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  1. #1

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    some help with ambrotype

    today batch .. some advice ?
    Photo 2 shows a streak thru it any idea looks like a light leak to me but i don't think i light leak would look like this?

    p3 and p4 are same pic same exposure. I am not sure what happened to p3 was it a bad developer pour?

    they were shot at f11 at 2 seconds dev- 15 seconds. full sun

    any help would be wonderful
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails photo-2.JPG   photo-3.JPG   photo-4.JPG  

  2. #2
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    That does look like a light leak in the first picture. The second one is drying out and becoming impervious to the developer. I don't know why the third isn't as well exposed as the second.

    Your development is very uneven. Does it behave as though it is stuck on the plate and won't cover some areas? Try adding about 10% additional alcohol to the developer to have it flow more evenly.

    Unless the light leak shows up again in the same form, same place, I wouldn't worry about it. It might have something to do with how the darkslide was removed or put into the holder at the camera. A slight movement to separate the holder from the camera back when manipulating the darkslide may have caused the streak.

    Your background is coming through the image and complicating the view and problem solving. Put those plates against a sheet of black cardboard or a piece of black velvet to make the plate easier to see as displayed normally.

  3. #3

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    I think as well that it is a drying problem. I had similar when I first started and found that the time from loading the plate holder and then getting to the camera and back to the darkroom, or dark box and the temp made drying out even more an issue. Can even get some streaking. Also letting the plate set up too long before putting in the silver bath.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for your help i do appreciate your time,

    photo 2 the white was i guess unwashed developer after it sat for awhile in water i messed with it and was able to whip it off. most it left a small stain so maybe i did wash all the developer off before going into the fixer. Maybe i am missing a step here I was thinking like paper that i am just dipping to stop the developing then to the fixer. maybe i really need to make certain I am washing off the developer. I am not exactly sure.

    When you say back grounds you mean the reflections? these are not glass but aluminum plates from Bostick.

    I not I have one other issue in there i need to filter my silver bath. I have been leaving the silver bath in the tank is that ok or should store in in the bottle each time. It kind of hit me today that it could be evaporating being that it is exposed to more air? I know the plates look bad they actually in some ways look better after i photographed with with my iPhone at least the contrast does. I think in part what your seeing might be my pouring both collodion and the developer. sometimes i am not getting enough collodion in the plate and have to add more so it looks uneven. also with the developer i added a new light my dark room was super dark so i could not see at all. It was fine for paper but for this it was just way to light.

    I ll try and shoot tomorrow if I can. I am going to fix my slide its kind of stiff once is gets wet so its hard to put out. I think again that streak was un washed developer. I see a kind of brownish grime in the developer tray. After I pour off the developer there is this light brown grime in the streaked photo i think that is was it is?

    for what its worth in person the image look at lot better than what I started doing so there is some improvement. I am going to pick up some black glass and try that. I like the contrast better. for some reason the clear glass was just not showing well. the image was too light to be usable.

  5. #5
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidseminatorephoto View Post
    ...Maybe i am missing a step here I was thinking like paper that i am just dipping to stop the developing then to the fixer. maybe i really need to make certain I am washing off the developer. I am not exactly sure.
    You need to use a lot of water and rinse your plate thoroughly. I quickly dip mine in a tray of water and raise it up several times to stop the development. Then it either gets a rinse under the faucet for 30 seconds or it is transferred to another rinse tray and agitated as before for 30 seconds. The key to knowing when it has rinsed enough is to be sure the water runs off it as an even sheet rather than forming rivulets. It is exactly like checking the plate after it comes from the silver tank. If you see rivulets, it isn't ready for the next step. In terms of the rinse, I always give the plate even more water after I can't see rivulets.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidseminatorephoto View Post
    When you say back grounds you mean the reflections? these are not glass but aluminum plates from Bostick.
    Well, OK. They are reflections. But your post asks about ambrotypes. And, on the one plate the pattern off the plate looks like it continues beneath the plate. Again, use a black background when you take photos of your plates and watch out for reflections.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidseminatorephoto View Post
    I not I have one other issue in there i need to filter my silver bath. I have been leaving the silver bath in the tank is that ok or should store in in the bottle each time. It kind of hit me today that it could be evaporating being that it is exposed to more air? I know the plates look bad they actually in some ways look better after i photographed with with my iPhone at least the contrast does. I think in part what your seeing might be my pouring both collodion and the developer. sometimes i am not getting enough collodion in the plate and have to add more so it looks uneven. also with the developer i added a new light my dark room was super dark so i could not see at all. It was fine for paper but for this it was just way to light.
    I have left my silver nitrate solution in an enclosed, gasketed tank for nearly one year with no ill effects. Definitely clean your development tray. Most do it after every plate.



 

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