Collodion print from a glass nagative?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Jim Chinn, May 1, 2005.

  1. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    In the most recent issue of B&W, the section dedicated to auctions and the phtography market was discussing the recent AIPAD show in New York and Photo LA.

    From the article:

    "One of the most dramatic pictures in the fair was seen in Robert Klein's booth: Tom Baril's 54x65 inch Bethlehem Steel #2, a collodion print from a glass negative, which quickly sold for $12,000."

    I am a little confused about this description.

    Would this be a glass plate of 54x65? Or do they mean a regular glass negative, enlarged onto a paper with a collodion coating? Or a smaller glass plate made with a collodion process and then enalrged onto paper that big.

    Anyone familar with his work or can clarify how the final print might have been obtained?

    If it is actually a glass plate at that size, what lens covers something that big?
     
  2. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    Jim,

    I didn't see the picture at AIPAD, but I would guess that this is either a typo (perhaps they meant a print from a collodion negative) or it is a tintype or ambrotype exposed under an enlarger from an internegative.

    Making a wet-plate negative 54x65 would be near impossible.
     
  3. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser Advertiser

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    Hi Jim,

    I did see the print at AIPAD and I am quite surprised to hear the figure... I mean I am stunned, to be honest.

    I am pretty sure that there is a mistake in the description. That was a silver print from collodion negative, as I recall. I mean I did not see the description at the show, but they were not different from any other silver prints from a collodion negatives that I have seen.

    Apparently, enlargement from collodion negatives hold very well, you do not see grains so much. Maybe someone can explain better than I can.

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi
     
  4. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    Collodion does not have a noticeable grain structure, so it enlarges quite well, and seems very 'smooth'. As I recall, wet-plate was used for scientific purposes for many years after the rise of dry-plate, until the development of super-fine grain films.

    I have enclosed three scans from a 4.25" x 5.5" Tintype at 1x, 10x, and 60x. Two enlargement scans (using a cheap microscope which attached to my computer) don't show much detail because of the cheap lens on the microscope, and probably diffraction on the original shot, however it does show no grain, even at 60x, which would be a 21.25' x 27' (6.47m x 8.23m) print!