Thursday, 30 December 2010

Monday, 20 December 2010

Collodion process preparation

Finally, after settling down in my new house in Glencree, I managed to put together some bits and pieces in regards to wet plate collodion process preparation. There is still a few small packages that I am waiting for, but generally I’ve got most of the staff and hoping to do my first mix and test shots soon.

1. Camera.
I am going to use contemporary TOYO 4x5 camera for the beginning, with Schneider Apo Symmar lens. I will have to be very careful with any chemicals dripping and clean the camera after each use, otherwise it will corrode  (and I want to use it for film as well)
My dreamy plan is to construct a  wooden camera (8x10) one day J

2. Glass plate holder.
Probably not a great idea – I transformed plastic Fidelity holder. What devides the two sides of the holder is metal plate. It was very difficult to get rid of it in precise way. And my 2mm glass sheets have to be slightly shorter then 5inch to fit the holder. Well, we’ll see, curious if it’s light tight.
I'm waiting for a set of timber holders to transform one of them.

What is not well visible on these photos - on one side I cut off the piece which normally devides dark slide and film, so the glass sits on the edges of what's left after the metal plate.

3. Chemistry.
I’ve got everything for ‘poor boy’ formula (the least toxic one, and cheapest, I guess). I’m afraid to open them J (oh, I don’t have anything for varnishing yet)

4.Glass plates, 2mm, just a few for the beginning.

5.I did a prototype of silver bath tank and dipper from glass. I think I should do it slightly thinner to save the amount of  silver nitrate needed, and I should glue it with transparent silicon to make it look nicer :) .Just need to glue the two triangles on one side or I'll do a timber support, to get the required angle. At the moment it takes 300ml.

At a later stage I'll think about some timber light tight box cover for the tank. For the beggining I'll be using it with safe light.

6. I’m awaiting small digital scale, hope will get it before xmas, and then  just measure the right amount of chemicals, mix them, allow the collodion to mature and START!

Wish me luck..

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Magda U.

I guess - my best achievement :), ambrotype, indoor shot with studio lighting, ca 40s exposure

Saturday, 6 November 2010

House in Kopaniec

clear glass plate

Ola on the Sofa

ambrotype, black plexiglass


Negative image on clear glass plate (scanned as negative). Needs even longer exposures than positive image (ambrotype). Good negative can be used for printing on paper. The top right hand side effects are the result of uneven pouring of the developer and the side marks are where my figers (in too big gloves)touched the plate.


First shot, first pouring of collodion and developing, indoor shot with studio lighting, black plexiglass.
The black dots are the result of storing for traveling two plates face to face. The other plate (Shed) was covered with the dust being remains of (most possibly) fixer and it left spots on Tom. All my plates are not varnished yet, so very delicate...


This was a final shot and the only one that came out for me this day, after many trials. Light was very changeble - sun and clouds. Everyone was running here and there checking the exposure time. What worked by chance for someone in one moment didn't work for somebody else in next minute. But I was determinated and got the image. Collodion has  very low light sensitivity, range of 1-3 ASA, so it is impossible to measure the exposure, it's just a good guess.This one was ca 3 seconds, f8. Black plexiglass ambrotype.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Wet Plate Collodion Woorkshop

This autumn, finally, I had a chance to try the most desired by me photographic technique of wet plate collodion. A few months ago I was inspired to explore this technique having seen a film about John Coffer. As I haven't found anybody giving collodion workshops in Ireland  I decided to do it in Poland. Workshop took place in Izerskie mountains, were organised by Jacek Jasko and lead by Tomek Mielech . I'm so glad I did it !! Great atmosphere, fantastic company and 2 days of hard work till late night. We shoot with 4x5 format on clear glass and on black plexiglass.
Results to follow in next posts.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Lonely Tree in Wicklow

oryginal 35mm neg printed on DTF, print size ca 19x14cm, water colour paper, 10 min, sun.
Submitted for Alternative Photography Calendar Competition 2011, (maybe a bit too early for competitions, as I've just started my cyanotypes experiments, but why not to try, it's a good fun:)


Blue Portraits Series,  contact print from neg. printed on Digital Transfer Film, water colour paper, print size ca. 20x14cm, 15 min exposure, tea tonned


Finally bought proper water colour paper. As this portret turned out quite well I decided to start a Series of 'Blue Portraits'. 15min exposure, 16:20pm, 16th Sep, DTF, print size 20x14cm.

Pier in Dun Laoghaire

After few unsuccesfull tries I had to admit that color negatives are useless for cyanotype printing, too dense. Specific photos like this one (with a very subtle contrast) is also dificult to print succesfuly...Still not good paper - Winsor & Newton Bristol Board, I found at home, giving some yellowish tint in a few places. 20 min exposure, print size ca 16x12cm, DTF (Digital Transfer Film) after changing the colour ORYGINAL into B&W

Milan's Sail

My first cyanotype made by negative contact print (not counting a few plant photograms), that turned out quite ok. I wasn't satisfied enough with the results with medium format negatives, I got before, mostly because of tiny size. This time I used Digital Transfer Film to print an increased copy of neg, so I can see clearly how the process works :). But need to buy a proper paper, I was so excited with the chemicals I got, that forgot about the paper, but couldn't wait so I used what I found at 20min exposure, sunny irish late afternoon.