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Thread: Using Dry Plates in Hot Weather

  1. #1
    Foamer
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    Oct 2010
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    South Dakota
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    Using Dry Plates in Hot Weather

    I'm going to a big regional Civil War re-enactment deal tomorrow and intend to shoot the dry plates in my Chamonix & pre-Civil War Petzvals. I have two double plate holders but plan on taking a lot more shots than just four. My plan is to use a small changing bag to switch out exposed plates with fresh ones as needed. My thinking was to keep these in my car, but I'm having second thoughts as air temp is supposed to be hitting nearly 90 degrees--will be much hotter in the car. I fear the gelatin will melt! My plan was to keep the plates cool in an ice chest, but now I'm wondering if the cold plates will have condensation on them when I take them out? Will also carry some holders with Efke 25 in them as back up. Any thoughts?


    Kent in SD
    The first five days after a weekend are the roughest.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Oregon Coast
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    244

    Re: Using Dry Plates in Hot Weather

    It's unlikely the gelatin will melt-- at least, no more likely than that the film will. However, either could fog a bit in the heat. Use an ice chest, just don't use ice. Put the plates, film, and loaded cameras in the ice chest before you leave your nice, cool house. Keep the ice chest closed and in the shade except when you are getting something out of it. Things will stay cool enough to avoid fog, but won't collect any condensation. Have fun! d
    Denise Ross
    www.thelightfarm.com
    Dedicated to the Craft of Handmade Silver Gelatin Paper, Dry Plates, and Film

  3. #3
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
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    Using Dry Plates in Hot Weather

    I kept dry plates in my truck for months through summer heat before using and had no issues.

    Denise’s suggestion is good if you want to be extra careful. I just wouldn’t cool them to or below the dew point temperature (check your weather forecast).
    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/Pictoriographica
    .. because my wife is happy when I can cover my photography expenses!

  4. #4
    Foamer
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    Re: Using Dry Plates in Hot Weather

    Did the Civil War thing all day yesterday, temp got up to 86. I had two holders I kept with me and a box was kept in a small cooler with a blue gel ice pack. That kept them cool but not cold. It all seemed to work quite well! I did find one plate had tissue stuck to it and it wasn't usable, but it might have shipped that way. While there I met a guy who was a "Brady" re-enactor, shooting tin types. He had a really cool portable dark room on a stand and let me use that to load the plates. (I had a lot of trouble doing them in my small changing bag. It's harder than film!) I took some photos of General Grant and President Lincoln, along with many units of troops and every day camp life. I had a blast! I mean a real blast--they had about 20 canons they were shooting off! I'm going back for more today. I've already shot a dozen plates.


    Kent in SD
    The first five days after a weekend are the roughest.

  5. #5
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
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    Brookline, NH
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    Re: Using Dry Plates in Hot Weather

    Awesome! Can’t wait to see how they turned out.
    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/Pictoriographica
    .. because my wife is happy when I can cover my photography expenses!

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