a couple of days ago i was op shopping with a friend in a small town in Victoria (Portland) and i found a 35mm plastic camera for only $2. After buying a roll of colour film I was unsure what i should photograph so I decided to make small series inspired by Alice Blanch. www.aliceblanch.com
I took these photographs using my Canon D500 with 200mm zoom lens and enlarge them using Photoshop until I got these image. I don't know what galaxies these photo's are of , I just pointed at the brightest stars I could see.
At the turn of the 20th
century the dry glass plate replaced the commercially used wet plate collidion
process. Dry plate was much easier to coat and process but it's main advantage
was that the plate could be pre coated days, weeks even months before exposing
and developing. This advantage left the wet plate process obsolete because of
its need to be coated, exposed and developed-all within 15 minutes and its need
for a portable darkroom. Later advances in dry plate technology meant that
photographer no longer had to coat their own plates but they could buy
readymade plates from manufactures such as Ilford and Kodak. Commercial
photographer’s love affair with the dry glass was short lived and was quickly
replaced by black and white film. Film managed to correct two main problems
with dry glass plates: film had a large tonal range, therefore landscape
photographers were now able to capture clouds in their images, which was unable
to be achieved in both wet and dry processes; the other advantage to film was
it didn’t smash when it was dropped but was very light and flexible compared to
what photographers were used to.
-Silver gelatin emulsion (liquid
silver gelatin paper Developer
-Normal silver gelatin paper
-Normal silver gelatin paper
- Wash trays x4
- Glass (we are using 3mm
frames glass, cut to size)
- 4x5 film holders (modified
to hold glass plates) Or original glass plate holders (if you come across any)
- Camera- 4x5 (you can also
use any box brownie/drop plate camera, simply cut the glass plates to suit the
-Tripod & cable release
NOTE: The process achieves
its best results when the temperature is under 20c as when it is damp or hot
the emulsion may have trouble sticking to the plate and warp or buckle.
The layer needed to bond the
emulsion to the glass
Can still be used today
Step 1: Warm
50ml of distilled water to around 50c, then add 1g chrome alum (hardening
agent) and mix until dissolved.
Step 2: Sprinkle
3.5g of gelatin into 236ml of distilled water, and then let it sit for 15mins
while the gelatin swells. Now warm the mixture to 50c and stir until the
gelatin has dissolved.
Step 3: Now
add step 1 to step 2 and mix through.
Step 4: Add
15ml of photo flo to the mixture. Keep the mixture warm and coat the (Chemical
Clean) glass with the subbing. Allow to the plate to dry for 8 or more hours
Contemporary Subbing –What we are using today
In this workshop we are using
(Chemical Clean) the pre-cut glass plate. First wash in hot soapy water using a
brush, then wash in just hot water until there is no soap left on the glass.
Rinse with distilled water this stops water mark. Then dry the plate. Step 2: Polish the plate to remove
any water marks
Step 3: Warm
the polyurethane varnish in its container in a warm water bath (do
this in ventilated room or outside) Step 4: Pour the vanish onto the
glass and then lay flat to dry.
Under RED light only Step 5: Warm the silver
gelatin emulsion in its container in a warm water bath ( do not warm
in hot water it may damage the gelatin and the silver in the emulsion) Step 6: Then apply the silver
gelatin emulsion to the glass over the varnish Step 7: Lay flat to dry in a
completely dark place, the plate may take a couple of hours to completely dry
(plate does not need to dry to be ready to use-it can be used straight away
whilst it is still wet-but when shooting in the field make sure plates are
completely dry before stacking them together for traveling).
The plate is now ready to use in camera
The exposure will depend on the emulsion used; I
use Liquid Light VC which has an ASA/ISO of 2 and Ag Plus which has
an ASA/ISO of 8. Double coat of the emulsion will half the exposure time and if you add extra silver
nitrate to the emulsion will also speed up the exposure.
ASA/ISO= is the measure of the film's sensitivity to
light. Low ISO/ASA is considered slow
film as it is less sensitive to
light-therefore takes longer to expose a picture onto the film.
Notes:If the plate is overexposed it will be too
dark/if under exposed it will be too light.
-It is best to produce a plate that is slightly
overexposed (rather than under) as to produce deep blacks-but it really comes
down to the photographers personal tastes.
Under RED light only
(Best done at below 20c as the temperature could cause
the image to lift or buckle)
Note: Develop like you would normal
silver gelatin paper.
Bath 1: Developer (2mins)
Bath 2: Stop Bath (30sec)
Bath 3: Fixer (3-5mins)
Bath 4: Wash (10-30 mins)
Leave plate in a cool area to dry
plate-never force dry the plate.
- You will now have a negative image
that can be scanned, used in an enlarger or contact printed to produce a
streets studios (Vic)
and Sullivens (USA)
alternative photography website
book of alternative photographic processes
James, 2009, The book of alternative
photographic process, Delmar, USA
150g sodium acetate,1.5g tartaric acid,1000ml distilled water
200g soduim citrate,1000ml distilled water
step1: Tape the pre sized paper to a work table
Step2: Mark out film position on the paper.
Step3: Coat paper with Kallitype solution using a glass rod or hake brush.
Step4: Dry the Kallitype solution and tape down the negative over the dry Kallitype.
Step5: Expose Kallitype in a UV unit
Step6: Then develop.
Note:The kallitype process Develop out Process (D.O.P) so you need to do a teststrip in a UV Box
Bath 1: develop, use a developer listed above ( 8mins)
Bath 2: clearing,1%citric acid and distilled water ( 4 mins)
Bath 3: fixer, 5%sodium thiosulfate and distilled water (2 mins)
Bath 4: clearing, 1%sodium sulfite and tap water (2 mins) OPTIONAL
Bath 5: wash,running water (30mins)
Note : to reduce fading in the fixer ,add 2g sodium carbonate or bi carb to every 1000ml of fix.The Sodium sulfite bath will remove sodium thiosulfate fix faster then just water but a long wash is just as good. The Sodium Thiosulfate if left in the paper can fade the print over time.
This test was exposed until the image appear a as normal (POP) then it was developed in a bath of 5% rock salt and distilled water
This test was exposed until the image appear a as normal (POP) then it was developed in a bath of 1% citric acid and distilled water
This test is a normal sepia kallitype but the paper was damp with water when the kallitype was exposed
A normal black (hall's) kallitype but it wasn't put in the citric acid clearing bath
A normal black (hall's) kallitype
A normal sepia Kallitype
A Kallitype developed in a 4% citric acid bath
A normal black (hall's) Kallitype but the developer had chromate in it to increase the contrasts
normal sepia Kallitype but it was fist placed in the clearing bath of 1% citric acid for the same amount of time as the developer bath
The albumen was the first commercial
reproducible photographic paper printing process. Although the first reproducible
paper photographic print process that was its cousin salt print. The main
difference between salt print and Albumen is, Albumen has a sharper and glossy
appearance. This is due to one key difference in their chemistry Salt print
uses gelatin and salt as a substrate to bond the light sensitive silver nitrate
to the paper. Albumen on the other hand uses Albumen (fancy name for egg
whites) instead of gelatin, this makes a huge difference because gelatin soaks
it to the paper becoming flat and dull but Albumen sit on the paper making a
micro thin layer that appear sharper and glossy. Albumen printing was so popular
in it time because of the high quality finish that the Dresden Albumizing
company in Germany used more than 70,000 egg whites per day to meet the public’s
demand. Sadly the Albumen popularity drop when the commercial uses silver
gelatin paper came available. Silver gelatin had a faster exposing time and
didn’t need harsh UV light to expose it, also the image could be enlarged
without losing too much detail and it was less acceptable to cracking when
bent. But with all that said Albumen prints at are 150 years on still look
better then silver gelatin print 100 years.
PREPARATION FOR PROCESS:
Solution A (albumen)
-Egg whites 10
-Distilled water 10ml
-Ammonium chloride or sodium
chloride (Rock salt) 4gm
- Glacial acetic acid or (White
Note: Ammonium chloride will gives a black tonal range and Sodium
chloride gives a sepia tonal range
water) Mix the ammonium chloride or salt into the distilled water
until the salt has completely dissolved then add the glacial acetic acid.
Step2: Separate all the egg whites from the yolks
(note: Make sure NO yolk or shell
makes it into the solution- including the white milky material that is found in
some egg whites)
Step3: Add the salted water to the egg whites
Step4: Beat the egg whites until it turn completely
Step5: Place in the fridge for 24 hour to settle.
Step6: Take out of the fridge and let it sit a room
temperature for an hour or so. Filter off the foam through a cheese cloth (or
muslin) and then cover and put clean egg white in the fridge for 1
week+, after a week the albumen is ready but the longer the albumen sit in the
fridge the better it well be.
Solution B (Silver Nitrate)
12% silver nitrate solution
-12gm silver nitrate
-100ml distilled water
- (Optional) 8g citric acid
Mix both ingredients together. Ready
Note: The citric acid increases the
shelf life of the coated paper before exposing print, this will allow you to
store the print for up to week before exposing it. Without the critic acid the
print needs to be coat, exposed and developed in the same day.
Solution A (Albumen)
Solution B (12% silver nitrate
Glass pull rod
Negative film or glass plate
Sodium Carbonate or Bi-carb soda
Step1: Stick the paper to a work table and
mark where the film sits on the paper using a pencil
Step2: Apply solution A (Albumen)
to the paper using the glass rod then dry the coated paper using a hairdryer
Step3: (optional) To harden the albumen
soaking in a bath of 70%-100% alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) for 15mins then allow
Step5: Apply solution B with glass rod
then dry the paper
Step6: Place negative over the paper then
expose the coated paper in a UV unit or in the contact frame in the sun
Step7: Once the image has appeared,
exposed one stop over your desired final exposure (this allows for fading in
Important: (masking) exposures need to be
longer than 15 mins or prints shadows may not be black/dark enough. This is
caused when the surface of the silver turns black too fast and blocks the
silver underneath from getting exposed properly.
Extra contrast: a trick to add more
contrast to an image is to place a yellow filter or cellophane over the image
when exposing it but the exposures are much longer.
Bath 1: (Clearing wash) in distilled water for 5-10mins
Bath 2: (Clearing wash) in distilled water for 2mins
Bath 3: (Fixer) Sodium thiosulfate 15%, sodium carbonate 2%
with distilled water 4mins
Bath 4: (Wash) Running tap water 20-30mins
Note: When flatting the paper don’t
heat the print, as it will yellow the albumen.
Ace chemicals (SA)
Gold streets studios (Vic)
The Lightbulb room
Ellie Young, Salt print manual (purchase
Simryn Gill would have to be one of my favourite artists.Her photographs are beautiful and are same time are little bazare. Some of Gill's early photos were of ran down building in Malayisa which instantly remind me of live in northern Australia. I have had the chance to she some her work in person its beautiful made as well as just great to look at and her concepts are well thought out. when one of her exhibitions was in adelaide i went back and saw it two or three time for a hour or so
Stephen Dupont probably my favourite photojournalist because his work in unique and interesting. His photographs aren't just documents they're piece of art. The series Rascal is my favourite series by any artist and is one the things that made me want become a photojournalist myself and made me study photography thought. I ve decided to just do art photography I still love Dupont photographs
Takashi Arai takes daguerreotype photographs and is one of the only daguerreotypist in Japan. his series flawless lakes is amazing and his series portraits on mirror is pretty good to .he all soon has a video on how to make daguerreotypes.