Projecting/Enlarging Daguerreotypes

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by holmburgers, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    If you have an opaque projector, what's to stop you from projecting and thus enlarging a daguerreotype?

    Presumably, it would project the negative image; so just do this onto a piece of black & white paper and voila, reproducible dag.

    What am I missing? Anyone have the apparatus to test this out?

    Talbot and Daguerre could've made a killing.... :sideways:
     
  2. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Looks like in the last 170 years someone else had this same thought... go figure!

    Before the collodion era, almost all photographic images were the size of the original camera exposure. John Draper experimented with enlarging daguerreotypes in 1840, and in 1843, Alexander Wolcott patented an enlarging device that permitted a daguerreotype to be rephotographed onto a larger plate or a piece of calotype paper. Others, including Talbot, conducted enlarging experiments, but the process was impractical and rarely done. from http://www.luminous-lint.com/IaW/public/5/2/4/8/0/20/T/

    Still, might be fun to do.
     
  3. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Who still has an old opaque projector. I don't think I've seen one in at least 35 years or more.
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    There is one in my shed.


    Steve.
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    holmburgers,

    Get yourself a daguerreotype, place yourself on a swivel chair, the daguerreotype held in front of you, with a light-cone axis somewhat oblique to the revolving axle (ceiling light), and start revolving...

    More serious: you are reproducing an image located on a mirror plane, reflection off the lens, back to the plane will always be an issue with an optical axis perpendicular to that plane, unless you can precisely control the lighting.
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    You would get a better result to shoot the original with a 4x5 copy camera (here is a chance to use one of those "Macro" lenses for 4x5) and get a good negative. Then enlarge that negative.
     
  7. terrywoodenpic

    terrywoodenpic Member

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    The black in a daguerreotype shows where there is no reflecting sliver. as mentioned the surface will always reflect the camera.
    I would shoot it at an oblique angle where reflections can be controlled, and use lens/ back swing to correct the focus.

    The resultant shot could be scanned to correct any distortions, or the purist could use a suitable adjustable enlarger.
     
  8. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Well I don't have an opaque projector nor a daguerreotype, so this is more of a 'hypothetical' situation than a practical one.

    But, what got me thinking was the method used to project Lippmann plates. The projector has two lights that illuminate the plate from oblique angles and a lens that peers directly at the plate. It'd be fairly easy to keep the lens in the dark and the plate would be highly illuminated and throw an image.

    I guess I'm mainly wondering why no one ever did this to produce daguerreotypes in days of yore. Then again, there's a big difference between a negative image and a printable negative.