I was invited to join a group of fantastic photographers at the home of Laurel Schultz, a very talented Seattle sculptor/photographer. She gave an impromptu workshop on the Becquerel method of creating daguerreotypes. The process uses no mercury to develop the plate and no bromine to speed up the sensitivity and is considered safer and less toxic as it only requires elemental iodine to create and image. The plate is developed by covering the plate with rubylith and exposing the covered plate to bright light. The latent image appears slowly over a period of a few hours. The sensitivity is extremely low and requires extremely long exposures making it impractical for some subjects.
This was a two day adventure and on the first day we prepared the plates by polishing the plates, buffing them and then sensitizing using only iodine. The plate was then loaded into a holder and exposed. The day was dark and overcast so my exposure was at about 1hr at an EV of 6 with the lens wide open at F/4. After the exposure we all built small cardboard holders with the rubylith covering the exposed plates and then they were all exposed to a 100 watt floodlight for a few hours.
The next day, some plates were better exposed than others and I lucked out and got a pretty strong image. The plates were taken out of the enclosures and then gilt with gold chloride.
Laurel even had some glass and archival tape to make enclosures. The whole experience was just more confirmation that making daguerreotypes is something that feel compelled to do. I have been waiting around until I could get some bromine(the hardest chemical to acquire)but I think I will continue to make the becquerel dags in order to get into the swing of it and a feel for preparing plates. Ultimately, I will be using bromine. I can get some iodine and mercury with no problem so I am not sure what I was waiting for. I can simply develop the iodine only daguerreotypes with mercury (in a fume hood of course)until I get the bromine. Until then I will get to collecting all the necessary tools to make more daguerreotypes on my own.
Here is the final image. It is a 1/4 plate(3.25 x 4.25 inches)No Comments
I will be showing at Skagit Valley College through October. There will about 25-30 ambrotypes as well as one of my daguerreotypes from the workshop at the Eastman House. A demonstration of the wet plate process is scheduled as well. If you would like to see the work and or want to attend the demo please contact Ellen Micheal at Skagit County College.No Comments
October 6 – November 12, 2011 Mars vs Venus: Images of Male and Female
My portait of Kiki Smith will be included in the this upcoming show at Greg Kucera Gallery.No Comments
I am currently trying to get my new space up and running. Since I am almost done with my residency, I need to get my butt in gear. There is a new sink installed and I just scored this sweeeeeeet fume hood so I can mix the nasties without inhaling dangerous fumes. It will also serve to vent out the mercury and halogen fumes whenever I get around to making daguerreotypes.
In the new space, I will begin making more collodion negatives and hope to print some salt and albumen prints. I also have n 8 x 10 cold light head and plan on building a horizontal enlarger to enlarge some of my older plates that can only be printed on modern paper.No Comments
I was asked to shoot some portraits for the upcoming edition of Seattle Magazine. They are featuring a few well known local brewers in town and they figured that they would be really interesting to have them shot in collodion.
here are the best images from the shoot-
This shot was taken with a 12 inch lens at f11 for 24 seconds! Used a head brace of course…
— Here is a bonus shot of Drew
Got a call around 3pm. yesterday from Mathew Richter. He was invited to talk about the Storefront Project he is managing on a local daytime magazine show call New Day Northwest starring Margaret Larson. They needed an artist to show some work and talk about what they are doing in their assigned space. I said yes and the next day I was on the set with Mat awaiting out turn to go on. Right before we went on, we they powdered our faces to keep us from being too shiny :0)No Comments