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About the Ernst Collection

   Stephen Ernst has been collecting antique photographs and negatives most of his life. A Photographer by trade, he studied photography at the Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth, NS. However, in today's digital world, he felt a great attraction to the older methods of photography; and apart from collecting vintage photographs, he has researched and practised a great deal of traditional photographic methods, some going as far back as the invention of photography in the 1830s. As a historian, Stephen has also authored the book Lunenburg: A History in Pictures, which has used many historic photos from his collection.

   The Ernst collection contains hundreds of glass negatives, film negatives, 35mm slides, daguerreotypes, wet collodion images, albumen prints and gelatin prints of scenes around Nova Scotia, from as early as the 1840s. These include, (but are not limited to) rarely or never before seen: Portraits of various Nova Scotians, scenes of various towns, communities, land and seascapes, images of ships at sea, and a number of historic events such as the Bridgewater Fire (1899) the Halifax Explosion (1917), the Launching, first race and illustrative career of the Bluenose (1921), the August Gales (1927) the Launching  of the HMS Bounty (1960), and HMS Rose (1970). Prints are available of any photograph, in a variety of sizes and styles, including digital inkjet prints in black and white, sepia, or digitally coloured, or traditional silver gelatin prints, made in a darkroom with the option of hand tinting. Custom sizes and finishes can be available upon request.

Information on ordering prints


All images on this website are available as prints in a variety of sizes and styles (if you are looking for something you don't see here, please contact us as it may be in our archive). Various finishes to the photographs can be found below. Custom sizes are also available, and inquiries can be sent through the contact page. All prints will be shipped matted in a framable matt board; however other options are available upon request.

Digital Inkjet Prints

The images have been scanned at high resolution, restoring the photographs by removing any damage to the original print or negative. This technique will give the best quality available. Prints can be made in almost any size, as black and white, or you may inquire about other methods, such as digital toning or colouring.

Silver Gelatin Prints

For the purist or lover of all things traditional. When available, prints can be made in the darkroom straight from the original negative (glass plate or film), using traditional methods. This often will include any imperfections that might be on the negative, but often these "battle scars" add an interesting character to the image, and gives that "antiquated" look. Sizes are limited with this technique, and is only available where original negatives exist.

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Hand Toning and Colouring

For that extra-unique touch, Silver Gelatin darkroom prints can be sepia-toned or hand-coloured in the same manner as has been done since the earliest days of photography. Please allow up to two weeks to complete these orders, as these methods are extremely detailed and time consuming. Again, these are limited to the availability of original negatives (However, copy negatives can be made in some instances upon request).

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