2nd Collodion Try-Out 22-10-09

After the great “success” of last try-out I measured the silver nitrate before jumping to conclusions. The Specific Gravity was perfect, spot on. Unfortunately the ph-meter I bought didn’t work, maybe empty batteries, but it didn’t work. I hate things that don’t work so I ordered ph-strips; no batteries needed, nothing electronic that can break down, no cleaning involved just throw-away-after-use = perfect. It does mean I’ll have to wait for that and since I ‘m rather short of patience I decided not to do so. It was the exposure that was off anyway (probably) and over-developing so gave it another go.

The plates were made in studio working with the pilot lights of my studio flash. They are both 100W so I figured exposure time had to be quite sufficient. Lights were put at both sides of the model, pointing towards his face to lit that up. Nothing special, in an angle of plus minus 50 degrees. The background was a white roll of paper which was not lit at all. The subject was about 2 meters away from the background.   Lens used: brass Steinheil 230mm f5,6

Plate 1

Exposure time: 20 seconds guestimated, no timer. Pretty neat, a bit too dark as the sweater he was wearing showed up black on the photo. Have to use a different colour next time.  Peeling of the Collodion occured, I think I did not clean the plate sufficiently enough before usage. I do like the contrast in the face a lot so I am definitely saving this one. It’s the first plate made at my home that has a clear visual and that makes me a wee-bit proud 🙂

Plate 1
Plate 1

Plate 2:

Exposure time: 30 seconds with the help of a timer now. Over-developed for sure as I did not see the image coming up as I did the with the first one. Veiling was the result but was able to wipe it off for the most part. Unfortunately that was not the only flaw occurring and again I think mostly due to bad cleaning of the plate, and I have probably contaminated my silver this way. Tomorrow I will start out with sunning the bath in order to resolve that. I shot a third plate but that was even worse to the point of nothing there so I am pretty confident there took place a contamination of the silver with the calcium carbonate from the cleaner. Anyway, all fixable and I am really happy I proved it to be working at my house. Gives hope for the future, tomorrow that would be 😉

The kind of circles you can see on the plate are from damages to the plate. Those were already there before pouring so I’d better look more careful at what side to choose before working with it. The plate was also short-poured. Pouring a 4×5″ is definitely a whole lot easier than a 8×10″ but I will get it right!

Plate 2
Plate 2

Tomorrow I will be experimenting with some uv-lights I have around to see if that’ll shorten my exposure time. Maybe, the weather will be nice and I will just use natural daylight…

Anyway, off to tomorrow but first, out for dinner!

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