Saturday, July 30, 2011

A couple good books

The book called, A Life of Discovery, Michael Faraday, Giant of the Scientific Revolution, by James Hamilton, really helped me. ISBN 1-4000-6016-8. I could relate to it. I liked how Michael Faraday learned on his own and took notes and made his notes into books. He shared his discoveries, taught freely, he even was artistic and was interested in photography some. I was a teacher, an artist, and although I'm not a bookbinder I do have a computer and make books. This blog can be made into a book for anyone who wants a copy and is willing to pay for it. I got a copy, hardbacked. In the early 1800's art and science were connected. That is happening again, I think, this time via the internet.

Another book I found is a high school chemistry text book. has text books for all grades and teachers from K to 12th. grade for free downloads. I've been reading chapter one part one about the scientific method. My new study of how to make emulsions would not be complete without a study of chemistry. I have a lot of catching up to do.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A new level

Emulsion making is now being studied. Much material has been looked over; lots has been printed out; several reads of several parts have been done. Two sites are being explored and mined for data. One is The Light Farm, and the other is in APUG, Emulsion Making and Coating, the stickies.

It took a while to be able to even print out anything. I had to learn how to use several different computers, programs, and methods of printing to get hard copies. That was fun because I used to be a graphic artist and it came naturally.

There are other sources on the web, but they are not being used; there is so much on the two sites listed that I'll find what I need there. What I need is a selection of recipes and materials to the end of getting the most basic and simplistic way to make an emulsion. The idea is to be able to make emulsions in Middle School, where I used to teach art.

The study of how to make emulsion has begun now because preliminary work has been successful. Several beautiful plates in ULF (larger than 8x10 inches) have been made and many in the 4x5 inch format. Cameras, lenses, plate holders, tripods, and lenses have been collected, fixed, and I learned how to use them well enough to get good images. Put light meters in that list, too. A darkroom was constructed, stocked, and used. Finally, plates were coated. That took a while to get hold of.

Now I want to learn how to make my own emulsions. Before I buy new lab equipment I want to be able to make emulsion the primitive ways. I saw an article like that somewhere, I think it is on The Light Farm, about sea water ...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My second large plate

8 1/2 x 15 inches glass plate, Liquid Light emulsion, book form plate holder, Hermagis f8 24 inch lens, f 64 waterhouse stop, lens cap shutter.

A negative tells a lot. The day was very hot and brightly lit. Foot candles must have been over 320, say 320+1 block. The time was just past noon. Exposure was 15 seconds at f64. Development had to be shortened because the plate was getting dark so fast, it was 1 min and 20 sec with a acetic acid stop bath and then Kodak fixer for about 10. The plate was washed later with Perma wash to remove fixer smells. I was careful but still got some fixer spots onto the plate. The negative looks almost as good as the first one when I place it emulsion side down onto white paper. You can see what it is about. That means it is a good one to me.

The close phone pole in the picture was very much out of focus with the camera at a normal arrangement. Then, the front of the camera was tilted up some and focus improved. I kept increasing the tilt and it got better and better. However, it was so much up at the end that I moved it back to about half the way from the maximum to take the picture. The small lens opening helped to focus the rest. I had focused on the middle distance so that the pole and the horizon were both a little fuzzy.

The plate had been coated by using the same thickness glass edge pieces. A glass rod with black plastic tape wrapped on the ends spread out the poured emulsion. Four wraps were used. Unfortunately, the plastic caught on the dry glass and bumped along. I spread again to even out the application. It worked because the edges were then already coated with wet emulsion. Pre lubrication is needed with the "cheap" tape method. I really have to buy some of the 3M TAPE told of at 'The Light Farm' web site. The glass also had been warmed by using a hair dryer. That helped to even out the emulsion after application. One application or scrape is best to strive for.

A funny story is that I had gone out with all my 19th cent. stuff but forgot to take my watch. When I was all ready to expose the plate, I couldn't time it! So, I phoned my wife, using a 21st cent. cel phone; she used her watch and counted it off.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

8x15 exposure

This dry glass plate photograph sized 8x15 inches was made using a Vageeswari Camera Works camera that I purchased from Alex in India. He was selling one just like it on ebay and no one bid. It ended. Perhaps he will list it again. I am very happy with mine, the tripod and the extra plate holders he provided for extra. The tripod words surprisingly well. A large heavy lens was on the camera.

The plate was coated, as per a previous article by me in here, using Liquid Light Emulsion. It was exposed at f64 for 15 seconds; it was developed in Dektol 1:3 for 2 min and 45 seconds. The sun was read with a Sekonic light meter, the foot candles were 320 -1 block or 280 incident light.