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  1. #1

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    DRYPLATE VS WETPLATE?!

    I am at a crossroads here. Maybe you can help me.

    I have most of my equipment to where I can start to take some photos.

    I have read all the advantages and disadvantges of Wetplate and Dryplate. Then someone mentioned Collodion Dryplate. Which I never heard of.

    I have searched and found a few articles on it but no photos of what a Collodion Dryplate picture looks like compared to say Collodion Wetplate or Gelatin Dryplate.

    From your experience, which is the less "hassle" of the processes? Collodion Wetplate, Collodion Dryplate or Gelatin Wetplate?

    Thanks for your help

    Delta

  2. #2

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    hi delta

    first ... would you be making the emulsion for your gelatin dry plates yourself ( lightfarm.com )
    or using useful information found in the emulsion making forum here and elsewhere, or will you be
    using pre-made emulsions ( liquid light, maco, foma, or the stuff from the costa rican coffee arts
    ( http://www.costaricacoffeeart.com )


    i ask because there are steps involved in making gelatin emulsion that some may say are time consuming ...
    there is a whole art in making silver gelatin emulsion,
    and some just bypass the whole thing and buy the bottled stuff. i have done both,
    and find myself not having the time to making the emulsion myself. it isn't overly complicated
    ... i made it in college in the 1980s when there was no internet, just photo annuals from the turn of the century,
    but it is time consuming ... and you have to pay attention to details ( like everything else .. )

    the most time consuming hassle part of making dry plates ( if you buy the emulsion )
    is cleaning and subbing the plates before you put the emulsion on them ... not much of a hassle
    while i haven't done the other 2 processes you have asked about ... i have read about them and i have teetered close to doing both of them.

    it seems the time consuming part of the dry collodion plates is making the emulsion ... and coating the plates ...
    ( not many more steps than making dry gel plates )
    the hassle of using wet plates, is sometimes in cold or hot weather it isn't as easy to make plates,
    the plates have to be processed right away when the plates are still wet ...
    and your chemistry and silver bath might go wonky depending on how many plates you have made &c
    wet plate users can probably answer that question way better than me ...

    it seems to be the easiest of the 3 processes though .. just collodion, silver nitrate and the developer/fix
    the others seem to be more time consuming because you are making an emulsion, rather than sensitizing a viscus fluid.
    unlike wet plates, dry collodion, like gelatin dry plates, can be stored for some time after they are made, and can be used without problems in cold or hot weather.


    if you get a subscription so you can view the apug gallery,
    there is a subscriber who goes by the name "hermit" who has some examples of dry collodion plates the he has made. they are cyanotype-printed so you can kind of get an idea of what the plates are like

    you can probably poke around here and the light farm to see some dry plate prints look like
    ... i haven't really scanned any the dry plates i have made.
    i have plans of making some in the weeks to come, and if i actually do, i will try post the results for you.
    they'll be made using liquid light though, not emulsion i mix myself ( sorry, i'm a lightweight these days )


    have you found the silver sunbeam yet ?

    it might be helpful too so you can get an idea of what the process from start to finish is all about ...

    http://albumen.conservation-us.org/l...raphs/sunbeam/


    hope was some help ..
    good luck !

    john
    Last edited by jnanian; 02-21-2012 at 12:02 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

  3. #3
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Of course, if you care about toxicity and fire hazard, collodion of all types is at the top of the list.

    PE

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Of course, if you care about toxicity and fire hazard, collodion of all types is at the top of the list.

    PE
    yeah, you are right PE, blowing up is a hassle ... kinda-sorta
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

  5. #5

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    Thank you John

    You've been a great help in making me decide what I want to do

    Delta

  6. #6

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    To me, the difference is; there are very many people doing wetplate, more each week. There are active forums, suppliers and vendors for the tanks, plateholders, etc. There are workshops put on in several parts of the country, from Will Dunniway on the left coast, to the Ostermans and John Coffer on the right. If you search wetplaters on Flickr, you will discover many groups, where many different photographers post their wetplates each week.

    From dryplate we get.....silence. Or maybe I'm not plugged in, but I just don't see anyone doing dryplate. I'd venture to say there are more Daguerreotypists in the country than dryplaters. Correct me if I'm wrong, again, I'm quite involved with wetplate (oh yeah, World Wetplate Day is coming up in a couple months - 3rd year, see website and books of plates taken)

    Why? I don't know.

  7. #7
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    Sorry I missed this when it was first posted.

    The "silence" is more a case of hard of hearing (or is it 'listening'?). I've been shouting to the rafters until even I'm sick of me! The problem is the history of corporate ownership/monopoly on the entire silver gelatin field. Unlike with collodion, dry plate wasn't a diy process for long. It moved straight from invention to factory, and Kodak, et al, were quite determined to keep it that way. They did an excellent job of brainwashing the public. Today, heirs to that Kodak philosophy, on APUG and at GEH, are still quite determined to 'own' the process. In a page straight from George Eastman's playbook, they claim it is too hard for anyone but the experts -- as though each and every formula were part of a religious canon. Nay, I say!! () Let the people make dry plates (and film and paper.) Last night (coincidence?) I decided to try to do something about the situation. Less than an hour ago, I posted the following in this sub-forum. Let me cross-post here.

    "I’ll admit that it continues to puzzle me why dry plate photography is lumped with the difficult, expensive, and dangerous processes. It is no more so than any other area of chemical photography – that is to say, about as dangerous as standard household cleaning products. I just made 70 sheets of 2-1/4 x 3-1/4 film for less than $10 in materials. I did wear nitrile gloves, and I did have the darkroom ventilation fan going when I had the bottle of ammonia open, but to tell the truth, I have a fan in my inkjet printer closet because the solvent fumes give me a headache.

    I haven’t finished working out the details, but I will be giving a free seminar late summer in Newport, Oregon, with hands-on demos (more or less, depending on the number of people attending.) Dry plate, artisan film and paper will all be covered.

    Peace, joy, and a good camera, and the best of fun and satisfaction no matter what your process!
    Denise
    www.thelightfarm.com
    http://www.thelightfarm.com/cgi-bin/...tent=19Feb2012"

  8. #8

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    hi denise

    i really wish i could head out west and go to your seminar !

    john
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

  9. #9
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    There is no one on APUG trying to "own" dry plate. The forum is open to all!

    There is certainly no one at GEH trying to "own" it either. The biggest site directed to dry plate, paper film and etc. is "The Light Farm" owned and operated by Denise. GEH has plans to have more broadly based workshops on dry "plate" photography and also wet plate. See their workshop schedule.

    The workshops given at GEH show every student how easy dry plate is and how inexpensive.

    PE

  10. #10
    dwross's Avatar
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    Ron,

    I sincerely believe you are of honest intent and simply don't know your own strength . It seems you are not aware of your biases against amateurs mucking about in photo engineering. This one (#50), responding to the half dozen or so previous posts, kinda got my goat:http://www.apug.org/forums/forum50/9...-future-5.html. As you like to say, think about it.

    d

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