PDA

View Full Version : Need a lesson in NYC from a professional who knows Wet Plate photography with flash



YHP
4-Apr-2015, 13:46
Hi,

I'm a professional photographer and I've been using a medium format with film then a digital Hasselblad camera for the past 15 years.

I would like to start shooting on Wet Plates. I just purchased an 8x10 Ansco View Camera that I'm trying to use with my flash lights.
My first trial did not produce anything on the plate :-( so I am looking for someone who could come to my place for a training session to see what I am doing wrong.

If you are in New York City or know someone there that could help please reach out.

Raya

Andrew Plume
4-Apr-2015, 13:57
hello Raya

check out The Penumbra Foundation

http://www.penumbrafoundation.org/

one of their 'main guys' is Geoffrey Berliner who is also a member on here

regards
andrew

jnantz
4-Apr-2015, 14:13
Hi,

I'm a professional photographer and I've been using a medium format with film then a digital Hasselblad camera for the past 15 years.

I would like to start shooting on Wet Plates. I just purchased an 8x10 Ansco View Camera that I'm trying to use with my flash lights.
My first trial did not produce anything on the plate :-( so I am looking for someone who could come to my place for a training session to see what I am doing wrong.

If you are in New York City or know someone there that could help please reach out.

Raya

hi raya

you need to replace your regular bulbs with bright UV bulbs
wet plate isn't panchromatic, and requires different light than the modern
stuff ( film and paper ).

good luck !
john

YHP
4-Apr-2015, 14:32
Thanks Andrew!

YHP
4-Apr-2015, 14:35
Hi John,
Thanks for taking the time to reply
So if I'm shooting with these Bowens, http://www.bowensdirect.com/index.php/gemini-500pro.html it won't work with the tintypes? I was wondering if the measure would be different and I needed to set up a stronger light, but did not expect it not to work at all.
Raya

Joe Smigiel
4-Apr-2015, 16:19
Raya,

FWIW, I get a 1-pop exposure at f/8 at about 2m using a Speedotron 9600ws quadlight full tilt. Wetplate is slow.

Make sure you aren't using lenses that have UV filters on them or some coating that might block UV. If you are using a flash meter, try ISO 1 to 0.5.

Joe

YHP
4-Apr-2015, 17:09
Thanks Joe!


Raya,

FWIW, I get a 1-pop exposure at f/8 at about 2m using a Speedotron 9600ws quadlight full tilt. Wetplate is slow.

Make sure you aren't using lenses that have UV filters on them or some coating that might block UV. If you are using a flash meter, try ISO 1 to 0.5.

Joe

Andrew Plume
5-Apr-2015, 03:35
Thanks Andrew!

thx, grateful, good luck too

best
andrew

cuypers1807
5-Apr-2015, 08:43
It is all about the UV. Most studio lights are designed not to put off a lot of UV. You will need fluorescent continuous lighting to minimize exposure times. Otherwise you will run the risk of baking your subject.

Randy Moe
5-Apr-2015, 09:07
Raya,

FWIW, I get a 1-pop exposure at f/8 at about 2m using a Speedotron 9600ws quadlight full tilt. Wetplate is slow.

Make sure you aren't using lenses that have UV filters on them or some coating that might block UV. If you are using a flash meter, try ISO 1 to 0.5.

Joe

That's a big flash Joe!

Last week I had a portrait sitter that has a brain aneurysm, in a very bad place. She told me her doctor warned her to avoid Flash and Lightning as they could be fatal.

We did use 640 ws in a big softbox at her insistence, but only 2 pops and she took a chill pill before the session. She's a good sport and wanted to join her husband in the images. God Bless her and safe passage.

goamules
6-Apr-2015, 06:06
Have any of you (other than Joe) that are answering actually used flash? Because I have, with Mark Sawyer's setup, and they work fine. "UV bulbs", um.....not needed. This exposure was taken with 2 flashes, with about an F4 lens. I'll let Mark fill in the power details of this shot he took of me.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7615/17053394551_6ec6747ab2.jpg

jnantz
6-Apr-2015, 06:43
Have any of you (other than Joe) that are answering actually used flash? Because I have, with Mark Sawyer's setup, and they work fine. "UV bulbs", um.....not needed.

thanks goamules - good to hear.
that is what giles (illumiquest) told me he uses
i asked him when i first saw his stop motion photographs. no idea
there are other ways to do it ... i am not a wet plater but a other-stuffer
my answer was just ... what someone who does it told me thay do.

Randy Moe
6-Apr-2015, 06:59
You are correct Garrett, my mistake, in my newborn enthusiasm, I was writing about possible dangers of mammoth flash energy to a person with a brain aneurism, and I have not used flash for WP, nor have ever I made a WP.

I do like that flash is a possible method of WP indoors.

Crow is best fresh.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
6-Apr-2015, 07:12
I have used strobe with wetplate and other color-blind materials, and have found no discernible difference between (Speedotron) coated and uncoated bulbs. I have two 9600ws heads, one with UV-coated and the other with uncoated bulbs, and I have never seen a difference between them.

That said, strobe with wetplate can be difficult, as the the highlights block up very quickly. Also, I don't really like how it looks, and much prefer images lit by florescent (or daylight)

goamules
6-Apr-2015, 07:34
Hi John,
Thanks for taking the time to reply
So if I'm shooting with these Bowens, http://www.bowensdirect.com/index.php/gemini-500pro.html it won't work with the tintypes? I was wondering if the measure would be different and I needed to set up a stronger light, but did not expect it not to work at all.
Raya

Tell me this, did you first get good exposures outdoors, under open shade, at noon? Make sure your chemistry is working, before adding the difficulty of trying to use 21st century lighting with 19th century processes! Our flash setup was about 5 feet from the sitter. I don't know the power, I'll let Mark answer that.

davehyams
6-Apr-2015, 09:54
I am with Garrett on this, UV coating or not doesn't make a huge difference, on lenses or bulbs. It just takes a lot of light to burn in your image. Not really any way around it, you need lots of light. Also helps if you really understand the chemistry and can optimize it for speed rather than contrast. I would first make some plates using natural light so that you understand what you are looking for in the development stage. Once you can nail plates in natural light, switch to strobe, the more watt seconds the better. I feel that the ideal set up is 9600 WS like Jason and Joe shoot, but you can get by with less like Garrett showed. This is where technique comes in, and being familiar with Garrett and Mark, I assume that their technique is really getting a lot out of their light.

Mark Sawyer
6-Apr-2015, 10:03
I haven't used the strobes much yet, but enough that I can tell they'll work. My best recommendation is you'll need about 4000 to 5000 watt seconds, although not all watt seconds are equal, and shouldn't be confused with watts per second. The sad truth is, there's no easily-accessible way of rating a strobes output, and for the UV bands needed for wet plate, doubly so. (Beam Candle Power Seconds, or BCPS, can tell you the visible output, but hardly anyone publishes that info, and it tells you nothing of UV output.)

Using soft boxes and umbrellas will usually cut your light by about one f/stop, and as John said earlier, avoid UV-coated bulbs and covers. From what I've read from others, they steal about half an f/stop

jnantz
6-Apr-2015, 10:53
... and as John said earlier, avoid UV-coated bulbs and covers. From what I've read from others, they steal about half an f/stop

hi mark

i was suggesting he USE UV bulbs ( not avoid them ) [unless it is a different john], but a boatload of light
that is what i heard was one of the things that worked .. but it was pretty much read-and repeat since i haven't really don't wet plate but once
(in daylight ), under the tutelage of a masterplater and instead have stuck mostly to later 19th century and earlier practices that don't involve ether or mercury ...

Mark Sawyer
6-Apr-2015, 11:58
My mistake in how I read your post, John, and I still may be misreading it. Some bulbs and Pyrex bulb covers are coated to block UV light. These are the ones to avoid for wet plate, because wet plate is exposed by UV light. The coatings aren't all that effective, but they do block enough of the UV light that you'll lose about half a stop exposure.

The question is, when you say "UV bulb", do you mean coated to block UV, or uncoated to allow UV through? (I've heard the term used both ways when talking about strobes...)

YHP
6-Apr-2015, 13:00
Thank you!
I first adjusted the light with my hasselblad camera and used the same setting on the Ansco View, but it seems that I need much more power. I tried another time with stronger power but still nothing on the plate :-(


Have any of you (other than Joe) that are answering actually used flash? Because I have, with Mark Sawyer's setup, and they work fine. "UV bulbs", um.....not needed. This exposure was taken with 2 flashes, with about an F4 lens. I'll let Mark fill in the power details of this shot he took of me.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7615/17053394551_6ec6747ab2.jpg

ghostcount
6-Apr-2015, 13:57
...used the same setting on the Ansco View, but it seems that I need much more power. I tried another time with stronger power but still nothing on the plate :-(

Bellows factor comes to mind.

The Bowens model you linked to is only 500Ws. You're going to need a bigger strobe.

Assuming you are making successful plates using the sun, your options...

1) Buy bigger strobes
2) Rent bigger strobes

aluncrockford
6-Apr-2015, 14:23
With reference to the strobe question as far as I know tiff hunter is shooting with a single flash through a strobe swimming pool, this is a very big and powerful bit of kit with 4 packs plugged in gives an output of 20,000 joules and as far as I know is single flash some of his work is here
http://www.tifhunter.com
look for the tin types selection, and as far as I am aware john brewer worked with him when he was starting off in the world of wet plate
http://www.johnbrewerphotography.com
I know this is all uk based, but it should give you an idea of what you can do and how much power you need

YHP
6-Apr-2015, 15:06
Thanks Mark!


I haven't used the strobes much yet, but enough that I can tell they'll work. My best recommendation is you'll need about 4000 to 5000 watt seconds, although not all watt seconds are equal, and shouldn't be confused with watts per second. The sad truth is, there's no easily-accessible way of rating a strobes output, and for the UV bands needed for wet plate, doubly so. (Beam Candle Power Seconds, or BCPS, can tell you the visible output, but hardly anyone publishes that info, and it tells you nothing of UV output.)

Using soft boxes and umbrellas will usually cut your light by about one f/stop, and as John said earlier, avoid UV-coated bulbs and covers. From what I've read from others, they steal about half an f/stop

YHP
6-Apr-2015, 15:14
Thank you


With reference to the strobe question as far as I know tiff hunter is shooting with a single flash through a strobe swimming pool, this is a very big and powerful bit of kit with 4 packs plugged in gives an output of 20,000 joules and as far as I know is single flash some of his work is here
http://www.tifhunter.com
look for the tin types selection, and as far as I am aware john brewer worked with him when he was starting off in the world of wet plate
http://www.johnbrewerphotography.com
I know this is all uk based, but it should give you an idea of what you can do and how much power you need

YHP
6-Apr-2015, 15:34
Hi,
You are right, I will first try with daylight exposure to see if the chemistry is good!


Tell me this, did you first get good exposures outdoors, under open shade, at noon? Make sure your chemistry is working, before adding the difficulty of trying to use 21st century lighting with 19th century processes! Our flash setup was about 5 feet from the sitter. I don't know the power, I'll let Mark answer that.

YHP
6-Apr-2015, 17:35
Thanks!


With reference to the strobe question as far as I know tiff hunter is shooting with a single flash through a strobe swimming pool, this is a very big and powerful bit of kit with 4 packs plugged in gives an output of 20,000 joules and as far as I know is single flash some of his work is here
http://www.tifhunter.com
look for the tin types selection, and as far as I am aware john brewer worked with him when he was starting off in the world of wet plate
http://www.johnbrewerphotography.com
I know this is all uk based, but it should give you an idea of what you can do and how much power you need

aluncrockford
7-Apr-2015, 05:41
Thanks!

You might try daylight bulbs in a softbox, they cost about $150 and generally come via ebay, the quality is not unlike flash just needs an exposure running in to mins ,

cuypers1807
7-Apr-2015, 05:47
I have not used strobes with my wet plate work. I choose to shoot tough indoor lighting situations either with CFL continuous lighting or regular strobes with slide film (Provia or B&W film with DR5 process) and print the tintype in my darkroom as a second step. Not quite as fun but you can easily make copies of the same photo and you can stop motion which normally is impossible. You also get the benefit of more DOF if you want it. If you shoot B&W film with the DR5 process you can even have clouds in the sky if you shoot landscapes.

cuypers1807
7-Apr-2015, 05:52
You can even use a smaller format film and enlarge a bit and still get reasonable results. Here is a 645 Provia positive enlarged to 5x7.
My collodion was pretty old so it was too contrasty but a younger collodion handles slide prints very well.

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8602/16363087100_cd80bc7ef8_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/qVX6Ho)
Madison Bed Race (https://flic.kr/p/qVX6Ho) by Joseph Brunjes (https://www.flickr.com/people/24021575@N02/), on Flickr

joshwool
7-Apr-2015, 11:47
I'm in Brooklyn and would be happy to take you through the process. Though I shoot natural light portraits, all you need is some open shade. I've done some with strobe and don't particularly like the aesthetic, but was running 2 profoto 2400 ws packs through 2 heads and beauty dishes. These are natural light portraits


132032132033132034

JChrome
7-Apr-2015, 15:41
I'm in Brooklyn and would be happy to take you through the process. Though I shoot natural light portraits, all you need is some open shade. I've done some with strobe and don't particularly like the aesthetic, but was running 2 profoto 2400 ws packs through 2 heads and beauty dishes. These are natural light portraits


132032132033132034

These are great!

If you guys end up going through the process, let me know. I live in Brooklyn and would like to see it as well.

Randy Moe
7-Apr-2015, 17:14
What about big flash bulbs, like # 50 behind safety glass. Light bulb sized

Some say #50 are 100,000 lumens slow burn.

An egg sized P25 about 12,000 lumens.

YHP
7-Apr-2015, 18:01
I'm in Brooklyn and would be happy to take you through the process. Though I shoot natural light portraits, all you need is some open shade. I've done some with strobe and don't particularly like the aesthetic, but was running 2 profoto 2400 ws packs through 2 heads and beauty dishes. These are natural light portraits


132032132033132034

Thank you Josh, will send you a PM!

docfenoll
12-Apr-2015, 02:48
Go to YouTube watch the profoto video by Victoria Will shooting Sundance Festival people on wet plate. She use 9600 ws (4 profoto 8 2400j on 2 twin heads). You have nothing on your plate, probably because your light is too short