Steph took the day off today and suggested we go shoot some plates. When I say we I mean me, she sits in the warm van reading the newspaper whilst drinking coffee. Me, I freeze my butt off making plates. We headed over to Marsden as theres a couple of old cotton mills Ive been meaning to shoot for a while. If you’ve been reading recent posts we’ve been having quality control problems in the studio more than likely to do with temperature, resulting in some weird streaking on the plates. On warming the silver bath and collodion it does seem to lessen.
Thats all well and good in the studio but how do I do that in the darkbox in the back of my van? The answer…a hot water bottle and a cool? bag. It seemed to do the trick until it lost its heat. It didn’t get much over 1C and at one point couldn’t really feel my fingers it was that cold. Trying to pour collodion onto the plates got a little tricky and messy by this stage, let alone trying to get an even dev pour.
Trying to get the correct exposure was a tad tricky also, highlights in the sky, bright sunshine on parts of the building with deep shadows in others…worth a try though. Heres the results.
Exposure were all over the place. f8 from 12 to 30 seconds and F16 for 60 seconds. Some of the CGA’s are over exposed and scan better as negs.
5×7 tins and clear glass ambros. You can make out the streaking problem on all of the plates but nothing as bad as when in the studio. Roll on springtime.
Over exposed ambrotype…
…scanned as a neg.
I’m really interested in shooting some 12×15 plates of these mills but maybe when its a little warmer.
Also its maybe not a good idea to park my van opposite the local primary school as I was getting some weird looks off passers-by and the teachers. One even asked me what exactly I was shooting……I quickly explained it was the mill and I wasn’t some weirdo. They still looked at me as if I was odd.