View Full Version : First plate, and a question about developer . .

03-31-2010, 08:27 PM
Just finished my first emulsion, coated on a 13x18 plate, and exposed.

The result:

Lily (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2625/4479831459_85afa96bdb_b.jpg)

The plate was a bit thin/flat though. All the four I shot were a bit thin and/or flat, even though I exposed them pretty good. It was easy to adjust the scan in PS, but I intend to print these with cyanotype and/or VDB, and I think these first ones are not dense enough.

I used a paper developer which is supposedly similar to the old Ansco 120 formula. Would a different developer, say HC-110, give more contrast?

Or is there something I can do emulsion wise? I used the Mark Osterman recipe (http://thelightfarm.com/Map/DryPlate/Osterman/DryPlatePart4.htm) from the Light Farm web site.

04-01-2010, 12:15 AM
I'm impressed for a first try. Keep it up!

04-01-2010, 02:52 AM
That was a LOT more successful than my first attempt. And my second too...

Well done.

04-01-2010, 08:53 AM
Absolutely fantastic! I envy you your obvious gift for pouring plates. Given a trustworthy basic recipe, there are two possibilities for too thin plates.

One is that the pour was too thin because the emulsion was too warm. Next time out, watch the temperature very closely, and let it go down one degree for each plate you pour in sequence. Line them up to dry in a way that will let you label them before use. Expose and process all the plates in the run identically and you'll be able to see what the best temperature is for your emulsion.

Also, the emulsion could still have too much water in it after washing the noodles. I keep a thick terry towel in a plastic bag in my freezer. I always gently wring my bag of washed, drained noodles in the cold towel before melting the noodles or refrigerator storage for later melting. I get really consistent final noodle weight that way. That assures that a given temperature at coating will give identical (or nearly enough) results each time.

Developer: Mark has a recipe for his favorite developer (D-49) in his full article, http://www.thelightfarm.com/Map/Books/Osterman/MapTopic.htm, or you could try Dektol.

Again, Congratulations!! A really lovely lily.

04-01-2010, 10:46 AM
Thanks everyone.

And thanks d, I will absolutely watch the water content after the rinse, I have to say to say I did little to try to rid the excess after washing this first go around. The emulsion does seem a little runny or watery. I don't suspect I will be able to do much about the temperature that's meaningful, there is no way my hot plate will allow for one degree variation -- it seems kind of an on-or-off kind of device . . . :) Not the highest quality, perhaps.

04-01-2010, 11:11 AM
Very good!

Yes, keep it up.

Please show more!

04-01-2010, 11:23 AM
Boy, are you in luck :) I don't think there is a hot plate that will keep emulsion temperature within one degree, no matter how much you spend on it (but I'm sure someone will come along to argue otherwise). The answer is to use a waterbath jacket. A waterbath (http://www.thelightfarm.com/Map/Overview/WaterBath/OverviewPart2d.htm) set on even a coffee mug warmer or a scented candle melting base will more than do the trick. I keep a plastic spoon in the emulsion along with a thermometer. All that's necessary to control temperature precisely is to pull the emulsion out of the waterbath and stir with the spoon until the thermometer registers the temp you want, and then pour/coat a plate. Set the container of emulsion back in the waterbath until the next plate. Note about the illustration: the probe in the lid of the Pyrex dish is attached to a kitchen grade Sunbeam oven thermometer attached to the wall.

If you really want/need to be fussy with the temperature, you can keep a bowl of crushed ice and thermos of hot water handy to tweak the waterbath temp, but I've found that the preset temperature on the simple warming bases to be quite consistent. If you start with a given waterbath temperature, it should hold just fine throughout a typical coating session.


04-02-2010, 12:56 PM
OK, answered my own question . . .:)

Another plate, same emulsion, same exposure but developed in HC-110 dil A at 65F (by inspection under a string of red LED Christmas lights (about three minutes)), gave a HUGE boost in contrast and density. Huge. Beautiful contrasty neg, which should print nicely with VDB or any of the alt processes, I think.

Second lily (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2703/4484143883_c88cd6aca9_b.jpg) (scanned, inverted only)

04-02-2010, 05:01 PM
Marvelous! I just made a note to myself to try HC-110A :)

04-03-2010, 10:21 PM
Good work, the lily is kewl! I can just imagine what a 13 x 18 neg looks like.

It pour looks really consistent, but I wonder how hard it would be to eliminate some of the defects.

04-05-2010, 09:31 AM
Everyone should check out "Kami's" Vandyke brown print just posted in the Gallery.