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.

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