View Full Version : I'm back to LF & some questions about making glass plates / DIY emulsion making?

9-May-2013, 05:25
Hi all.

I am back to large format photography after several years away. I sold off my monorail camera as I just didn't use it enough, but recently got a great deal on a Speed Graphic in good shape, so I'm back with a vengeance.

Anyway, I am really interested in trying some dry plate photography and maybe even wet plate, but I am curious if anyone else here is into it?

Especially I'm interested in dry plate photography and speed ratings. I have read on the internet that high speed emulsions can be made by pouring the silver nitrate mixture in very very slowly. Does anyone have experience with this?

Does anyone ever coat things besides glass, such as acetate sheets for example? A kind of DIY film?

I am also very interested in whether anyone else here has made their own silver nitrate? As part of my business and hobby I regularly purchase silver for jewelry making at far below the cost of purchasing silver nitrate. The production of silver nitrate is fairly straightforward (Although the fumes produced are extremely hazardous and deadly) but I'm wondering if I'm the only person doing it? Anyone else out there make silver nitrate? Would be happy to hear your stories / advice.

marfa boomboom tx
9-May-2013, 07:44

9-May-2013, 08:20
Thanks for the reply, I guess I should be more clear, is there anyone here actually doing the things I mentioned and have any thoughts to share or advice?

9-May-2013, 08:31
i made my own emulsion back in 1987 ... got the recipe out of an old photographic annual ..
the emulsion worked ( sort of ) and it was fun to make but it wasn't fast or sophisticated ...
i eventually became a regular user of liquid light emulsion ..
the speed is about asa 1, its not fast, but it is fun and easy to use.
i can't say anything about making silver nitrate, things always seem straightforward and easy until one tries doing it him/herself ..
it seems much safe + economical to just buy it from one of the suppliers than risking death ...

for emulsion making you might point your browser to http://www.thelightfarm.com/ denise (the person who runs the site)
has successfully coated film from what i can remember ... im more fond of coating glass and paper ..
if you can find the book silver gelatin, grab it, its a great resource. ...
the george eastman house runs workshops for making emulsions ... if i had time or $$$ i would do them ...
(maybe you do ? )


Mark Woods
9-May-2013, 11:59
The George Eastman house gives workshops on this subject. The couple who are the artists in residence are very good at the process. Mark Osterman leads one of the workshops and he's very good.

10-May-2013, 11:31
I have been on the course. There is a separate thread for emulsion making on the APUG site.