Light Farm posting on silver gelatin based emulsion making
I really like this website, but this is way over by head.
Enjoy and happy holidays!
Keep reading it over and over and it will start to make sense... it's not easy at the beginning
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
Yes, it is a great resource, take your time, and things will get clearer. If you feeling like jumping head first, I suggest to buy some liquid emulsion and get a feel for it. Unless you don't want to try out Kevin Kleins dry plate recipe: http://thelightfarm.com/Map/DryPlate...PlatePart3.htm to get down to basics.
Last edited by Jerevan; 12-20-2011 at 01:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Prints reveals truths that negative scans obscures.
Now that's intriguing. Are there glass plates and glass plate film holders available?
There are many glass plate cameras and glass plate holders for sale on Ebay. The Light Farm is NOT complicated. In fact, it is probably the most pain-free way to get started in emulsion making. But,for me, ther ain't no substitute for actualy doing it. I made four emulsions befor I had one that did not fog completely.. Now, I have made well over 200 emulsions. Do try making Kevin's emulsion,then Denise's emulsion #1. Don,t let people intimidate you by making it out for more than it is.
To heck with pre-made emulsions. They are overpriced. Bill
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There are many sources for glass plates, both new and vintage. I have about ten or more vintage plates right now that I bought for about $10 or less each.
As for the light farm, it is a very good resource for information up to about 1865. I am of the opinion that the texts do not give enough information on how to make the transition at that time and more recently and also that too much reliance is made on the work of Woody Thomas (Woodlief Thomas), who was NOT an emulsion maker, but rather an editor. I knew Woody personally, and he was a great process engineer, but not an emulsion chemist or product engineer.
One has to be careful, without criticizing Denise, to avoid the problems with publishing emulsions at that time. Kodak kept a tight reign on what could be published in the emulsion arena, and Grant Haist has complained to me bitterly about the editing done to the formula that he published for a lith emulsion.
The ward here is Emasculation! Sorry!
Denise is dong a good job, but only with what she can read in the published literature. That ties here hands in a sense.
"Lantern Slides" can sometimes be found for next to nil at garage sales etc., - the glass is easily stripped clean. Lucky for me, the set I've got fit my 1920's Kodak folder. After much practice, I can pour an even layer on a slide without covering myself and the floor
It is not difficult to make a slow, color-blind emulsion, however a more 'modern' emulsion ( repeatable, good keeping properties, latitude, pan sensitive, etc.,) is not a trivial matter.
Warning: emulsion-making is very addictive! It has eliminated my social life, which is actually good, as I can now spend all my money on silver, chemicals, lab gear and paper instead.
Last edited by Hexavalent; 12-20-2011 at 11:17 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: fragmented thoughts
why the year 1865? Because the civil war ended? Seriously, do you mean washed emulsions and dry-plate technology harkens back that far?
EDIT: forgot about the dry collodion stuff - so nevermind.
I am of the mind that not everyone has the means to develop a fullblown lab, to make more modern film emulsions. I am with Ian that making modern emulsions seems to be a major undertaking. In this case I find it worthwhile to also have a different direction which is more basic and hobby-oriented, with all the trials and errors that entails.
The more people who are interesting in emulsion making, as a means of artistic expression, the better. Even if it starts out with store-bought liquid emulsion on a piece of paper or glass.
Both ends of the spectrum are needed, I think. Even if some of us are colorblind moles while others are panchromatic butterflies...
Last edited by Jerevan; 12-21-2011 at 07:06 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Prints reveals truths that negative scans obscures.
The confusion between wet plate and dry plate is a common one. The wet plate collodion process was developed by Fredrick Scott Archer in 1851. It was ‘photography’ for twenty years. Wet plate gave us both the haunting documentation of the Civil War and the earliest iconic images of the American West. But, most practitioners could hardly wait to be quit of the process. Many attempts were made to produce a dry collodion process, but none had enough sensitivity to become popular.
Silver gelatin photography and ‘dry plate’ was invented in 1871 by Richard Leach Maddox, and plates were available commercially by 1873. In 1884, Josef Eder developed orthochromatic emulsions, and in 1889, Kodak started putting emulsion on nitro-cellulose film. By the 1940’s, silver gelatin emulsions were available in so many forms and variations of stunning beauty, most of which have never been surpassed, that many consider that time frame the apex of silver gelatin artistry. Yet most have been lost to us commercially. There are countless d.i.y. /artistic possibilities available to us today without ever worrying about producing a T-grain... Addictive, indeed!
Another common area of confusion is the role of a book editor. He or she is responsible for the organization of a book, not --by and large -- the writing. The authors of the SPSE Handbook are a who’s who of emulsion engineering and chemistry greats, and as can be expected among such a crowd: intensely peer-reviewed.
A good source for glass plates is down in Worcester, MA: S I Howard Glass. I use the 1.2mm soda lime glass. They do have a $50 minimum order, though.
You can find wooden plate holders on eBay, but sellers never know a film holder from a plate holder. The best 4x5 plate holders are Linhofs, but they've become terribly scarce. Be careful, however: you want the ones with the plate ejector (auswerfer) on the side. Look for an arrow on the front of the holder; no arrow = no auswerfer.
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