Solarplate exposure

Discussion in 'Wet and Dry Hybrid prints' started by annie75, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. annie75

    annie75 Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Shooter:
    Holga
    Hello,
    Last night I posted a question about the ratio of exposure between an aquatint screen and a photographic image on solarplate.
    I was unsure of the ratio to get good tonal range.
    Today I struck an even bigger problem though. It was a very overcast day.(I am is Napier, NZ..very harshly sunny place!) I ended up doing a 30 min exposure for the aquatint screen and a 30 min exposure for my image. STILL the densest areas of the image did not expose long enough to harden the solarplate. I was left with a plate that had good details in the highlights and midtones...and a big gooey mess in the shadows :sad:
    What confuses me is that I had exposures of 4 min with the aquatint screen on a brighter day that were successful. I have trouble shooted and I am sure I have eliminated the most obvious things. My transparencies were definitely emulsion side down for a start.
    Any ideas? Anyone?! It is an expensive material for me to experiment with on y art student budget but I am determined to figure it out! :smile:
     
  2. clay

    clay Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Location:
    Asheville, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The sun is notoriously difficult to use on a repeatable basis. It will vary by time of year, degree of clouds, etc… Your analysis sounds right - it was under exposed. If you are somewhat handy, you can get an HID at a hardware store, put it in a reflector and it will work a lot more consistently.

    I use an Amergraph exposure unit, but that is probably not a viable option if you are on a student budget. Sandy King wrote an article here that contains a section HID lamps, if you are interested in investigating that option.
     
  3. clay

    clay Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Location:
    Asheville, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The sun is notoriously difficult to use on a repeatable basis. It will vary by time of year, degree of clouds, etc Your analysis sounds right - it was under exposed. If you are somewhat handy, you can get an HID at a hardware store, put it in a reflector and it will work a lot more consistently.

    I use an Amergraph exposure unit, but that is probably not a viable option if you are on a student budget. Sandy King wrote an article here that contains a section HID lamps, if you are interested in investigating that option.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    annie75

    annie75 Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Shooter:
    Holga
    Hey thanks for that, the article is interesting. I tried solarplate in our plateburner at school, but it has fluorescent bulbs...I need pointsource, like you are talking about. I had one of these years ago and gave it away. Doh!
    My end of semester assessment is in 3 weeks so I am hoping to find nice, cheap, fast solutions! (wishing for sunshine!)
    I have experimented intensely with ways to apply photography with plates considering the timeframe..I just want to nail it and conclude with something positive! What I am amazed with is the difference in exposure time from reasonable sun to overcast. Quite substantial.
     
  5. Ian P.

    Ian P. Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    Exposure meter for SolarPlate printing

    I realize this posting is in response to a thread that is several years out-of-date at this point, but it may prove useful for others searching for similar information.
    Using the sun for SolarPlate exposure is an excellent way of achieving uniform illumination. However, the variability in the intensity can be problematic. My company makes inexpensive, handheld UV exposure meters, designed especially for artists. I personally use one of these meters in all my own SolarPlate work, using the sun as my illumination source. The meter allows me to work whatever the sun's intensity (even if it changes during the course of an exposure due to clouds) and get perfectly reproducible exposures every time.
    Please check out LightMeasure - Handheld UV exposure dose meter to see if this meter might suit your needs. Price is $190, shipping worldwide.
     
,