First Iodine and Bromine Daguerreotype
With bromine in the mix now, I couldn’t wait to make daguerreotype. I buffed out a test 1/4 plate and proceeded to fume over iodine to just beyond the first yellow and into a sepia/rose- it took about 2 minutes in a 63 degree ambient temperature. The was put over the bromine masked off into quadrants and fumed for 40seconds each. After the bromine the plate was again fumed over the iodine for 2/3 the time of the first iodine- about 90 seconds. The first exposure was for one minute at f3.5 using a 150mm lens and metered for ASA 100 and reduced it by 8 stops. The plate was developed for 168 degrees for 5 minutes. what I got was a faint image at the quadrant that received the least amount of bromine at 40 seconds——–shit!——–There is a fine line for bromine, too little or too much will decrease sensitivity. It seems the silica in the fume box is a bit strong.
Another plate was buffed. Right as I was almost done hand buffing the plate fell of the stand and landed face down onto the concrete——-shit again!——I dusted it off and hand buffed it a bit more. At 35-40 bucks per 1/4 plate there was no way that I was going to let a few scratches and dents keep me from using that plate. The plate was iodized same as the first and then I guessed how much bromine to give considering the results from the first plate. I gave it 20 seconds of bromine and then the plate got the second iodine.
The exposure was a little different for the second plate. I went ahead and gave the plate 11 stops instead of the 8 to compensate for the dark reddish color of the subject. 90 seconds was the exposure and after a 5 minute development the plate looked about 1.5-2 stops over exposed. It was not too bad a guess with the bromine and I got some really nice details in the shadow areas and in the wood grain. The highlight areas were a bit blown out but not too shabby for the first decent image ever using bromine, I went ahead with the gilding. I need some practice gilding as I think I got the plate too hot and it resulted in a weird brown spot and uneven marks on the plate. Aside for the dents and scratches, the bad gilding, and dust, I was very happy and took the plate home as a kind of milestone. The image is of my big baby 11 x 14 Deardorff “Daisy” on a century master studio stand with a Dallmeyer 3A.