The pictures you are about see can be traced back to A. C. McIntyre, but they are not photographs as we know them today.
Okay if they’re not photographs and they don’t look like illustrations, then what are they? Is there a name for a blend of technology and art, half photograph and half illustration? Let me explain.
In the latter part of the nineteenth century, there was a procedure known as “the Louis Glaser process.” Very little is known about the man Louis Glaser other than he lived in Leipzig, Germany.
Artists were employed to copy photographs [such as McIntyre photos], but with some alterations. The artist would delete the undesirable parts of the photograph and add his own enhancements such as a few well dressed people, maybe a boat and/or a well placed tree. The resulting picture was idyllic with everything in its proper place.
Next came the print procedure, which used five or more stones, to create a series of separate shades. The end product was an ideal lithograph, or picture with an illusion of depth. Don’t worry; I don’t understand the print procedure either.
The pictures were eventually placed in brochures and sold to tourists. In the beginning, brochures consisted of a series of single pictures, but later collages became the norm.
Have you ever heard the expression “a picture is worth etc, etc?” Take a close look at the first picture and notice in the lower right corner, it reads “A. C. McIntyre photograph.”
The next picture is the same scene after it has gone through the Louis Glaser process. What a difference!
The remaining pictures have all been altered by the Glaser process.
And finally a collage titled "Summer Land." Why is the collage a different color than all the previous pictures and why does the picture in the lower left hand corner look slightly different than the picture titled "Sargent Cottage on Summerland Island?"
Briefly, and I mean briefly, what I do is the following: step 1 - scan the collage; step 2 - crop so that only the Sargent picture is left; step 3 - erase that part of the Sargent picture that doesn't belong; step 4 - print the title so that it can be read; step 5 - color the picture dark blue and white so that all pictures are of the same color; step 6 - it still has to pass Susie's high standards.
How did I learn to compose these pictures? By trial and error; it keeps me out of trouble in retirement, that and doing the dishes.
Are you a collector? Do you have have information?
While the first picture is a true A. C. McIntyre photo, wouldn't it be interesting if all of you, who collect McIntyre photographs, would submitted some of your photos that match the pictures above, after the Louis Glaser process? Periodically I could send ten or so Louis Glaser processed pictures as a challenge.
And if you have information about any of the photographs above (such as “we used to live in the xyz cottage,” please share.
By Robert L. Matthews, Fishers Landing
Robert L. Matthews is the author of two popular books: Glimpses of St. Lawrence Summer Life: Souvenirs from the Thousand Islands; Robert and Prudence Matthews Collection, and A History of the Thousand Islands Yacht Club, published in 2009. He and his wife Prudence (well known River artist whose work was presented in Hooked on Prudence in 2009, have one of the most extensive collections of Thousand Islands memorabilia. When not at their beautiful River cottage at Fisher’s Landing, they live in St. Petersburg, Florida. Click here to see all of Robert's TI Life articles. -