Monday, December 28, 2009
A drying cabinet is needed. Plans are at hand. But I havn't used the new table saw yet.
My web site will have dimentions of half plate book form glass holders for sale. Studiocarter dot com.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The 11x14 puddle pusher may work for 12x15 plates if a dowl rod is inside the glass tube and the ends of THAT rod are built up with tape. Anything larger is a special order and costs much more. I can try to make what I got work.
Three new 19th century books were downloaded from Google books. Now I've got to read three web sites and three old books. No problem. One book has plans on how to construct drying cabinets for plates or for papers. Just what I need. The source is the article written by Ms Ross for The Light Farm located in Articles.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Now she's off learning more about something new and surely another web is in the making.
I'b best start on the first page of one of these three and go through to the end several times over. Hand coloring is very interesting to me so perhaps I'll read everything in drwphotos first.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Denise has sent me her old favorite emulsion well that is 10 inches wide inside. Great. Now I can finish fixing up my oldest and roughfest Vaageeswari 10x12 camera. It has a ground glass holder with loose corners. Brass corner brackets were purchased. A dremmel was purchased and it has a kit with very thin drills. Brass may be polished and screws may be installed.
Chrome Alm, Hard Gelatin, Hardener Fixer, and a new bottle of emulsion were purchased.
I want to work in the darkroom again.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
What is the correct exposure? What is the ISO? The middle one is f 16 @ 4 seconds. It looks dark.
More accurate measurements of the light need to be made. Fresh emulsion needs to be used. This batch had been heated up many times. It is too soon to determine exact ISO.
Friday, July 31, 2009
My daylight and exposure fit the above information perfectly. ISO was ... the lowest setting on any light meter at hand. Get a Weston 715 just for the dial, the cell does not even need to work. Light was 18.5 on a Luna Pro or one block lower than 200 on the Weston. It looks like I'll be using the old Weston meter again.
The other part of the equation is developing the exposed plate in the darkroom. This is also standardized. Dektol is used, diluted 1:3, one part Dektol to three parts water. Mix according to directions on the package to get the one part. One minuet is used as a time. 69 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature throughout. Agitation is minimal. Kodak Fixer is used to both stop the development and to fix. A small amount of Fixer is put in a tray and used as a stop bath for 30 seconds. The fixer tray has more in it and is used for at least 2 minuets. If milky white is observed in the plate, then longer time is required to remove it. 5 minuets of wash in water is all that remains. Plates are stood on edge on a paper towel to dry. Drying can take one hour to all day depending on how thick the emulsion is, dryer air and more of it speeds things up. I place the completed dry plate in a sealable plastic bag.
Washing comes first, Calcium Carbonate or Barkeeper's Friend are enough with a tap water rinse to get the emulsion to stick. I scrub the powder with a brush and a little bit of water over the plate in a tiny tray. Lots of tap water cleans it off. That is all that is needed.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The problem today was to determine ISO. Tests were done on card stock first. This image is underexposed at 1 ISO instead of 1/2. One second was used at f 16 on a bright sunny day. Dektol was used at 1:3 dilution at 69 degrees F. developed two minuets instead of one because of the underexposure. It was scanned in the computer at 1200 dpi, auto adjust, unsharped, stiched, shrunk down to 20% at 300 dpi and posted as a medium sized image. A Pony Prime No.4 camera was used with a R.O.&C. Victor f8-5.6 lens.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Now to do it again and again until it is done right.
The ice is broken.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
When warm enough to pour, some was put into a stainless steel daylight developing tank. That, in turn, was floated in warm water in a Pyrex measuring cup.
Temperature was monitored. The small amount was allowed to cool to the required temperature (do the math). More was put in there for the next time. It will be easier to warm up a small amount than the entire bottle.
The plastic apron went on, and the developing tray, white, went on my lap; I sat. The plates done yesterday were in a light safe. They were very much uneven to say the least. Both were covered again. The plates were done at room temperature and not warmed up first; that proved to be an error, warming them did.
The light safe was put onto the enlarger base, checked with a level.
This is cool: The emulsion bottle came in black plastic bag in the box. With the bottle in the pot, the bag is put over it, squeezed to get air out and slid all the way to the bottom. That way I can get out of the room without exposing the emulsion; some light gets in, when the door is opened, as this darkroom doesn't have a light tight walk way exit. Then the door is shut again. Bad design that but a cool workaround.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The first time I tried to pour some emulsion out of the bottle nothing came out; it must melt first. It doesn't come out easy; the more that melts the easier it is. Some was poured into the stainless steel can and that was put on the now off hotplate. One sheet of glass was warmed up on the hot plate. Then, some emulsion was poured onto a glass sheet; it moved easily.
It spilled onto my pants, on the floor, on the table. Wear a plastic apron. I was sitting down for the first sheet and put a developing tray on my lap for the second try. It didn't look like it was coating the glass evenly; rather, it pooled or left holes. More was added; it spilled off into my hand; I held the glass by the sides or the corners.
Warming up the plate helped some. both plates went into a paper safe. The emulsion got sticky pretty fast.
A thorough clean up followed.
The plates are allowed to dry inside the box. I'll open it in the dark a few times to change the air inside it since it is made of plastic, but it is large.
The glass all ready has smoothed off edges on both sides; it was done underwater in a bucket. This is a must do step not to be ignored to your peril. I got sliced up right away cleaning off emulsion.
1. Windex: Nope. Water beaded and did not run off in a sheet. Glass was laid on a paper towel and it moved all over the place. I had to hold it down or hold it in my hand. Not good. Water did not run off in a sheet; water beaded.
2. Dish soap, liquid type. Nope. Same results with the added annoyance of the glass moving even more in a too large tray. 4x5 glass needs to be in a 4x5 tray that is made for it.
3. Baking Soda. Nope. Scrubbed with a paper towel and a little water the results were just like the first two attempts.
4. Tide powdered detergent that is dermatalogically neutral. This worked pretty well. A brand new sponge was used that is rough on one side; both sides were used underwater in a 4x5 tray. Water ran off in a sheet. Tap water was used. Distilled water would be even better. After it drained a bit, standing up on a paper towel, it beaded. Perhaps it would be good enough with a distilled water rince.
5. Photo Flow: perfect. After a wash in Tide, a dip in a solution of Photo-flo in tap water a smooth sheet of water dried without any beading. Film negatives are given a dip in photo-flo so why not glass?
How will emulsion adhear? That is next, now that I have a working method to start with.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
My darkroom has been organized; all cameras have been removed and all most everything has been put away. This is a new room but it took on the characteristics of the old room; it became a storrage place, but no more. Only darkroom things are in there now.
Now to clean it with the new shop vacume.
Some room was needed in order to lay out glass on the table top in the darkroom. So, the good enlarger had to be set up first, and cleaned and painted in places; two more older ones still sit on the floor. Half of the table is open now that the nice enlarger is functional. YEA! The shelves over the sink are all filled with scales, soaps, various sized plate tanks etc. and the boxes on the floor cannot be emptied! I’d gone shopping several times for glass cleaning supplies and got everything but one - Lime Away with phosphoric acid? Under the sink, two 8x10 cameras wait to be restored. They got to go somewhere else. Out in the garage would be a good place for a shop to do repairs in, but that table is filled to the rafters - literally - with packing and boxes from purchases. Packing cannot be recycled and will be tossed out this week, opening up that space. There are too many projects and too little of space, and me.
Someone said that a new photographer must select carefully what will be done. My decision to make Ultra Large Format plate photographs came late. As a result there are different sized cameras for repair and lots of plate holders and contact frames and tripods and enlargers and lenses. Those things are in the way. At least I now know what it is I’ll be doing eventually.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Does anyone have some in a drawer somewhere? I am michael at studiocarter dot com
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Instructions were sought:
The Light Farm has an article by Bill Winkler
Liquid Light has an instruction sheet
alternativephotography dot com has an article on Dry Plate Photography (googled)
The CD book: Dry Plate Photography, by towler 1865, chapter I, Preparing the Plates, 10 pages
They are all different. There is everything from using your finger tips and detergent to grinding and polishing the glass then using sulpheric acid!
Those four sources were all printed out. Now to read them and choose a method.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I bought a book from bwpublishing called Dry Plate Photography by Professor Towler 1865. I never knew dry plate photography was that old. The book is on CD.
Some old photo dry plates were cleaned of the emulsion then the sharp edges were sanded with 120 diamond grit. They are MUCH better now.
Those plates were loaded and unloaded in plate holders to practice many times.
My repairs still work on the 4x5 lens while those done by the "professional" do not; the repairs on a 5x7 lens of the same type do not work either. The cylinders need to be polished, that's all. He sent a very bad email to me. Most unpleasant.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
A 4x5 was needed to start making small plates with; the shutter was bad, It was easy enough for me to fix and you can do it, too. Fixing the iris pins is another matter entirely.
Friday, July 3, 2009
The shutter was sent off for repair only to return not fixed enough to stay working, so, I had a go at it and afterwards it now works at all speeds. The blades were reversed and polished.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
One stripe of emulsion will be painted upon each size of glass for a stop wedge test of speed. That much I can do now. D-76 might work to develop it. We'll see.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
A product needed for emulsion spreading is listed here:
and can be had under How to Order here:
They will call.
The local glass store called instead: my order is ready for pickup.
When I get that green stuff, oops, it's actually red, the glass, and the emulsion or find some practice material , I'll be able to begin coating glass, which should be very soon.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The entire side was removed. All those screw slots pointed the same way (and now still do). The slider was 78mm long, brass, and had two threaded rods. It was cut. One of the parts that were sent was cut. Two pieces now slide as one. It didn't slide at all before.
It feels good to have it working better now.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Book plate holders were brought in along with a sample of Kodak's 8x10 from the 1950s? They looked at it and said it was not American. I had to explain that it was Kodak made but from long ago. It is thinner than single strength they sell. Single strength still is thinner than the wood that holds the glass in the holders, so it'll work I hope.
They measured the book form plate holders and came up with a size that hopefully will fit all of the chambers. 2" border strips were also ordered along with a base plate of double strength. All will be edge polished.
12x15 was the size we did, then I laid on the 8x15 holders. Two sets were thus ordered. Two holders for each size were at hand. So, that was 4 sheets of single strength glass for pictures and 5 pieces for the jig, making 9 pieces for each size, 18 pieces in all.
1mm was requested and the lady said she would look for some. Yea, right.
Yet, more needs to be done. My web page was worked on, setting it up to show photography, but it is not published yet; scans were made of camp photos, local darkroom class prints (I took that class 3 times!), and contact prints of very old glass plates. Glass will be ordered today and cutting tools will be needed. It seems that none of the plate holders are exactly alike. Glass will need to be tailored to match. Exact measurements of the two plate holders for the 12x15 Vageeswari are needed; then the cleanup and bellows check, other lens boards, tripod check, paper film, tin film ...... this is fun, this is work, this is costly, this is art, and worth doing.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Single strength glass will fit into plate holders with a little space left over. There is a lot more space between the glass and the slide if plate glass is used, photographic plates that is.
Where can I get that thinner glass?
It is about 1mm thick. hmmmmmmmmm
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Inside the double box, a box of two lids and one base, was a wax paper bundle of all the plates. Inside that were two black paper packages of 6 plates each. Plates were packed with white cardboard edges to hold two plates face to face. The little channels of card stock were found after the lights went on. 6 plates remain after these expirments.
What side was the emulsion face on? That was determined by pressing dampened thumb and index finger on a corner. One side stuck and that was the emulsion. The other side was rough to the touch. It came off pink in the prewash. There are no notches in the glass like there are on film. Plates are packed face to face, held together by cardboard bent edge channels.
Edges of the glass are sharp; they have not been smoothed. They never cut me, but, one must be very careful.
Some plates were subsisquently totally underexposed and so nothing happened in development. They were rated at 400 ISO and were totally off the scale, of the image shown below that shows a field, towards the light side 4 stops. That was good because the emulsion started to come off in long processing. Rubbing with rubber gloved fingers took all of it off very easily. One plate at least is ready for recoating.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Exposure was on 12 ISO, from an average reading of the light patch and a dark stump shadow. It was f 11-16 at 1 sec.
Plates were from of old, unopened, Kodak Tri-x rated at 640 ISO. Images were had at 12 ISO and developed in Pyro. Not the best developer, but it proved that old plates could capture images.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
The rule of KISS applies. Keep It Simple Simon.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
The old wooden no name tripod fits into a Induro cardboard box, now painted black. The head doesn't fit of course. Gaffer's tape holds the lid shut over the head.
A Giant Eagle cloth shopping bag hold 4 boxes of plates; another bag holds a film changing bag, a 1 degree spot light meter, a note pad and pens, and extra battery for the meter. The one degree meter is essential for the zone system method I intend to learn.
Friday, June 12, 2009
A no name tripod has a rectangular top that is perfect for a large format camera. It is not as wide as the width of the camera base. Put the camera onto the tripod and screws in slots dangle on each side; that is where stabilization bars go. Two pieces of wood, 3/4 x 3/4 inch and about 24 to 30 inches long will fit in those spaces nicely. The screws are centered. Screws are left sticking out of the bars a little bit. Stabilization bars thus secured hold up bellows rails on each side of the camera base. The bars attach to the camera base on each side by simply pushing them into the slots. But, knobs or brackets may interfere with bars; cut bars to fit. A tripod made for the camera would not have interfering parts.
Oak was used and screws hold tightly in it. Holes were predrilled small enough to just allow threads to cut into the wood. Extra screws attach the bars to the tripod head and use smaller holes in it as that wood is softer. Sanding, staining, drying and rubbing in sand finishes to match.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Old glass plates have sharp edges. They fit perfectly into the old wooden holders. Two dry plate holders arrived today and they fit into the camera just right. I know they are dry plate holders because they have that red cardboard inside instead of the black metal with the little spring. There are other plate holders in a pile that need the same work and some more to do on the slides.
A full set of 3M diamond glass polishing pads arrived today. They will be used before the puddle pusher etc is.
Lens boards will need to be made. Only one lens fit the board that fits this camera. And that lens must be screwed into the wood since the flange is just a hair too big to fit the opening. The lens threads engage the wood just right. 16 1/2 inch in a Illex No.5. Not nearly long enough, but it'll do for now.
An old tripod was put under the camera yesterday and tried out outdoors. It may be a Korona, there is another on line that looks a lot like it and IT is called that, too. This tripod is too short for me, but a small stool would help. Perhaps I'll buy the other tripod as it is taller. My neighbors got an eyeful; I heard one say, that must be 100 years old. It must have been a sight to see me under the black and white cloth with that old camera all stretched out. I think it'll handle a 30 inch lens. However, the front rails sagged due to a loose joint, so, back to work inside.
It was taken apart, glued, clamped, and today it is held up by new oak rail braces. There is a pair for sale on eBay but the screws are too far apart for my camera base. The slots in the base of my camera are 2 1/2 inches apart while those on line for the banquet camera are one inch more. Having seen it, though, I was able to figure out how to make a pair.
The front of the camera pulled up when it was all opened instead of sagging. The new rails hold it from going down but the bellows pull it up above the rail. Two small screws fixed that problem.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Dry plates will be taken to camp along with a camera and plate holders for them; they are Kodak ones of several emulsions in 8x10 boxes. A report will follow upon return.
Monday, June 8, 2009
The money was refunded, this has happened before and will be all right. So, I requested the shaft. It is only a short thing that slides behind a piece of plate metal, but if he has one...
The contractor working on our new bathroom knows where to get Teak wood and has a plainer to shape it to the exact thickness. I want to make ground glass covers. Not every camera came with one, but a couple did. He also knows a guy who plates metal for him with the same kind as my cameras.
Edit: I GOT IT and the little nuts and bolts and knobs etc.
someday I may teach again only this time it'll be ULF glass dry plate photography - all equipment provided.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
That price is easily twice what I've been paying for smaller ones, but then, large ones are rare, if for plate, and not for film, but glass. That is my focus, glass plate. So, I had to have it. The missing knob will come off a rough 10x12 that needs help that I got just in case.
That 12x15 size that will require larger plate spreading equipment. Are larger than normal sizes available?
Saturday, June 6, 2009
or just click here to make it much easy: http://www.thelightfarm.com/navlist.htm
I try to learn something every day. This day, it was site index. Every item on the complete index of the web site is a link to that page. Front Page web writing program enables one to create links like that. However, an outline for me only happens after everything is all done. Not before. So, it was not seen till exploration of the pages began.
Thank you D !
Friday, June 5, 2009
On The main page of The Light Farm, at the top, there are two navigation thingies. The one on the left is the main one to use. It is very tiny and hard to use. Carefully go down the list to the 13th level called, Dry Plate Photography > and you will see another menu open up. Go down that one to 4: Plate Prep and Coating > and another one will open up (see what I mean?) carefully select 4a: TLF System. Phew!
I feel like I have accomplished something already.
Get ready to spend more money.
In for a penny, in for a pound.
I've already bought two things. One was from The Light Farm, an emulsion Coating Well (just nevermind where it is), and one from Photographer's Formulary, a Puddle Pusher. Now, glass edge polishing pads were bought from yet another company.
You gotta really want this to get into it.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
It is all about Dry Plate Photography; that is photography on glass plates, not film. It is also photography that is mostly large format in size. Large format sizes begin around 4x5 inches. My cameras range from 3 1/2 inches to 15 inches for one of the dimentions of the glass plates.