Giant Glass Plate Negatives of Sydney Harbour.
North Shore, Lavender Bay, Sydney Harbour and Fort Macquarie, from original collodion glass plate negative, 136 x 95 cm (4.4 x 3.1 feet).
These three Giant Glass Plate Negatives of Sydney Harbour (measuring 1.35 x 0.94 metres, 53” x 37”) – understood to be the world’s largest 19th century wet-process negatives, documenting the future site of the world heritage-listed Sydney Opera House. Bernhardt Holtermann and Charles Bayliss pushed the boundaries of 19th century photographic technology to new limits by devising a method for creating images bigger than had been ever thought possible, and toured them across the globe. This technological achievement allowed better global diffusion of the photographic medium throughout the 19th century.