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Thread: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

  1. #21

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    Just noticed on FB Quinn has a live event at 1000 MTS time, perhaps we all should switch to Zulu time as it's less confusing world wide

    "Join me tomorrow, May 30, at 1000 hrs MST for the Studio Q Show LIVE!
    Come talk about the wet plate collodion process! We'll talk about technical problems, philosophical problems, and even ontological problems (if you want)."


    This means my lawn mowing is delayed, first dry day in 9 days
    Grass can wait.

    Quinn has been doing these live Q&A broadcasts for a few months now, in part to remain “social” in a time that in-person interactions aren’t possible in the normal way, and in part to help promote the book. (I genuinely believe Quinn’s motivation is primarily the former) These broadcasts are typically 90 minutes long, give or take, and he’s been doing many of them via Zoom, so people can participate in a classroom style manner.

    Quinn has decades of experience in the wet plate collodion process - he knows what he’s doing. He knows how to guide a novice through the learning phase to get consistently good work, and how to avoid the common mistakes a new practitioner is inclined to make. In the video Q&A sessions, he has a very casual, conversational style, and that makes him accessible. But he’s also a bit inclined to ramble (and he knows it) so it takes some effort on the part of the viewer to sort and digest the information he’s presenting. But trust me, it’s worth it. Not everyone appreciates his style, but he’s personable and committed to helping people learn. That counts for a lot. I suggest you tune in for an episode and decide for yourself!

  2. #22

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    I added the recommended drops of nitric acid to my first bath, about 500ml in a Lund 5x7 tank. All looked very good. In February I bought a Lund 8x10 tank that holds 1.5L. I dumped the 500ml in and mixed up 1L new silver solution and dumped it all together. The tins didn't seem as crisp and the contrast seemed lower. I couldn't figure out what was going on all of a sudden. Then I remembered I had not added any additional nitric acid. I checked pH and it was around 6. I added about a dozen drops of acid until the pH was about 4.5. There is a subtle but noticeable difference in the tins now--more crisp. Many "instructors" tell you to add the acid but don't over do it. Frem what I remember John Coffer and Mark Osterman recommend the acid drops, but apparently Quinn does not.


    Kent in SD
    There’s a couple of things going on here: if you mix a previously used silver bath with a new bath then you’ve got a silver bath that’s 2/3 virgin silver in there. The contrast isn’t going to be the same as the well-used bath. After you’ve made a few plates, the performance would improve: a brand new silver bath tends to be low in contrast and more inclined to fogging. By adding a bit more nitric acid, you “sped up” that process. Adding acid to a new silver bath Isn’t wrong, but it isn’t always necessary. In Kent’s case, the evidence suggested it would help set the bath straight, and it did.

    So why do some practitioners not recommend it? In many instances it’s just not necessary: most brand new silver baths are closer to pH 5.0 when made than what Kent experienced. (Most purchased distilled water is already mildly acidic, did you know?) It’s useful to know the pH of the bath beforeadding nitric acid by default, because if you start with a bath at pH 5, and add more acid, you’re likely to end up with an excessively acidic bath. That will have two effects: your plates will be very contrasty, and your plates will be much less light sensitive (a much lower ASA). It’s best to avoid both of these conditions, especially the latter. So, I don’t recommend blindly adding nitric acid to a virgin silver bath without testing its pH first. It may be quite unnecessary.

  3. #23
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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    PH is likely very important, water may have a PH variable

    But I really don't know yet

    Found this video, Ari, 'liked' it 5 years ago

    Mixing Silver Nitrate for Wetplate Collodion Photography

    https://youtu.be/UXV_OIDkNY4
    Only use DISTILLED water for mixing silver
    I use distilled water for all chemicals.

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

  4. #24
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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Me too, and drink it

    I have 30 gallons on hand, always

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    Only use DISTILLED water for mixing silver
    I use distilled water for all chemicals.

    Kent in SD
    Tin Can

  5. #25

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    PH is likely very important, water may have a PH variable

    But I really don't know yet

    Found this video, Ari, 'liked' it 5 years ago

    Mixing Silver Nitrate for Wetplate Collodion Photography

    https://youtu.be/UXV_OIDkNY4
    Funny to make an 8 minute video demonstrating something that can be illustrated in 2 minutes or less.

    The person who made that video omitted something from the demo that could lead to misinterpretation: after testing pH and bottling up his AgNO3 solution, he says it’s ready for making the first plate. That is not quite correct! Before making plates with a brand new silver bath, it must be “excited” by introducing iodides and bromides. This is done by pouring collodion on a cleaned plate of glass and putting it in the silver bath for 6-10 hours (overnight is what most people do). This allows the iodides/bromides to leach into the bath and kick start the process. A new bath put into service without this priming step will produce very poor plates; low contrast, fogging, etc.

    So I find it a bit misleading in that video to suggest the new bath is ready to be put into service. Some people will interpret thus to mean it is 100% ready to go, which it is not. It must have salted collodion introduced into it to “excite” the bath. Don’t skip this step or you’ll make some really bad plates at the start!

  6. #26

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    It's the Misinformation Highway. Everyone is an expert, except they're not. But they want to be. But they're not..... rinse and repeat.

    That's why I liked Coffer's Doer's Guide. It was hand written back when I learned, and xeroxed hard copy to you! He drew little pictures to explain points. He had a "mythbusters" thing going for a while, when the internet "experts" started to raise their heads....after 2 months of doing wetplate. Or worse, after just reading about it then commenting to newbie questions with wrong answers.

    Later, Coffer added some DVDs that show him doing things, because a picture is worth a thousand words. And a moving picture a million. They were great, he's sitting in a tent, old cork top bottles all around, and a chicken walks under his feet as he's talking!

  7. #27

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quick follow up to the posts re: albumenizing the plate edges .......
    Some people, my self included, choose to albumenize the ENTIRE plate as recommended by Quinn Jacobson, for situations where you will be RE-DEVELOPING glass plate negatives to achieve additional density.
    Because the albumen layer is very thin and difficult to see, I "round" (with sandpaper or stone) the upper right hand corner in the way similar to film notch cutting.
    *** When I hold the plate in portrait orientation with the rounded corner in the upper right position, the albumenized side (and later the emulsion side) is facing me.
    Takes two minutes to do when cutting the plate & sanding edges and quickly confirms which side is up/down.

  8. #28
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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    My plan is still the one Garrett recommended, use one source for edumacation, at first I was going Coffer, now spent my $75 on Quinn

    Waiting patiently for the Book of Quinn and in 5 minutes watching interactive live feed Quinn, I pointed to earlier

    Quote Originally Posted by goamules View Post
    It's the Misinformation Highway. Everyone is an expert, except they're not. But they want to be. But they're not..... rinse and repeat.

    That's why I liked Coffer's Doer's Guide. It was hand written back when I learned, and xeroxed hard copy to you! He drew little pictures to explain points. He had a "mythbusters" thing going for a while, when the internet "experts" started to raise their heads....after 2 months of doing wetplate. Or worse, after just reading about it then commenting to newbie questions with wrong answers.

    Later, Coffer added some DVDs that show him doing things, because a picture is worth a thousand words. And a moving picture a million. They were great, he's sitting in a tent, old cork top bottles all around, and a chicken walks under his feet as he's talking!
    Tin Can

  9. #29
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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Seems I lost Quinn on FB

    Can't find him now, searching shows he has migrated a bit this year

    Maybe next time
    Tin Can

  10. #30

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by drewf64 View Post
    Quick follow up to the posts re: albumenizing the plate edges .......
    Some people, my self included, choose to albumenize the ENTIRE plate as recommended by Quinn Jacobson, for situations where you will be RE-DEVELOPING glass plate negatives to achieve additional density.
    Because the albumen layer is very thin and difficult to see, I "round" (with sandpaper or stone) the upper right hand corner in the way similar to film notch cutting.
    *** When I hold the plate in portrait orientation with the rounded corner in the upper right position, the albumenized side (and later the emulsion side) is facing me.
    Takes two minutes to do when cutting the plate & sanding edges and quickly confirms which side is up/down.
    This is a perfectly good approach to albumenizing a glass plate, yes.

    One note: if you plan to redevelop the plate using the iodine rehalogenation method Quinn advocates, you can do it without albumenizing the whole plate if you use Ferrous sulfate in the redeveloper formula rather than Pyrogallic acid. This is because Pyrogallic acid tends to shrink the collodion, whereas the Ferrous sulfate does not.
    Ive used the iodine redevelopment process (with Ferrous sulfate) on my negatives without any issues, and a thin band of albumen on the outer edges of the glass is sufficient to hold the collodion on the glass.

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