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Thread: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

  1. #81

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Finally on track. Yesterday I was able to made some more plates, both tintypes & ambrotypes (4x5) and worked quite fine. Even as I was forced to use my only UV light as it was dark already. Here's one of the images. In fact is maybe the first wet plate fully made on my own: my salted collodion, (almost) my silver bath, my developer & my sandarac varnish!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	complet Q q cl MEU, rev MEU, vernis MEU UV 30 s f5,1.jpg 
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  2. #82

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by carbo73 View Post
    Finally on track. Yesterday I was able to made some more plates, both tintypes & ambrotypes (4x5) and worked quite fine. Even as I was forced to use my only UV light as it was dark already. Here's one of the images. In fact is maybe the first wet plate fully made on my own: my salted collodion, (almost) my silver bath, my developer & my sandarac varnish!
    That’s looking pretty good! Well done.

  3. #83
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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by carbo73 View Post
    Finally on track. Yesterday I was able to made some more plates, both tintypes & ambrotypes (4x5) and worked quite fine. Even as I was forced to use my only UV light as it was dark already. Here's one of the images. In fact is maybe the first wet plate fully made on my own: my salted collodion, (almost) my silver bath, my developer & my sandarac varnish!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	complet Q q cl MEU, rev MEU, vernis MEU UV 30 s f5,1.jpg 
Views:	36 
Size:	59.6 KB 
ID:	224008

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  4. #84

    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Hello, dear experts and lovers of wet collodion photography! Forgive me for using google translate, but I don't know foreign languages ​​well. I recently became interested in photographing ambrotypes. I have a question for more experienced colleagues. I mixed in a shot of collodion from an Old Workhorse recipe. And the result is unsatisfactory. I have a suspicion that the matter is in not very high-quality reagents .. But perhaps there is something else. Of the problems, for example, for some reason the plate does not become transparent in the fixer. Even if it lies in the fixer for a long time, it remains yellowish-whitish. This happens sometimes in places where collodion flows and its layer is thick, but in my case the entire surface of the plate remains cloudy, even in the shadows it does not acquire transparency. I changed the fixer, it's not in it. What could be the problem?

  5. #85
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Welcome to the forum!

    Your problems could have any number of sources, the developer, the silver bath (did you season it?), the collodion, light leaks, exposure, some misstep in processing, the plate drying out...

    Sadly, without being there to see what's happening, it's hard to diagnose a new wet plater's problems over the internet. Hopefully, there's a more experienced wet plate photographer near you who can help.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  6. #86

    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Now I will try to describe the details. I seasoned the silver bath, and already successfully used it with a collodion of a different recipe, I also used a fixer and a developer with a different collodion and they worked great. The exposure was measured by a stepwise breakdown of the gate - in all ranges it turned out badly. Perhaps I dipped the plate too quickly into the silver bath, didn't let it dry. Perhaps I kept the plate in a silver bath for a long time, 5 minutes. Perhaps I got poor-quality reagents, the salts seem to have been stored in a humid atmosphere. I also have doubts, maybe I didn’t accurately measure cadmium bromide, it’s unlikely, but it could be. Which of the above could affect?
    At first glance, the problem looks like the fixer is not working, but I tried it in two different fixers and the result is the same.

  7. #87
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Sounds like it's the collodion, as the other chemicals are known to work. The amount of salts (the bromides and iodides) is pretty forgiving as they're both well past saturated solutions, (you can't have too much as it will just precipitate out). If you dipped the plate to soon (you'd have to be working pretty fast to do that), you'd notice an odd wrinkly texture to the collodion. I doubt it's from the salts being in a humid atmosphere, as they're in solution now.

    I'd also suspect light was getting on the plate, either being fogged in the camera or by an unsafe safelight in the darkroom, but if you're seeing a difference in exposure on a step-scale-exposed plate, it's probably not that.

    I'm stumped.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  8. #88

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    I have twice encountered a similar problem, and both times it was using newly mixed salted collodion. The same collodion behaved normally a week later. It seems sometimes new collodion needs several days to "settle" before they are truly usable.
    If Andros has proven that a different collodion used with his usual silver bath and other chemistry, then that suggests its that specific collodion. I suggest letting it sit for another week and try it again.

    Longer times in the silver bath are not likely to fix any issues you have with plate quality. Its unlikely that the collodion didn't set properly before you put it in the silver bath, unless you put it in the bath less than 1 minute after pouring the plate. Poor quality salts, or measuring incorrectly could give you bad results, but the only way to know would be to get new salts and make a new batch. The fixer is not the issue, if you've demonstrated that it works with other films/collodion.

    I suggest letting the collodion age for a few more days and then try again.

  9. #89

    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Yes, I mixed this collodion less than a week ago. I heard that this recipe matures quickly so I decided to give it a try without waiting two weeks. So it's very likely that this is the issue. And as for the components, I'm not very sure, apparently they were stored in a humid environment. Therefore, I will repeat shooting on this collodion in a week, and if the result does not improve, then I will go to a collodionist friend in a neighboring city and stir from his proven components. Another such question. Am I doing the right thing, when making collodion, I first dissolve the salts in two milliliters of water and only then pour them into the collodion solution?

  10. #90

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andros-zz View Post
    Another such question. Am I doing the right thing, when making collodion, I first dissolve the salts in two milliliters of water and only then pour them into the collodion solution?
    My technique is:

    1) dissolve the salts in 3ml of distilled water
    2) mix the appropriate volumes of Ethanol and Ether and mix them well
    3) add the 3ml of water and salts solution into the alcohol + ether
    4) Add the appropriate volume of collodion to the above mixture.

    Which recipe are you using to make your collodion?

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