Outdoor photographs were difficult, especially in winter. A wet plate negative would have to be prepped inside, rushed out to the street, exposed, and then rushed back inside to be developed before the emulsion dried. But Notman found that it was worth the trouble. This outside scene, with its display of sleighs, furs, and servants, is as carefully designed as the studio photos. Together, sitter and photographer carefully construct their personae as successful urban professionals.
William Notman’s Photographic Inventions
William Notman, Mr. Collins’ Sleigh at Notman’s Studio, Bleury Street, Montreal, 1868–69
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper, albumen process, 12.7 x 17.8 cm, McCord Museum, Montreal