Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/08/27

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To: "Leica List" <>
Subject: M.J. Diness
From: John Barnier <>
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 96 22:45:58 -0000

Hello all,

I'm new to this list so please excuse my initial blunders in 

Until a couple of years ago I was the owner of the archive of Jerusalem's 
first resident photographer, M.J. Diness.
Besides being the first resident photographer, he was also the first 
resident of the Middle East to do sterography (not the first person doing 
it there, just the first resident).  Included in his archive of 
negatives, prints and diaries were twenty-some stereo negatives (colldion 
wet plates, all), mounted stereo cards and loose stereo prints. The 
cards, albumen; the loose prints, silver gelatin.

It seems he used two or more different cameras to produce his stereo 
views: some are simple side-by-side pairs -- but the exposures were made 
at slightly different times.  People move between one shot and the next.  
Was this typical of the times (late 1850's)? Was he using a camera with 
just one lens and either shifting the lens or shifting the plate holder 
between exposures?

His other camera was an 8x10 that took six simultaneous exposures ( I 
think they were simultaneous).  None of these have people in them, or any 
other means of judging movement between exposures, so I don't know if his 
camera was of a CDV design to allow mass production of six images per 
negative -- or if he was mass producing stereo views, in this case, three 
simultaneous stereo pairs. They are a bit smaller than typical CDV image 
size, yet not  really close enough together for a good stereo effect (or 
maybe my eyes are getting older than I thought and I just couldn't focus 
on them correctly when viewed with a stereo viewer).

Any thoughts or helpful hypotheses?  Does anybody know where I can go to 
find info on collodion stereo photographers or their techniques?  Even 
better, does anyone have samples or histories on early Middle East stereo 
photographers? I'm giving lectures this fall on Diness and I'd like to 
fill in some of these stereo gaps if possible.  Unfortunately, 
stereography is not one of my familiarities.

Help from anyone is greatly appreciated!


John Barnier

John Barnier
12560 Morris Trail North
Marine on St. Croix,
Minnesota 55047 USA