© 2012 Fourtoes Bathroom

All done…

A full day of contact printing and the now dry prints have been dropped off at the Peoples History Museum ready for mounting for the opening on Thursday evening.

Looking forward to how they are going to look amongst such a great exhibition.

I have a darkroom at my studio in Manchester but the enlarger is still at home, hence the prints drying over the bath on a makeshift clothes line. I printed off two sets. One on Foma Chamois fibre based paper which are the browner darker prints, and one set on Ilford warmtone RC which are brighter and not so toned. Not knowing the exact environment that the prints were going to be viewed under I thought I best provide the curator with a choice of finishes.

Also had an email from a chap who had seen me shooting in Manchester and asked how I shot wet plate in the city centre. He hadn’t seen the van around the corner in a car park.

So heres a pics of some of Sundays shooting….

No I’m not that short. And thanks to the people that parked in front of me and were willing to move on to another parking space. It was also a further challenge as I’d been requested to shoot all the plates at landscape orientation rather than portrait, so fitting some of those streetscapes into the frame was pretty difficult…

More rain….and the ever helpful Steph.

The back of the van… oh, and me.



  1. Peter
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 5:11 PM | #

    Did you enlarge 5×4 negatives onto 8×10 paper?
    Oh, and do you do anything else compared to the normal exposure for ambrotypes, like tripling the exposure time?

  2. Posted August 8, 2012 at 5:25 PM | #

    Hi Peter,

    These are prints straight from 5×7 plates. I over exposed by up to two to three stops. Some printed better than others and one that was a decent ambrotype printed just fine.


  3. Peter
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 6:09 PM | #

    Oh, sorry, I misread the part where you mention the enlarger (and the title…). So much for thinking I can watch television while reading.

    Coffer’s manual states that one should triple the exposure – but he doesn’t state if that is for albumen printing. For future reference I should probably never assume his advice regarding printing is applicable to silver gelatin papers.

    Two to thee stops. I’ll keep that in mind.

  4. Posted August 8, 2012 at 6:32 PM | #

    I know someone who just shoots a standard ambrotype and enlarges onto modern papers at a higher grade and they print okay.
    I guess its trial and error.
    Some people use different chems for negs and intensify the plate when printing some traditional processes.

  5. Peter
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 6:42 PM | #

    Yes, Brewer said I only needed the positive collodion for what I wanted to do so that’s the only kind I’ll buy.

    Thanks for the tips!

  6. Posted August 8, 2012 at 7:17 PM | #

    No problem, keep in touch.

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