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Thread: My Lack of Knowledge in Wet Plate

  1. #11
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: My Lack of Knowledge in Wet Plate

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Howk View Post
    The problem I've had with modified holders is that they are not easy to clean. Collodion is liable to get into light-trap area, for example; and possibly pulling more collodion off the plate. Also its inconvenient to have a GG size that is larger than the actual plate size when composing the image.
    I just ordered a Chamonix 5X7 wet-plate holder - looks like a good design.
    I agree about cleanliness but it's a lot cheaper for learning than one of Jody's probably-very-nice-but-certainly-very-expensive plate holders. Why is a larger groundglass than your plate a problem? I think it's nice to have a lookaround area around your frame.

  2. #12
    Nicholas White
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    Re: My Lack of Knowledge in Wet Plate

    Just something that might help you for research, a friend of mine who graduated last year spent his final year making his own 20x24 camera and making wet plate collodion images. He has a blog on the project here, and you should be able to message him!

    http://20x24cameraproject.tumblr.com

  3. #13
    Graflex Wayne Aho's Avatar
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    Re: My Lack of Knowledge in Wet Plate

    Check Black Art Woodcraft, or Ty Guillory for cameras, both excellent, and Black Art also makes darkboxes. Buy John Coffers manual, the best to get started with, and ArtCraft Chemicals is a good supplier, although Bostick and Sullivan make a good starter kit. For the hard to get stuff like cyanide and ether, I use Chemsavers.

    By the way, I agree with the previous posters about using smaller plates to get started, the cost of chemicals will eat up your wallet as you go up in plate size, much cheaper to learn the process with the smaller plates. Also, some folks try it out, and then quit using the process.

    Wayne

  4. #14
    Cor's Avatar
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    Re: My Lack of Knowledge in Wet Plate

    Quote Originally Posted by Light Guru View Post
    Problem with Quin's forum http://www.collodion.com/cp/forum.php is that it is seldom used. I check it once a week or two and when it click "What's New" to show me any new posts there NEVER are any. So ether there are never any new posts or the forum does not function properly to show the new posts.
    I am not sure what is happening there, I know there is a transition from the old forum to the new one: the old one, using my bookmark on http://www.collodion.com/ is still very much alive, the new one Chemical Pictures is not so much..maybe a more regular visitor to these fora can chime in ?

    Best,

    Cor

  5. #15
    Light Guru's Avatar
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    My Lack of Knowledge in Wet Plate

    Quote Originally Posted by Cor View Post
    I am not sure what is happening there, I know there is a transition from the old forum to the new one: the old one, using my bookmark on http://www.collodion.com/ is still very much alive, the new one Chemical Pictures is not so much..maybe a more regular visitor to these fora can chime in ?

    Best,

    Cor
    The link I use is to the new one. From what I can tell the "transition" from old to new forum happened a year ago so people should be using the new one, but I always get no new posts.
    Zak Baker
    zakbaker.photo

    "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."
    Ansel Adams

  6. #16

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    Re: My Lack of Knowledge in Wet Plate

    I would second both Steve at Black Art Woodcraft and Ty, both make beautiful and functional cameras. Also starting smaller than 11X14 is a great idea. Coffer's manual is a must have, and it really helps to have someone run you through the process. Where are you located, chances are there is someone in your neck of the woods that has already started shooting wet plate, and would probably let you sit in on a shoot. For Chemicals everything you need is at Bostick & Sullivan, and Dana not only makes the majority of it himself, he is also shooting some pretty impressive plates up to 12X20 in his spare time. I would also advise against cyanide until you have figured out that you like the process and it fits your work, and also until you have developed an air tight workflow where you are confident that you will not be making errant mistakes. It doesn't take too much acid to turn a good shoot into a disaster.

  7. #17

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    Re: My Lack of Knowledge in Wet Plate

    Quote Originally Posted by Light Guru View Post
    Problem with Quin's forum is that it is seldom used. I check it once a week or two and when it click "What's New" to show me any new posts there NEVER are any. So ether there are never any new posts or the forum does not function properly to show the new posts.
    Wetplate is booming. More people are shooting it every day. I'm a moderator for http://www.collodion.com/ and most posts are now by newcomers. The experts are out shooting pictures, the newcomers post a lot as they get started. It's a great site with years of expert knowledge and answers, you just have to search. There are very few new questions about wetplate, though they are repeatedly asked every few weeks. They've all been answered there before (Can I use a modern lens? What size? Are chemicals expensive?)

    The most active places to see current wetplates being shot today are on several facebook groups, and on flickr, and on blogs. This will get you started:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/wetplate/
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/1362001@N25/
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/44113752162/?fref=ts

    Quote Originally Posted by stephography View Post
    I don't think I am unique in that I have spent hours upon hours researching wet plate collodion and browsing plate cameras... trying to decide if I should buy one or make one... trying to figure out which lens would be the best & most cost effective at the same time..
    To add to Mark and others answers, I agree start learning with a small plate. Your 5x7 camera will work great, with a modified film holder. You can draw a pencil line on the ground glass to represent the smaller plate size. The silver will not damage the wood if you wipe out the holder each shot. The existing lens will work. After you learn, then you can decide to build or buy a dedicated "plate camera", but really there is no need. You can buy a wetplate back for an existing camera too.

  8. #18

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    Re: My Lack of Knowledge in Wet Plate

    Quote Originally Posted by Light Guru View Post
    The link I use is to the new one. From what I can tell the "transition" from old to new forum happened a year ago so people should be using the new one, but I always get no new posts.
    Almost everyone is still using the old forum (it's a busy place), or as Mark Twain would say:"The reports of its death are greatly exaggerated" .

  9. #19
    Light Guru's Avatar
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    Re: My Lack of Knowledge in Wet Plate

    Quote Originally Posted by big_ben_blue View Post
    Almost everyone is still using the old forum (it's a busy place), or as Mark Twain would say:"The reports of its death are greatly exaggerated" .
    then what the point of them moving to the new forum platform. Keep the old one so people can read it but force people to post on the new one.
    Zak Baker
    zakbaker.photo

    "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."
    Ansel Adams

  10. #20
    Stephography stephography's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: My Lack of Knowledge in Wet Plate

    Wow! So much response. Thank you all so much for your help and taking the time to reply to my post. I really appreciate it

    You have brought up some great points that I haven't even considered. I think I will definitely start out with 5x7 to cut down on costs in the beginning while I'm getting my feet (hands) wet I do have a question about getting a back for my current 5x7 camera. If I get a back, say from Chamonix, will it just fit right down into the back of my camera where the film plates go? Or do I have to modify the back to accommodate it? My 5x7 camera is an old Century. I'd like to keep it intact so I can still shoot film as well. But I could purchase another style 5x7 that I could modify for only a few hundred bucks.

    Also, one poster mentioned not using cyanide while I'm learning. What would I use in place of cyanide?

    I have purchased the Coffer manual. Just waiting for it to arrive

    I live in Salt Lake City. It would be amazing to find someone here doing wet plate. I guess I will have to start asking around.

    I've joined the collodion forum mentioned as well.

    Also, one poster mentioned trying dry plate instead. I am aware of dry plate, but wet plate images just move me. I have to try it. Each image created feels so... real. It's something I've waited a long time to try and I couldn't be more excited that now is the time Perhaps in the future I can try dry plate as well, though!

    THANK YOU all again!

    Steph
    "The very instant that I saw you did
    My heart fly to your service." Shakespeare

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