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Thread: Wet Plate - A Beginner's Experience

  1. #181
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Wet Plate - A Beginner's Experience

    Wish I could contribute to Paul's new thread, but I'm still stuck in the basement, and don't want to besmirch his fine work with my hack jobs.
    Had a bad day yesterday, don't even want to show those, and today was not much better.
    It rained and I waited for the rain to stop. It did at 2pm, so I thought this was my chance.

    Would you believe these photos were taken 5 minutes apart? And I was wrong about exposure on both.
    Did a short silver bath maintenance two days ago, made my dark box brighter, but nothing helped. At least the weather was ok, not too hot.
    As I'm about 40 plates in, I had hoped to see a more linear progression by now. But no matter, going to keep at it.

    Enjoy.



  2. #182
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    Re: Wet Plate - A Beginner's Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    Wish I could contribute to Paul's new thread, but I'm still stuck in the basement, and don't want to besmirch his fine work with my hack jobs.
    Had a bad day yesterday, don't even want to show those, and today was not much better.
    It rained and I waited for the rain to stop. It did at 2pm, so I thought this was my chance.

    Would you believe these photos were taken 5 minutes apart? And I was wrong about exposure on both.
    Did a short silver bath maintenance two days ago, made my dark box brighter, but nothing helped. At least the weather was ok, not too hot.
    As I'm about 40 plates in, I had hoped to see a more linear progression by now. But no matter, going to keep at it.

    Enjoy.

    I do see progress. I have good days immediately followed by bad days. Today I had to make three exposure test plates, then did an 8x10 that was still a bit too dark. Loaded up a second 8x10 and discovered I hadn't closed the back up tight enough and had a light leak. Third shot came out OK. Took me two hours to make one decent shot.


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

  3. #183
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Wet Plate - A Beginner's Experience

    Thanks, Kent, but I seem to have taken a big step back, and I feel kinda stuck.
    I've done my troubleshooting and got the same results from it.
    I realize part of the difficulty - and joy - of this process, is the unpredictability, but I'm being overwhelmed by that, and not finding too many solid anchors to learn from further.
    Anyway, the thread is for beginners like me, so while I am, at the moment, a discouraged newbie, I also can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.

  4. #184
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    Re: Wet Plate - A Beginner's Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    Thanks, Kent, but I seem to have taken a big step back, and I feel kinda stuck.
    I've done my troubleshooting and got the same results from it.
    I realize part of the difficulty - and joy - of this process, is the unpredictability, but I'm being overwhelmed by that, and not finding too many solid anchors to learn from further.
    Anyway, the thread is for beginners like me, so while I am, at the moment, a discouraged newbie, I also can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.

    I've taken over 200 shots, maybe twice that, and still don't feel like I've mastered it by any means. I was looking for challenge and found it! You aren't going to be making perfect plates for several months. I was out with a guy whose been doing it for ~10 years and he was making a few mistakes too.


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

  5. #185
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Wet Plate - A Beginner's Experience

    Thanks for the dose of perspective, Kent.

  6. #186
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Wet Plate - A Beginner's Experience

    Ok, back at it.
    Trying out some lenses today, best one was an unknown RR.
    Been careful about pouring but I got these ridges all day today.
    And I've been careful about water bath, fixing and washing, but I still get a cast on some of the plates. A bit red, yellow.
    I could really use a 1-day workshop to fine-tune everything, but with the Covid-19 everywhere, I cannot be in proximity to anyone.

    One thing I do know is that I'm done shooting bottles for now.
    First one is 12s, second is 20s.




  7. #187
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    Re: Wet Plate - A Beginner's Experience

    I'm not sure where the color casts from but people a lot more experienced than I report they seem to happen of their own accord. As for ridges, I'm sure you know about rocking the plate back and forth, but if your collodion is getting low in the bottle it could be some of the solvents (alcohol, ether) have evaporated off and the collodion tries to set up faster. I had that problem a few weeks ago. I added a bit more alcohol and that seemed to cure it. Or, top off your collodion bottle.


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

  8. #188
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Wet Plate - A Beginner's Experience

    Thanks, Kent. I heard the color casts come from residual developer left on the plate after the water rinse.

  9. #189
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    Re: Wet Plate - A Beginner's Experience

    I was out on Sunday and took a couple of shots. It was around 88 degrees and fairly humid. Sweat was dripping off me. First try was at the fading town of Forestburg, SD. I've shot this before on film and like the scene. This time I used 8x10 tin and a 22 inch rapid rectilinear, f32 & 30s. I'm still getting some ridges from pouring collodion (I think) and missed part of the bottom when I did developing.

    The second location I went to was another favorite, near Howard, SD. It's the "retired" Goodhue Lutheran Church. I like to set up on the long drive that goes up to the church but yesterday it was too windy. I didn't want to risk my camera (I'm learning!) Instead, I set up off to the side in a windbreak. For this shot I used my new Darlot wide angle Hemispherique. I actually did a little better with this shot, but made a new mistake. I tried to clean the inside neck of the collodion bottle with my finger. Apparently what that did was dislodge a lot of small particles which ended up in the collodion. I don't think I can filter collodion, so I might end up either pouring it out, cleaning the bottle, and refilling. Or, I could start a second bottle and use the first one for exposure tests until it's empty. There isn't much left so it's not a big loss.


    Kent in SD
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Forestburg.jpg   Goodhue810.jpg  
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  10. #190
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Wet Plate - A Beginner's Experience

    These are very good, Kent. I especially like the second image.
    The flaws aren't distracting, and I'm starting to know that more extreme temperatures lead to increased problems.
    Well done!

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