At the end of the last post I mentioned having fixed the silver bath which measured a specific gravity of 1,04 and it should be 1.06-1,07.  But after having done that my plates remained black. Same collodion, same developer, same fixer, same everything as before. In studio, no stops used, 25 seconds exposure time using both the pilot lights of my flash. Nothing, plates remained black as if they hadn’t seen any light at all.

Mixed a new batch of Collodion with the Iodizer I had left of the first time. Problem remained.

Tried my second new bath of developer. Problem remained.

More than doubled the exposure time to over a minute. Problem remained.

Made another, but now completely new, batch of Collodion. Problem got worse. I forgot to adjust the scale back to grams instead of whatever else it was and accidentally doubled the amount of salts which resulted in clouded plates instead of the gorgeous black ones.

Finally tried a test outside: pouring and sensitizing a plate, taking it outside for 10 seconds and developing it. Wow, I had result! So, I tried some plates outside and it worked. Turned out that the Collodion lost its sensitivity for a big part, didn’t know it could do that in such little time, and when working outside everything was fine. So, no chemistry issues, just my own stupid stubborness for not trying that before as I was convinced the lighting wasn’t  the problem. Good  lesson this was for me 😉

The extra funny part is that I could’ve known it as normally when something is wrong and you want to check if your chemistry is off you pour and sensitize a plate, pretend to expose it and then develop and fix. If it turns out black you have good working chemistry. If not, the chemistry is off. My plates were truly beautiful black as if they’ve never been exposed to light which in a way was correct; too little amount of light!


  1. I had the same problem las t week but did not touch the chemistry I was sure they were fine some time the lighting most be longer much longer but I realy having fun…

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