Wet Plate Collodion; My Process

For my new website which is in the making I would like to add photos of me executing the process. Today, as I had a session planned, Bart made some. It was a great session and one plate is a definite keeper. They are drying now so can’t scan them yet. I’ll put them in the following post. I’m very proud to notice the pouring goes much much better. The 1st and 2nd plate I did were pretty much flawless. Good to see that practice really works!

Blowing the final dust particles of the plate right before pouring
Blowing the final dust particles of the plate right before pouring
Pouring the plate
Pouring the plate
Pouring the plate
Pouring the plate
Flowing the Collodion
Flowing the Collodion
Rockin' the plate
Rockin' the plate
Putting the plate in the Silver Nitrate bath
Putting the plate in the Silver Nitrate bath
Stopping the plate with water after development
Stopping the plate with water after development
Fixing the plate
Fixing the plate
Fixer kicking in!
Fixer kicking in!
...and...Fixed!
...and...Fixed!
The setup used to take the photos, a bit messy ;-)
The setup used to take the photos, a bit messy ๐Ÿ˜‰
The setup from the other side
The setup from the other side
The setup with only the UV lights on
The setup with only the UV lights on

6 comments

  1. Lovely photograph. I am just starting in wet plate as of this week, essentially, and bought a couple of UV lights to use in the studio. It’s nice to see an example of a photograph that only uses the UV Lights.

    1. Thanx! Cool you’re starting too! It’s such a beautiful process to be working with.
      UV lights take you a long way although I’m trying to figure out an affordable solution that will bring down the exposure times drastically. 25 seconds for a person to hold still is too long, especially since I don’t (yet) have a head brace. Anyway, that’s still under development.

      One big advantage over normal daylight lights is that the amount of the latter has to be so much that a person sitting in that light is not too happy with that amount. UV is much nicer to look into. Good luck!!

      1. How much wattage of UV lights do you use? Right now I just have three 15 watt black lights that I picked up cheap at a local store. I’m wondering how much I actually need.

      2. I still don’t have that much wattage to work with hence the still long exposure times.

        I have a UV TL light (I don’t know how you call it but it’s a light in the shape of a tube) of 26W
        I have 2 saving lights of each 18W
        And I have 2 UV TL lights of each 38W

        Still have to grow the collection. Thinking about working with one of these:
        http://falconeyes.com/product/3199/studio_apparatuur/studio_continue_licht/falcon_eyes_lhdlhg_serie/falcon_eyes_lamphouder_met_softbox_lhg928fsob80_9x28w_lampen__.html
        But for โ‚ฌ 200,- it’s too expensive for now (expensive time of the year ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and I have bought a holder with a capacity for 4 bulbs. I’ll see what I can do with that but I need some more power soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Just curious what you have moved onto lighting wise in the 7 years since this post. I’m just starting but have purchased two Fotodiox C-900 light banks. Half of will be 30W CFL bulbs and half will be blacklight. 9 Each. Should be a real cannon.

    1. Had to look myself; it’s been awhile since this post! Yes, I changed lighting. The UV lights are very uncomfortable having to look in and not the best for ones eyes. I ended up with two lights of Falcon Eyes, the 928-something, two large softboxes using 9 CFL bulbs each. A lot better and more versatile. I can also use them for my ‘normal’ photography.
      Do you like yours? What are your exposure times with these?

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