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  1. #1
    Marc Leest's Avatar
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    Wet Collodion Failure

    Today we tried to make our first wet plate negative. Total failure however. The plate came milky white with some dark blotches out of the developer, with absolutely no trace of an image. Exposure was 15 minutes.
    Any idea's what could have caused this ?


    potassiumiodide+potassiunbromide used as halides,
    9% silvernitrate solution
    ferroussulphate as developer
    sodiumthiosulphate as fixer


    thx, Marc
    We cannot change how the cards are dealt, just how to play the hand...
    Randy Pausch

  2. #2
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    I'm no expert, but I did a workshop this last summer, and our exposure times were anywhere from 3 to 15 seconds in the sun, not minutes. Might it have been completely overexposed?

  3. #3
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Sounds like total overexposure to me too.

  4. #4
    gr82bart's Avatar
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    Yeah, even with the enlarger method that I use, I don't think I've made anything over 30 seconds exposure.

    Regards, Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  5. #5
    RobertP's Avatar
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    15 minutes and you're to the point of your collodion drying out.

  6. #6
    Marc Leest's Avatar
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    But at overexposure, the plate would be black, not mainly white (expected clear ..?) with some black nonimage stains. The reason to use 15 min that a first try of 15 SECONDS yielded in the same result.
    We cannot change how the cards are dealt, just how to play the hand...
    Randy Pausch

  7. #7
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    What time of day were you shooting? When it's too early or too late, it can be harder to make exposures. Also, when we had an overexposed plate, it looked lighter, not darker. Unless you are using clear glass, I would think. One really dumb mistake I made that yielded no picture... not taking the dark slide out. D'oh!!

    Although you may already know about it, John Coffer's "Doer's Guide" is an excellent resource with DVD's. Just google him to see about getting a copy. The DVD is invaluable.

  8. #8
    gr82bart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuzanneR View Post
    Although you may already know about it, John Coffer's "Doer's Guide" is an excellent resource with DVD's. Just google him to see about getting a copy. The DVD is invaluable.
    Double that advice. Worth every penny.

    Regards, Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  9. #9
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Leest View Post
    But at overexposure, the plate would be black, not mainly white (expected clear ..?) with some black nonimage stains. The reason to use 15 min that a first try of 15 SECONDS yielded in the same result.
    Mark- you're thinking like making a print - even if you're using an enlarger to make a collodion exposure, you're making a negative. The color of the plate behind it is what makes the image appear black. If the collodion goes completely white, you've overexposed it. If you're getting a totally fogged plate at 15 seconds, try cutting it back to 5 and see.

    Another possible source of fog could be from your safelight - how bright is it, and what color is it? It needs to be a RED safelight. Are you at any point while the plate is wet handling it in room light? You need to keep the plate in safelight conditions until you have finished development.

  10. #10
    scootermm's Avatar
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    The collodion dried out.
    My collodion batch is old and red (extremely slow) and recently exp are around 2-3mins. That sometimes causes dried out areas.

    15mins, your plate completely dried out I bet.
    Nigel Tufnel: It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none.
    None more black.

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