Friday, September 6, 2013

Test Ambrotypes with Restored Whole Plate Camera

My first indoor shot! Note uneven emulsion and way under exposed.
I thought I would post some examples of the first 61/2 x 81/2 test ambrotypes I made back in May and June 2013. If you recall I bought a Empire State view camera. The camera was made around 1900 or so by the Rochester Camera company and is the whole plate"" size. That is it takes 61/2 X 81/2 inch images. I will probably have to add a post about how I make the plates and sensitize them. The whole project is an on going experiment with many variables. For these first negatives, I used Liquid Lights Ag-Plus. I followed the instructions and when I got in trouble I looked up tips on-line.
The hardest thing is pouring the plates and getting a even coat of emulsion. The plates are large, its a lot of surface area to cover. The Ag-Plus is thick, so I think I will have to mix a little photoflow to get it thinner and flow around the glass better. The other issue was keeping the emulsion from frilling"" or coming off the glass during development. Fixed that issue by adding Chrome Alum to the gelatine during the first coating of the plates.

Emulsion way to thick!

I had a thick blob of emulsion that flowed to the bottom left corner. I think that was a result of cooling emulsion and not storing them in a level surface while it dried.

Here is the result of frilling. The emulsion started to separate from the glass.