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Thread: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

  1. #61

    Join Date
    Aug 2021
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    6

    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Thank you so much, that's all super helpful! I used distilled water to mix the developer, but I'll try those suggestions first and see how it goes!

    I have the manual it came with, and leading up to this point, I watched a bunch of videos and tutorials on YouTube, and have some previous experience with Van Dykes, cyanotypes, and collotype; but the more information is always the better, I'll try to track those down!

  2. #62

    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by iosef86 View Post
    Thank you so much, that's all super helpful! I used distilled water to mix the developer, but I'll try those suggestions first and see how it goes!

    I have the manual it came with, and leading up to this point, I watched a bunch of videos and tutorials on YouTube, and have some previous experience with Van Dykes, cyanotypes, and collotype; but the more information is always the better, I'll try to track those down!
    I hope you'll let us know how the next plates work! Good luck.

  3. #63

    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Posts
    6

    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Tried some exposures last night, implementing your advice! Tried an outdoor exposure, with a test strip, and the developer cooled to 65 degrees. There was quite a bit of improvement!

    The test strip - (f8 with .5 second, 1 second, 1.5 second, and 2 second exposures):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    First exposure - (f8 with .3 second exposure):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    And third - (f8 with .5 second exposure):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Oddly, even with the longer exposure, the second full exposure seems less well exposed. They were processed the same, and the light didn't seem to change much, but they were shot between 6:30 and 7:30 in the evening, so I wonder if there was a dramatic shift in UV light between them?
    Also, I imagine the dark blotches are artifacts from tray development?

  4. #64

    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by iosef86 View Post
    Tried some exposures last night, implementing your advice! Tried an outdoor exposure, with a test strip, and the developer cooled to 65 degrees. There was quite a bit of improvement!

    The test strip - (f8 with .5 second, 1 second, 1.5 second, and 2 second exposures):
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screen Shot 2021-08-03 at 8.41.28 AM.jpg 
Views:	17 
Size:	31.3 KB 
ID:	218272

    First exposure - (f8 with .3 second exposure):
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screen Shot 2021-08-03 at 8.41.39 AM.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	32.4 KB 
ID:	218273

    And third - (f8 with .5 second exposure):
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screen Shot 2021-08-03 at 8.41.51 AM.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	26.3 KB 
ID:	218274

    Oddly, even with the longer exposure, the second full exposure seems less well exposed. They were processed the same, and the light didn't seem to change much, but they were shot between 6:30 and 7:30 in the evening, so I wonder if there was a dramatic shift in UV light between them?
    Also, I imagine the dark blotches are artifacts from tray development?
    Much better!
    So yes - towards the end of the day, an hour makes a big difference in the amount of UV in the scene, so your results are not surprising.

    As for the dark spots and uneven areas, there are two possible sources: 1) either the collodion did not cover the plate evenly and completely, or 2) the developer did not cover the plate evenly and quickly. (the more likely scenario) If you are developing plates in a tray, be sure to use a tray that's quite a bit larger than the plates your making. IE: if your plates are 4x5 inches, then use an 8x10 inch tray. Pour developer into the tray and tilt the tray away from you so all the developer puddles at the far end. Place the exposed plate at the end closer to you (no developer at this end) then quickly and in one smooth motion, tip the tray forward so the developer quickly covers the plate. The idea is to get the developer to cover the whole plate evenly and quickly (less than one second, (as best you can) to avoid uneven development marks. I suspect your black marks are spots where the developer didn't cover the plate when first submerged in developer.

    You've got the right ideas now, and all you need to do is finesse your technique. Wet Plate isn't an easy process to perfect, but with practice you can get consistently excellent results most of the time. Most important is to maintain consistency in what you do, and don't change more than one variable at a time. Its too easy to chase the wrong variable and get lost in what you're doing that way. So keep going. You're making good progress. I suggest you practice your developer technique - that will eliminate the unwanted dark marks and artifacts.

  5. #65

    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Posts
    6

    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Thank you again for the input, I'm super excited about starting the process!

  6. #66

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    77

    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Hi,

    I've been doing wet plate collodion for almost a year, generally with acceptable results. But lately my tyntypes & ambrotypes have a lot of tiny black dots. And I mean a lot. I asume it is dirt in the silver bath, although I have filtered and sunned it several times.

    So today I tried to do a severe maintenance as advised in Quinn Jaccobson's book. I used sodium bicarbonate to neutralize the bath, and it got very messi, looking like dirty milk. Then I put it in the sun for a couple of hours and it changed to a dark grey color, except the bottom, wich had still parts of whitish deposits. I filtered it and with just a couple of times it looked back transparent and nice. A bit of distilled water + silver nitrate to replenish the bath and tried it. Well, 3 plates, with different collodions and ever fixers & developers, and all only showed a fully creamy plate. As if I had ultra-overdeveloped it.

    Any idea of what went wrong? I think it may be the pH, wich I think is arround 4 or 5 by now (my pH strips are difficult to read acurately). I have no nitric acid but I have glacial acetic acid. Maybe I will try to acidify it just a bit, drop by drop. Could it work?

    thanks for your interest.

  7. #67
    Foamer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    2,292

    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    I've been doing wet plate for 2 years now. Some thoughts. First, I suggest sunning for at least two days. It takes awhile for the nasties to drop out. Second I suggest filtering through a coffee filter first and then a cotton ball pushed down into the funnel neck, do it at least twice or until the cotton ball comes out clean after running silver through it. Then check SG. Your pH of 4-5 is good. The other thing that causes black dots is using a fixer batch too long.


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

  8. #68

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    77

    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    I've been doing wet plate for 2 years now. Some thoughts. First, I suggest sunning for at least two days. It takes awhile for the nasties to drop out. Second I suggest filtering through a coffee filter first and then a cotton ball pushed down into the funnel neck, do it at least twice or until the cotton ball comes out clean after running silver through it. Then check SG. Your pH of 4-5 is good. The other thing that causes black dots is using a fixer batch too long.


    Kent in SD
    Many thanks for your tips. The fixer tip I think it's specially relevant.

    Today I managed to make this silver bath work again, although maybe it recovered on it's own (time to settle, maybe). That's because I only acidified it a bit with acetic acid, and just a bit. But now it works, and aparently quite well. My pH strips are quite difficult to distinguish betweeen 3 and 5 or 6, the hues are very similar to my eye. I need other strips, those with multiple indicators. The SG is now 1067. I made a new fixer bath with hypo.

    That's a phone picture of my last tintype today (still in the water):
    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #69
    Foamer
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    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Dakota
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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Looks like you're back on track.


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

  10. #70

    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Posts
    1

    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    This is an issue for me. Years ago I bought 200 5X7 glass plates to use for Dry Plate, per Denise Ross http://thelightfarm.com/ Lost momentum and never used them

    I used Howard Glass https://swcpoker.club/ on the recommendation of someone here

    I had them polish the edges, they packed them very well with interleaving paper and extremely clean. I still have them...and they fit my wood plate holders

    So, I suppose I will need to test and see if albumen is needed

    I also need to test if they are Smart POS system enough right now

    If not I ordered the Lund Cleaning clamp, as I tried a normal twin screw clamp and realized it was a waste of time

    One day perhaps we can copy and paste this new thread into a better home...

    I have the same problem, dod anyone fix it?
    Last edited by TylerMax; 16-Sep-2021 at 03:36.

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