"There are no photographs while I'm reloading" - Garry Winogrand
Ha! Love it. Strangely, it's the same for me! ;-)
Developer's role in dry-plate tintype
There is a small section in the book of Alternative Photographic Processes:
But it is very small.
The book basically says the dry plate process can be done with any liquide emulsion, on any dark backing. The catch is: the developer has to have a small amount of exhausted fixer in it (no actual amount given, to quote the book: "this isn't an exact science"). The hypothesis is that the high silver content from the exhausted fixer serves as an emulsion lightener.
Hope that helps.
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
i have spoken with people who have used the rockland stuff too
and they said just the opposite. there is a tintype studio at the smithsonian
and rockland supplies all the materials for ambrotypes / tintypes there ..
and from what i understand, john coffer got his start using the rockland
tintype kits, and used them for years, before he settled down and began doing what he
is currently doing.
i just ordered a tintype kit to test the waters. from what i understand the layer
of emulsion has to be a certain thickness, or they have a less than optimal experience.
maybe calamity was not using the ag plus emulsion?
while regular liquid light can be used instead of ag + , but unfortunately the liquid light
is "runnier" and does not have as high a silver content as the ag +,
the thicker emulsion ( from what i understand ) is easier to coat with , and
the high silver content is something the developing agent needs and works best with it ..
i will post again when i have some examples to show ...
John Coffer once said words to the effect of the rockland kit was so awful it helped inspire him to crack the wetplate forumula which is way superior in so many ways.
Collodion were not positives!
I do collodion wet and dry plates all the time. The Tin-types and ambrotypes are basically nothing but under exposed negatives. Put a black background on them and the optical illusion appears positive. With the glass plate version you can hold it up to light and see it is a weak negative, hold it in front of a black surface and it is positive. The whole number on having to have some special reversal developer is a rip off. Done both process, and end up fully agreeing with John Coffer.
I've done dry plates and screwed up on exposure and some have been very similar, weak negative but put against a black background, the same old positive. Intensified a few to experiment with for the fun of it, and they were the same on glass. Intend to try some dry tin types this late fall/winter when I do a lot of plates since the dry plates are perfect for winter weather.
Years ago did some Rockland on home made plates as I had left over emulsion, and then since the kit didn't have excess developer left over, developed them in regular paper developer and they worked, some in D-76 I believe and they worked. My homemade plates were a joke, but the images where it wasn't streaked from brushing it on, was fine. Any liquid emulsion would behave the same, weak negative on black background will appear positive! Save a few, or more than a few bucks!
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I've been working on this for a few months. I have been using a homemade silver bromide emulsion similar to liquid light on glass. I've managed to make a passable ambrotype, but I'm not satisfied yet.
So far I've been properly exposing my plates to be processed as an ambrotype. I've developed in PMK, stopped in water, and fixed in KCN. The KCN is by far the best fixer I've used. Whoever is using sodium thiosulfate or rapid fixer is lying to themselves about the worthiness of their fixers. The PMK is not an ideal developer at all. I'm currently waiting on my ferrous sulfate to arrive so I can make a classic ambrotype developer with it.
Once I've got a satisfying ambrotype I plan on writing it up and sharing my experience.
it actually wasn't a gross waste of time, just the opposite ...
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
she had bad developer, that rockland replaced
and once she got her developer straightened out she did very well
she just went in a different direction afterwards and did hybrid / silver ..
its weird that there is bad press on this process. it is actually pretty easy ( and fun )
and it works very well to make something just as "authentic" as the wet plate tintypes ...
but without having to use collodion/ether and potassium cyanide.
and it was made on black paper stock as well as glass and metal plates.
it just takes melting the gelatin emulsion and running it on a CLEAN plate
and then putting it on something flat+cold to set.
and if its because it is sold as a "kit" ( like the collodion kits sold by b+s)
than it is easy if someone wants to make their own emulsion and developer ...
others who are doing it
its easy to put a small plate in a small camera too ..
no large format is needed ... i've stuck a plate in a 35mm camera, a 120/box camera
as well as larger ones ... as long as there is a bulb setting its easy ...
Last edited by jnanian; 03-30-2013 at 11:26 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Well this is encouraging news to hear. I've been pretty much our of the loop on everything for the past few years with family illnesses and work, but life is beginning t slow back down for me now and I'm looking at old interests I had rat holed away. And then this ancient thread pops up from the grave in my subscribed list.
Originally Posted by jnanian
making these tintypes is a piece of cake !
you need to coat the plates / tins with a lot of emulsion, the process likes lots of emulsion.
rate it at about iso 1 ..
when the glass or metal plate develops it looks like it didn't work
until you put it directly into the fixer, once it is the fixer it clears and gives a really nice image.
its about as much effort and difficulty as shooting a paper negative
have fun !
Last edited by jnanian; 04-06-2013 at 04:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.