensive experimentation he has mastered the addition of chlorine vapour after the usual iodine and bromine sensitization steps. This results in an image with beautiful rich brown tones - but only if the correct fuming time is used. The correct fuming time lies within a very narrow range.

From start to finish Ortelee does the entire Daguerreotype process by hand – starting with the crafting of the Daguerreotype plate and ending by mounting the finished image in an elegant frame. He even electroplates the copper with silver himself.

His final image is mounted in a frame with a hand painted glass passe-partout. The motif is cut by hand and filled with a gold paste developed by Ortelee himself.

In 2008, after presenting his Daguerreotypes at the Daguerrian Society Symposium in Washington D.C., his process, which Daguerre tried to but couldn’t accomplish before he co-founded his regular Daguerreotype, was official named by Mark Osterman*: “Anté-Daguerreotype”.

His work was shown in Amsterdam, Antwerp , Berlin and Bruxelles. It also appeared in national newspapers and the international magazine Focus.

* Mark Osterman is Process Historian for the Center for Legacy of Photography at the George Eastman House.




L'article en français


Daguerreotypes from
Marinus J. Ortelee

How did you come to the daguerreotype process?

I have been working and teaching historical processes for more than 10 years. I have done all the processes except the Hill type. The Daguerreotype had always a special place in my heart. In 2007 I quit my job as a professional photojournalist and started to be a fulltime Daguerreotypist.

Which proportion of your time as a photographer do you devote to the daguerreotype process?

As I mentioned above I’m a fulltime Daguerreotypist. I also work with other processes but 80% of my time is devoted to the (ante) Daguerreotype (Finally I found the solution for the process Daguerre tried to before he co-invented the Daguerreotype. In 2008 it is officially named by Mark Osterman the anté-Daguerreotype).

With which equipment do you make these daguerreotypes?

I use an old bellow-camera around 1880 which I modified for silverplates. Besides that I have made all the equipment, the fumingbox for the Iodine, bromine and chlorine myself as also the mercury developing box.

Have you established any bridges between your practice as a daguerreotypist and digital photography?

I use digital images for reproduction, e.g. if a customer wants a Daguerreotype of a deceased relative I make a digital negative, make a large print in the darkroom and use the print to make a Daguerreotype using my bellow-camera.

What are the advantages and drawbacks of the daguerreotype as compared to other photographic processes?

The important advantage is the atmosphere of the image. It’s like a 3D image. The warmth, the emotion is not comparable with any other image. Besides that it’s the sharpness which is astonishing.

Do you think that certain subjects are particularly suitable for daguerreotypes?

I make my Daguerreotype mainly in abandoned buildings which are in decay. Using the Daguerreotype makes it possible to “show” the emotional feeling to the viewers which I encounter inside such an environment.

What are the main features of a good daguerreotype in your opinion?

Polishing is everything. If a plate is polished as good as possible it gives more sharpness, contrast and emotion.

How do you see the future of daguerreotypes?

Daguerreotypes will always be made by dedicated people. But making a living out of it, mainly because of the extensive work, will be hard to do so.

Would you have any advice to young photographers wishing to make daguerreotypes?

Don’t be afraid trying. But be aware of the many, many failures you will encounter before getting something which looks like a Daguerreotype. Be careful with the chemicals. One mistake can be fatal. Read everything about making a Daguerreotype you can get before you start. But if you feel the urge to do. DO IT!!


voir également sur la daguerréotypie :
daguerreotypes de sean culver
eric-mertens : daguerréotypes
jerry spagnoli : daguerréotypes
marc kereun : daguerréotypes
marc kereun : l'exposition de daguerréotypes contemporains de Bry sur Marne
marc kereun : technique du daguerréotype
marinus j. ortelee : daguerréotypes
patrick bailly-maitre-grand : daguerréotypes
reproduire pour exposer
rob mcelroy : daguerréotypes





dernière modification de cet article : 2009




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