Pinhole and Wet Collodion?

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by Daniel Grenier, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

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    I know little about pinhole photography and I am curious about a possible application; that is 12x20 (or larger) wet collodion using a pinhole. Is that doable? Anyone doing such a thing here?
     
  2. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Hmm, is there a danger the wet plate may dry out before the exposure is finished?
     
  3. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    I would think so. Collodion is very slow. Today I was making tins and ambros under overcast and intermittent sun. My exposures were about 20-25 sec at f/11. If you exrapolate that out to pinhole sized f/stops and throw in some time for reciprocity, you'd end up with very long exposures and very dry plates.

    Kerik
    www.kerik.com
     
  4. Quinn

    Quinn Subscriber

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    I've done several "pinplate" images (wet plate pinhole). I've done both Ambrotypes and Ferrotypes/Tintypes.

    In the winter/cooler months, I have about 15 minutes before my plate dries and I have employed some techniques that keep the plate from drying out.

    Example: http://www.collodion.com/trucks_trees.htm
     
  5. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    Nice pinhole photo!!

    My 4x5 homemade pinhole camera has an aperture ratio of f/280 and it takes on average about 15-20 seconds to expose Ilford MGIVRC paper (iso=6) on a sunny 16 day. How does that compare to the speed of wetplates?
     
  6. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

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    Thanks for leading me to this great resource which I din't know about.
    Much to read/learn about here, Quinn.
     
  7. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Quinn,

    Cool! What is the f/stop of your pinplate camera? Also, I'd be interested to hear about your techniques for keeping the plate from drying too quickly. Love your work, BTW!!

    Kerik
     
  8. hermit

    hermit Member

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    Collodion dry-plates using the tannin process are not that difficult and while they would require a longer exposure time can take the long exposures required.
    I used dry-plates all winter here in Idaho when it was too cold to go out and do the normal wet-plates, and was very pleased with them, and the freedom they give to shoot anywhere including places and weather conditions regular wet plates are not possible or practical.

    You can find instructions for the basic tannin process for collodion dry-plates and the Russell modifications in the "Silver Sunbeam" http://albumen.stanford.edu/library/monographs/sunbeam/chap37.html

    As always;

    J Truman
     
  9. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Yike! Where do you get the cadium iodide and cadmium bromide for this process?

    And are you aware of the health and environmental issues with cadium salts? They're the reason for some of the emulsion changes and product deletions at Kodak and Ilford in the last couple decades -- it was impossible to reformulate particular products without greatly altering their properties, if the cadmium used in making them was eliminated, and prohibitively costly to meet worker safety and environmental requirements if the cadmium was kept in the process.
     
  10. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Artcraft Chemicals in NY carries these and other chemicals for the collodion process (as well as many other processes). The quantities of these salts used in the process are very small. For example, one formula that I've used contains 3 gm of cd bromide and 4 gm of potassium iodide in a final collodion solution of about 500 ml. And 500 ml of collodion goes a long way. Anyone getting into wet plate collodion should first educate themselves thoroughly on the hazards and proper handling of the chemicals involved and make judicious use of the proper personal protective equipment.

    Kerik
    www.kerik.com
     
  11. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Member

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    Kerik,

    Are there any publications available pertaining to the safety cautions necessary in working in this process in the classroom environment?

    As a former college photography instructor this was the initial lecture and handout which had to be signed and returned by each student before continuing to work in the darkroom even with "traditional" black and white chemistry.

    Thanks
    Dave in Vegas
     
  12. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    Most chemical manufacturers can supply you with an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet), or you can search at www.msdssearch.com
     
  13. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Hi Dave,

    I don't know of anything specific to collodion in print, but I would suggest Googling "MSDS (insert name of chemical)" for any chemical that you're looking for hazard and handling information. (MSDS = Material Safetly Data Sheet). These documents list the physical, chemical and toxicity characteristics of chemicals and provide suggestions for proper handling, personal protective equipment, first aid procedures, etc.

    Kerik
    www.kerik.com
     
  14. Quinn

    Quinn Subscriber

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    Thanks John. This was 4 minutes in bright sun. Collodion's ISO (if you will) is somewhere between .5 and 1 ISO - it all depends on age, mixture, etc.
     
  15. Quinn

    Quinn Subscriber

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    Hi Kerik,

    Thanks for your kind words concerning my work.

    F/STOP: I'm making an educated guess here: f/256 - f/384 - could be wider. My intial tests were at 15 mins and turned out to be good negative exposures - the Ambrotype exposures were between 4 - 6 mins. This is all in BRIGHT SUNNY weather.

    KEEP THE PLATE WET: I wrap the back in a wet, cold cloth (insulating/almost freezing it), I keep the plate FLAT, collodion side up and I DO NOT wipe excess silver from the plate when pulling from the bath. Using all of these methods, I can go (easily) 15 minutes in the winter/cool weather.
     
  16. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Quinn,

    Thanks for the info!

    Kerik
    www.kerik.com