I’ve been wanting to try different collodion formulas for quite some time now but never gotten around to it. Having seen a collodion image made with a solution containing 3 salts and seemingly resulting in a wider scale of tonality I figured the time had come to get some tests done with different formulas.
I talked about it with Jeroen, a friend, and he also mentioned a formula containing 4 salts. I was able to borrow some of his salts as buying them required getting a large quantity and resulting in an empty wallet 😉 Today I’ve mixed my first batch of a formula I wanted to try. It’s called: Lea’s Landscape #7 Alternate Formula, leaving out the additional ether and using 4 salts. I’ll post the recipe below and a photo of how it looks freshly mixed. I’ll have to let it sit for a couple of days though before being able to use it. Still waiting for other chemicals to arrive to make the other formulas so no problem!
Stock Alcoholic Bromo-Iodizing Solution:
100mL Ethanol (or grain alcohol or whatever you have at your disposal)
1,5g Cadmium Bromide
1,3 g Ammonium Bromide
3,4 g Cadmium Iodide
2,6 g Ammonium Iodide
First, dissolve the cadmium bromide in the alcohol. Then, dissolve the ammonium bromide into that solution followed by the other two salts.
Working strength formula:
100 mL Alcoholic Bromo-Iodizing Solution from above
200 mL Ethanol
300 mL USP Collodion
The working collodion should be fully ripened and ready to use within 2-3 days. I’ll post a photo of the solution in a couple of days to see the change in color and luminosity.
Hopefully I’ll receive my other chemicals somewhere this week so I can make the other batches. The ones you can expect are Lea’s Traditional Landscape Formula #7 (with additional ether), John Coffer’s Old Workhorse (fast clear) and Ostermans Formula (no cadmium) . More on the exact formulas later!
As you probably noticed both Lea’s formulas contain two cadmium salts and according to the guiding literature this results in longer storage life and a slightly greater sensitivity than some other formulas but the collodion tends to be more fragile and has the tendency to lift from the plate surface. Subbing the edges with a cotton swab saturated with albumen helps adhere this collodion film to the plate.
Note to self: Make albumen!
Formula for albumen for edging (in case anyone wonders, I know I did);
1 egg white
1000 mL distilled water
Filter through a cheesecloth and ready to use!
N.B. For the ones having read the first formula of albumen I put here…that was the formula for making albumen prints so different than the one used for edging. Sorry for the mix up!