Notman’s creativity and desire to be able to do more with studio photography drove his technical innovations. The simplest of these were the techniques he developed to convincingly stage his narrative winter scenes: the polished zinc plate he created to stand in for ice, lambswool for piles of snow, and paint on the glass negative to mimic the effect of falling snow. This image brings some of those props together with Notman’s creativity and skill with composite photography. In this case, the initiation ritual of the snowshoe club was recreated in various still vignettes that were cut, pasted, and re-photographed to create this now iconic image.
William Notman’s Photographic Inventions
William Notman & Son, The Bounce, Montreal Snowshoe Club, 1886
Composite, silver salts on glass, gelatin dry plate process, 25 x 20 cm, McCord Museum, Montreal