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Thread: Wet / dry plate photography

  1. #11
    ghostcount's Avatar
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    Re: Wet / dry plate photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    Gelatin is not used in wet plate. The base is collodion--a mixture of collodion USP, ether, and a little grain alcohol plus some iodizers. It's then soaked in 9% silver nitrate solution for ~4 minutes, and immediately loaded into the plate holder. (In the dark.) Must take the photo AND process it withing 10 minutes or so (in the dark.) You probably could take the photo and then place it in a container of water & glycerin to keep it wet but I have no idea why you would do that. You need to process the plate to check your exposure. I do keep mine wet in the field after fixing in a container of water. I do that so I can do the final washing at home. I have limited water supply when in the field.


    Kent in SD
    Mah bad... It's glycerin. It's been awhile since I did WPC. Point being, you can develop later instead in field, saves your back from bringing all that water.
    "Sex is like maths, add the bed, subtract the clothes, divide the whoo hoo and hope you don't multiply." - Leather jacket guy

  2. #12
    Foamer
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    Re: Wet / dry plate photography

    Yes, might be possible to develop later but I don't know why someone would ever want to. Since you can't meter it you won't know if you got the shot until you get home.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  3. #13

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    Re: Wet / dry plate photography

    Thanks agin for all the pointers - its very helpful :-)

  4. #14

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    Re: Wet / dry plate photography

    I've never done dryplate but have shot wetplate since 2006. I shot with Quinn Jacobson (studio Q) in Paris and he knows his stuff. Nice guy that went to Europe around 2007, taught wetplate when no one did it, and had his work in studios there. Basically, almost everyone in EU has learned wetplate from Quinn....or from someone who learned it from Quinn, and wrote a website, etc. It's like a virus and spread fast in the 2000s.

    Wetplate collodion has other advantages:

    - instant results. That's right, it's about as fast as shooting polaroids. You shoot, walk to your dark room, develop, and in a few minutes are drying the plate. It's easy and common for collodion tintypes to be done on site to hand the finished plate to tourists. Dry plate you must shoot, then later develop at home, then later make prints and develop them.

    - cheap. I did not find starting wetplate to be anywhere NEAR the price Two23 quotes above. You can buy a complete chemistry kit from Bostick & Sullivan for $300 here. I've used and reviewed their kit, it works fine. Or, if you want to go even cheaper, you can make your own chemicals. I typically did. I estimate a 5x7 plate costs about .10-25 cents if you go that route. If you make your darkbox out of a cardboard box or use a laundry room (I've done both) for developing, that is almost no cost. A few trays and bottles...some aluminum trophy plate to shoot on...done. VERY Cheap.

    - flexibility. You can shoot on steel or aluminum plates and make reversed positives. You can then pour a plate on black glass and make an ambrotype reversed positive. Then you can pour a plate on clear glass and make a correctly orientated ambrotype (not reversed image) by backing it with black paper and viewing the front. Then you can make a clear glass negative, to be printed (not reversed) as many times as you want later. All in the same photo session, making decisions as to what you want to do by looking at how each shot is coming out. You can't do that with dryplate or film.

    There are lots of others....

  5. #15
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Wet / dry plate photography

    OK!

    No more time to waste

    I just ordered the kit linked, with tin plates, I have plenty of 5x7 glass and about half in the kit, but I now want no delay

    Thanks for the push!

    BTW, B&S says they are swamped with orders...

    Quote Originally Posted by goamules View Post
    I've never done dryplate but have shot wetplate since 2006. I shot with Quinn Jacobson (studio Q) in Paris and he knows his stuff. Nice guy that went to Europe around 2007, taught wetplate when no one did it, and had his work in studios there. Basically, almost everyone in EU has learned wetplate from Quinn....or from someone who learned it from Quinn, and wrote a website, etc. It's like a virus and spread fast in the 2000s.

    Wetplate collodion has other advantages:

    - instant results. That's right, it's about as fast as shooting polaroids. You shoot, walk to your dark room, develop, and in a few minutes are drying the plate. It's easy and common for collodion tintypes to be done on site to had the plate to tourists. Dry plate you must shoot, then later develop at home, then later make prints and develop them.

    - cheap. I did not find starting wetplate to be anywhere NEAR the price Two23 quotes above. You can buy a complete chemistry kit from Bostick & Sullivan for $300 here. I've used and reviewed their kit, it works fine. Or, if you want to go even cheaper, you can make your own chemicals. I typically did. I estimate a 5x7 plate costs about .10-25 cents if you go that route. If you make your darkbox out of a cardboard box or use a laundry room (I've done both) for developing, that is almost no cost. A few trays and bottles...some aluminum trophy plate to shoot on...done. VERY Cheap.

    - flexibility. You can shoot on steel or aluminum plates and make reversed positives. You can then pour a plate on black glass and make an ambrotype reversed positive. Then you can pour a plate on clear glass and make a correctly orientated ambrotype (not reversed image) by backing it with black paper and viewing the front. Then you can make a clear glass negative, to be printed as many times as you want later. All in the same photo session, making decisions as to what you want to do by looking at how each shot is coming out. You can't do that with dryplate or film.

    There are lots of others....
    sin eater

  6. #16
    Scyg's Avatar
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    Re: Wet / dry plate photography

    Quote Originally Posted by goamules View Post
    - cheap. I did not find starting wetplate to be anywhere NEAR the price Two23 quotes above. You can buy a complete chemistry kit from Bostick & Sullivan for $300 here. I've used and reviewed their kit, it works fine. Or, if you want to go even cheaper, you can make your own chemicals. I typically did. I estimate a 5x7 plate costs about .10-25 cents if you go that route. If you make your darkbox out of a cardboard box or use a laundry room (I've done both) for developing, that is almost no cost. A few trays and bottles...some aluminum trophy plate to shoot on...done. VERY Cheap.
    What's your source for aluminum trophy plates? The cheapest I've found them so far is $340 per 100 4x5s. I'm assuming the the 10-25 cent cost you quote above doesn't include the plate itself?

  7. #17

    Re: Wet / dry plate photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Scyg View Post
    What's your source for aluminum trophy plates? The cheapest I've found them so far is $340 per 100 4x5s. I'm assuming the the 10-25 cent cost you quote above doesn't include the plate itself?
    $340 for 100 4x5s??? seriously? That's outrageous. Contact Karen at Main Trophy Supply and tell her what you want, and they will cut plates to order. karen "at" maintrophysupply "dot" com

  8. #18

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    Re: Wet / dry plate photography

    Yeah, Main Trophy is my source. It's probably the most expensive part of the whole thing. But a 48x24" sheet is about $15 if I recall. I buy it in bulk, get about 10 sheets. It lasts me a year or two. Shooting mostly 5x6 or smaller, a few large ones once in a while.

    For the first few years I shot wetplate every week, sometimes daily. Now I just get it out every month or two for a session. I can have my darkroom (laundry) set up in 15 minutes. Camera set up in the yard and composed in 15 more. Shooting and developing, get about 4-5 good plates, and be shut down and cleaned up in an hour or two. Try that with film.

    TinCan, glad you're diving in! It's an exciting learning experience. Buy a manual if you can. Quinn's is good, Coffer's better. Even better try to go to a workshop. I used to teach wetplate workshops, and the students would be getting excellent plates in 2-3 hours. Learning on your own, watching a variety of contradictory youtube "experts", it may take you a few weeks or months, and a lot of wasted plates. But it can be self taught too. Just follow ONE person's advice, not 10 or 20.

  9. #19
    multi format
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    Re: Wet / dry plate photography

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostcount View Post
    Wet plate - Needs to be process on location unless you submerge it in gelatin(I think?)/water and take it home. You can find this in Quinn's forum if it is still around. Better yet, buy his books.
    you might be thinking of dry collodion plates ( mr towler talks about them on around page 232. ...
    https://archive.org/details/silversu...ge/n6/mode/2up )

    have fun Peter. lots of fun to be had with photography, especially since when we snap out of all this weirdness it will be 1870 all over again
    John
    enjoy your coffee

  10. #20
    ghostcount's Avatar
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    Re: Wet / dry plate photography

    Quote Originally Posted by jnantz View Post
    you might be thinking of dry collodion plates ( mr towler talks about them on around page 232. ...
    https://archive.org/details/silversu...ge/n6/mode/2up )
    Hi John.

    No I wasn't. I first heard about it from Dunniway who heard about it from the Ostermann's. To be sure, submerge plate in 1 part glycerin to 2 parts water. Take it home and process later.
    "Sex is like maths, add the bed, subtract the clothes, divide the whoo hoo and hope you don't multiply." - Leather jacket guy

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