wet plate creamy white blues :(

Discussion in 'Plate Cameras and Accessories' started by seanECfreeman, May 30, 2016.

  1. seanECfreeman

    seanECfreeman Member

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    Hi guys and girls, I have just shot my first ambrotypes today with no success, A mess of white creamy milky gunk is all i have created, If anyone could have a look over my methods it would be a great help,

    ''month old purchased positive developer''
    ''pre mixed cadmium free collodion'' ''maybe 6 months old''
    ''25g silver nitrate to 200ml distilled water''

    I clean the plates, let them dry, pour the collodion ''badly'' ''it seems very watery to my inexperienced eyes''
    put in bath for 3min, When i take the plates out usually the bottom corner is milky where the collodion is thicker, And the rest of the plate is clear, I expose them up to 14seconds in bright but cloudy lighting, ''outdoors'' at f5.6, and every time i pour the developer i get nothing, Some wired tree shapes and ode blotches evan on my good plates, Any help would be grate, :D
     
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    seanECfreeman

    seanECfreeman Member

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    IMG_2135.jpg IMG_2134.jpg

    Here are the master pieces......
     
  3. TheMissingLink

    TheMissingLink Member

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    Hi,

    It looks over-exposed ... At least on the borders you have some signs of exposure. This would be the first I'd change because it's the easiest to do.


    So many other possibilities where it could have failed:

    - Did you measure the density of your silver solution? It seems to be a "bit" high, usually it should be 10 percent (10g mixxed in 80ml and filled up to 100 ml)
    - your collodion could be rather old .... when I take my plates out of the silver bath, they are milky all over. Out of which source do you have your collodion? Pre-mixed? Did you try it in the past and did it work?
    - your colldion poured on the plate shouldn't be wet when placing in the sensitizer and even not dry. It should be a bit sticky....
    - your developer? Source and did it work in the past?

    horst
     
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    seanECfreeman

    seanECfreeman Member

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    Thanks for the reply, and yes i think I was over exposing them, Im still having trouble with the collodion, is the priority to cover the plate with a ''VERY'' thin layer and drain off all excess as quickly as possible?, Or to leave a certain thickness?, I say this because my collodion seems a bit too watery, its thiner than olive oil,
    ''I think the answer is no'' But could I shake the collodion and let it sit for some days again?, would that have any regenerating effects?:smile:.

    Today...

    I shot 6 more plates, I got two images out of the lot, Both were over exposed but still great to see something,
    However the other 4 were complete failures, and I don't know why,
    The two that worked had bad marks on them, lime scale like drop marks in the centre combined with a milky fog around the edges,

    Im Also having trouble with the developer, I can't get it evenly over the plate, when pour it I'm always left with spots it missed and no matter ho hard i try i can't cover them, I usually try swishing the developer over them with my finger in frustration however i know thats not how its meant to be done. should I add sugar to the developer? or more alcohol? it just doesn't run smoothly,
     
  5. goamules

    goamules Member

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    There are 27 things that can go wrong with the chemistry and 48 things that can be done wrong in process. Where did you learn to do wetplate? Or are you....as they say, trying to wing it and then ask questions for each problem? You can learn quickly with a guidebook or session with an expert. But trying to learn from the internet, where half of what you are told is wrong, isn't very successful.
     
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    seanECfreeman

    seanECfreeman Member

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    How do you guys cover a 4x5 plate with developer without any spill? Could that be my problem? I pour a third of a shot of developer mixed with half a tea spoon of sugar but a lot spills off, My plates have drastic differences in density, I shoot one at f11 6 sec that comes out over exposed, and the next one f11 8sec comes out close to blank. also whats this with ''stabilising the silver bath?'' do I need to leave a plate in the bath over night?, oh and my freshly made bath has a ph of 1-2? and a gravity of 1080.
     
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    seanECfreeman

    seanECfreeman Member

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    I think the term for what my plates are suffering from is ''oysters'' but how do you get rid of those little buggars? they appear to have no relation to anything, they can appear in the corner, smack bang in the middle of the plate, My shutter is miles away from the collodion, I don't touch the collodion at any point with my hands, what are they and why are they here?
     
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