Monday, 28 May 2012

Ilford Glass Plates

I got hold of a few boxes of Ilford Glass Dry Plates in very good condition, they have no expire date but according to the Early Photography website it dates  back 1950's.

I've run a test to find out how sensitive the plates still were after all this years and I had a good result at 20 seconds f/4.6 in sunlight.

They came out slightly over exposured, the sun was probably stronger in the Park but it was not difficult to adjust the levels in Photoshop. Considering I didn't have much image recorded on the first test plate I'm quite pleased with the final results.

I've used my Combi Plan tank to process and because the plates are smaller than the 4x5 sheet film, I could use 600ml of chemicals instead the usual full tank. I used a solution of 1:50 Rodinal / 15 minutes normal agitation.

 The shots were taken using my Voigtlander Avus plate camera.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

My very first Wet Plate Collodion Photographs

A very especial post for me as I had been meaning to try this for a few years... this is my first experience with wet collodion photograph!

After spending a wonderful weekend in Scotland learning this technique with Carl Radford it's needless to say how much I enjoyed the whole experience!

Learning this process it's almost like a survival guide to me... with prices of film increasing significantly,  the chances  that one day film will not exist or will be really hard to get are becoming higher and higher so I like the idea of producing my very own light sensitive emulsion from scratch.

Frederick Scott Archer was the inventor of the wet collodion photograph process which was introduced in 1850. Archer died on May 1st 1857 without even having his invention patented, he was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery in an unmarked grave.

My desire for experimenting with this process started exactly two years ago, on May the 1st 2010 in the same  Kensal Green Cemetery in London where Archer it's been buried. I was fortunate to attend an event in the honour of Frederick Archer where Carl, Quinn and a group of wet plate collodion enthusiasts around the world decided to give him the deserved recognition for his invention. On that day during a ceremony a headstone in his honour was unveiled and a tribute was deservedly paid, there were also exhibitions and collodion demonstrations.