Wet Plates in the Field

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Allen Friday, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    I have made quite a few wet plates around my home, where I could process the final plate in my darkroom. I am now ready to take the wet plate adventure out in to the field. I have my cardboard box darkroom set up and have practiced with it. But, questions remain: How do you wash the plates out in the field and then transport them home?

    I will be photographing within an hour of my house. Should I just rinse the plates in the field and then wash completely when I get home? Or, should I soak the plates and keep them wet until I can do the final wash? Do you use a separate plate box for the exposed, but not yet dry plates, or can I use the same plate box I used to transport the glass to the site?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Allen
     
  2. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    It depends on your fixer; KCn doesn't need much of a wash, so a few gallons in the back of the car would do it, and you could then dry your plates in a plate box. However, doing so risks poor drying and weird marks. If using hypo, you should probably rinse them off a bit and then take them home wet for a long soak.

    Were it me I would build a small water proof plate box and keep them soaking until I got home. Joe Smigiel (aka: smieglitz) constructed something of the sort out of acrylic. I think he posed the plans somewhere at the collodion.com forum.
     
  3. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    This one holds two layers of 1/4-plates widthwise or one layer of full-plates lengthwise. The hinged cover helps keep dust out and water in.

    [​IMG]

    I've also used plastic papersafes to transport larger plates to home base under water. They are nice since they have covers and are stackable. I wonder if old hard rubber film developing tanks and hangers could be adapted?

    Joe
     
  4. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    Thank you. I went to Home Depot this morning and got my plexiglass. Hope to be in the field by next week.

    Allen