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Thread: Glass plates

  1. #1
    Ole
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    Sounds interesting...

    Would be nice for those of us who tend to drag home old plate cameras as well!
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    19th century emulsions were pretty slow. Liquid Light and similar products might be a place to start. Maco even makes a VC emulsion, so you could vary contrast with filters instead of development time, and you could coat and handle it by safelight. (Hey, how come no one's developed a VC film? It wouldn't be panchromatic, but it would be interesting).
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    Liquid Light would probably be your best bet. I know they sell a Tintype kit, and the principle is the pretty much the same (except with a longer exposure time for a glass plate).

    You may also want to look a various wet plate methods. Some of the results are truly amazing. Especially if you want an old-fashioned look.
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    Jay, the book "comming into focus" has a chapter on collodion wet plate. Not the easiest thing to do and you would need special film holders to make it work. I know there is a technique to make dry plates, but I am not familiar with it. I suppose a google search might help.

    Collodion is very flammable and I would guess more of a hassle to use. I suppose if they did it in the past is not something impossible but I am going to wait until there is no more film before I worry about this. Heck I figure as long as they have x ray film we still will have a way to take pics.

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    There is a guy by the name of William Dunniway who is an AMAZING collodion artist. I mean this guy can take picture which you would SWEAR was taken during the Civil War. He is just amazing. Check him out for ideas. http://www.collodion-artist.com/

    He also goes a bit into the process. Varnishing seems to be needed to protect the image. Something to consider as I bet the same would apply with a modern emulsion.

    Personally, if I had the resources I would love to take modern pictures using that process. I have even devised a project based on that idea. But alas, I have no darkroom....

    And I am NOT gonna set a tent up....
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  7. #7
    DKT
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    You might not be intersted in this stie since it deals with collodion photography, but here's a link anyways:

    http://www.cwreenactors.com/collodion/index.php

    FWIW, I work as a photographer at a history museum, and we hired one of these fellows a few years ago for an event. He did mostly ambrotypes and tintypes, but was on the reenactment circuit, as a vendor. Some of these guys go around the country to reenacments and do the whole bit, selling portraits on the spot....I met another guy last Fourth of July at another event I was photographing, and he was handcoating ambrotypes on the spot & shooting portraits of people ...from what they tell me, ambrotypes are a little easier to make in quantity than tintypes (ferrotypes), but the guy we hired also told me of doing one reenactment where he made over 300 tintypes in a weekend. Both of them were shooting with vintage cameras & barrel lenses with waterhouse stops.

    Those emulsions are slow and orthochromatic as well, but there's at least one book out there, I think the Silver Gelatin handbook or something like that, that covers making your own liquid emulsions. A really old book that might be worth a look is "the Silver Sunbeam".
    Hope this helps,

    KT
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  8. #8
    Sean's Avatar
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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Robert Kennedy @ Jan 15 2003, 11:20 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> There is a guy by the name of William Dunniway who is an AMAZING collodion artist. I mean this guy can take picture which you would SWEAR was taken during the Civil War. He is just amazing. Check him our ideas. http://www.collodion-artist.com/ </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    That is so bizarre&#33;&#33;&#33; To see such an old looking image, and then see the date of &#39;taken august 2000&#39.

  9. #9
    DKT
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    yeah, but you wouldn&#39;t think it was too strange if you were surrounded by hundreds of reenactors who are so intense about what they do that they&#39;ll scrtuinize clothing for accurate thread counts or wear a wool uniform and go on a 40 mile march in the middle of August for "fun".....I work with several reenactors and do alot of patron work for them as well. They&#39;re a dedicated bunch ...
    KT

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    I know. It is very strange, but also I think full of potential. Personally I find the look quite appealing. Especially the "raggedness" of the hand coated material. You can see thumbprints, uneven coating, etc. It adds to the whole image though.

    It is also good to know that this won&#39;t become a lost art. While I may not go for doing ambrotypes or tintypes all day long, I am so grateful somebody is doing this&#33; It helps preserve our photographic heritage.

    I do have a question though regarding handcoating glass. It just popped into my head that with the collodion method, you have a pretty sticky substance. Which helps hold everything to the glass.

    How about modern emulsions? It seems that you would want pretty smooth and even glass (uncoated of course) for such a project. But smooth glass is slippery glass. Do modern emulsions easily adhere to glass?
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