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  1. #1

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    Daguerreotype anyone?

    I just returned home to South Carolina from the APUG conference in Toronto. The conference was wonderful and I really enjoyed meeting everyone and participating in the conference.

    And yet, one of the greatest thrills for me came after the conference. One of the participants in my carbon workshop was Mike Robison. I have known Mike by name for a very long time since he and I have articles (on albumen and carbon respectively) in John Barnier's Coming Into Focus, but had never met him in person. Mike took up the daguerreotype process (traditional) around 1998 and now does brilliant work.

    After the carbon workshop Mike invited me to his studio for a demonstration of the daguerreotype process. What a thrill it was to see a master of this process do his work. The daguerreotype is without question one of the (or the) most complicated and demanding of all photograph processes and it was exciting beyond description to see this modern master of the process at work in his studio in the old Wrigley Building in Toronto.

    And to top it all off, I got to sit for a Daguerreotype portrait, which Mike graciously gave me in exchange for one of the carbon prints I had in the conference exhibition.

    Mike does both private and group workshops on the daguerreotype, and for anyone interested in learning this magnificent process, which ushered in the era of photography, I highly recommend him.


    Sandy
    Last edited by sanking; 05-09-2006 at 11:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    So Sandy, do you plan to take up Daguerreotypy as well? I'll be exploring it this summer in the workshop Jason Motamedi is instructing at Peters's Valley Craft Center during mid-July.

    I understand Mike Robinson is also an albumen guru and makes specialized equipment for the daguerreotype process. Do you know if he is also doing casemaking for plates? I'm interested in the latter since taking up wetplate and woodworking last year.

    Any chance of posting the dag portrait? I'd like to see it.

    Joe

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    So Sandy, do you plan to take up Daguerreotypy as well? I'll be exploring it this summer in the workshop Jason Motamedi is instructing at Peters's Valley Craft Center during mid-July.

    I understand Mike Robinson is also an albumen guru and makes specialized equipment for the daguerreotype process. Do you know if he is also doing casemaking for plates? I'm interested in the latter since taking up wetplate and woodworking last year.

    Any chance of posting the dag portrait? I'd like to see it.

    Joe
    Hi Joe,

    Yes, Mike is also an albumen guru, but devoting most of his time these days to the daguerreotype. You would understand why if you saw his magnificients daguerreotypes. And yes, he is involved in casemaking for the plates, at least for one size that I observed.

    Will I be taking up daguerreotype? Who knows? But I found the process absolutely fascinating, and it really appeals to compulsive obsessive folks like me. And you perhaps?

    Just for the record, Mike practices the traditional type of daguerreotype.

    And yes, I will post the image, in the Technical gallery I guess.


    Sandy
    Last edited by sanking; 05-09-2006 at 10:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4

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    Was lucky enough to see a demonstration by Robert Shlaer at the Amon Carter a few years ago. It was quite impressive, and during the time Mr. Shlaer was retracing the Lewis & Clark trail, the show was later at the Carter. There is just something about the time spent preparing the plate, etc that I found most interesting. Matter of fact he went through the entire process, took us all outside the museum, photographed the group, then took us inside for the final processing....the daguerrotype is now part of the Carter's collection.

    To spend time one on one Sandy, had to very special. Thanks for sharing.
    Mike C

    Rambles

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    king up wetplate and woodworking last year.

    Any chance of posting the dag portrait? I'd like to see it.

    Joe
    OK, I posted the daguerreotype portrait in the technical gallery.


    Sandy

  6. #6

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    The photograph you posted is amazing. What is it printed on? Glass? Metal?

  7. #7
    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    Mike's work is exquisite. He does, as Joe mentions, sell Mercury pots, fuming boxes, and gilding stands. I use one of his Mercury pots, and can say that it is wonderfully made.

    http://www.blackshadowyachts.com/centurydarkroom.html

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt miller
    The photograph you posted is amazing. What is it printed on? Glass? Metal?
    Matt,

    Daguerreotypes are made on a silver plated copper plate. The silver plating is made light sensitive by fuming with iodide and then bromine. After final fuming the plate is placed in a light sensitive holder and exposed in the camera. After exposure, the plate is developed in a fuming hood by heating mercury.


    Sandy
    Last edited by sanking; 05-09-2006 at 11:02 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
    Sean's Avatar
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    What a great experience and souvenir, wow.

  10. #10
    George Papantoniou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanking
    Matt,

    Daguerreotypes are made on a silver plated copper plate. The silver plating is made light sensitive by fuming with iodide and then bromine. After final fuming the plate is placed in a light sensitive holder and exposed in the camera. After exposure, the plate is developed in a fuming hood by heating mercury.


    Sandy
    Someone has to be really nuts to mess with mercury vapor (methyl-mercury) which is highly neurotoxic, poisonous and if it gets in your system, it'll never get out... Do a google search on "mercury intoxication" and you'll see...

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