Tropical Scenery, Tropical Forest, Metropolitan Museum of Art
John Moran (American (born England), Bolton, Lancashire 1821–1903 Pennsylvania)
The albumen silver print is a photographic printing process that was widely used in the 19th century. It involves coating paper support with a mixture of egg whites and salt, which creates a glossy surface to hold light-sensitive silver salts. The paper is then sensitized in a solution of silver nitrate, and exposed in a camera or under a negative. After exposure, the print is developed in a solution of gallic acid and silver nitrate, which reduces the silver salts to metallic silver and creates the final image. The albumen print process was widely used for commercial and fine art photography in the 19th century and produced high-quality, detailed images with a distinctive glossy finish.
John Moran was born in Bolton, England on 23 August 1831. He grew up in Philadelphia, where he apprenticed as a wood engraver. He moved to London in 1853 to study painting at the Royal Academy of Arts. Moran returned to the United States in 1860 and settled in New York City. He began his career as a photographer in 1862 when he opened a studio in Manhattan. Moran quickly gained a reputation for his portraits and landscapes. In 1871, Moran travelled west to California to document the natural beauty of Yosemite Valley. His photographs of the valley were some of the first ever taken and helped popularise the area as a tourist destination. Moran continued to travel and photograph throughout the western United States, including Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. In addition to photography, Moran was also an accomplished painter. He often used his photographs as reference material for his paintings, which are highly sought after by collectors. Moran died on 23 June 1902 in Santa Barbara, California. His legacy as a pioneering photographer and artist continues to inspire and influence artists today.