here are some images of my sweet new mercury pot made by the pyromaniac and industrial artist , Rusty Oliver. In case you all didn’t know, daguerreotypes are developed out over hot mercury. Mercury sits in a cup at the bottom of the pot and is heated to about 167 degrees fahrenheit. The daguerreotype plate with a latent imaged sits atop the hot mercury in a holder and 5 minutes or so later, an image should appear :/
Here are some of those pictures before I made the plate holders on top:
here is the finished pot with the plate seat and holder. The seat has a seperate slide to keep the pot sealed when the plate holder is off. The plate holder has a seperate slide to that locks with the seat slide. When the plate holder is placed on the pot both slides are opened to expose the plate to the mercury and develop out the plate.No Comments
I have completed the two very essential iodine and bromine fuming boxes. I will post the finished boxes later but here are a couple of images of the boxes before they recieved a coat of shellack, a lid, and brass hardware. There is a pyrex dish that sits inside the box that actually holds the chemicals. The top lip had to be ground down perfectly flat so it would seal with the ground glass slide. The Pyrex dish sits on a spring base that adds some upward pressure to ensure that no fumes leak out. here is a short video:
I tested the seal of one of the boxes by burning some paper inside and closing the lid. A vaccum is created as the oxygen is used up in the box. The slide was opened to break the seal and closed to see if any smoke or odor escaped. The box did very well and I am pleased with how they work. The metal springs at the bottom will have to be dipped in shellack or painted to keep them from corroding. The iodine and especially the bromine are extremely corrosive. Here is a video of that:
here is the shellacked box with hinges. The tension of the springs can be adjusted by bending them to give the right amount of upward pressure. I may figure out a better spring system but for now this seems to work just fine.No Comments
Jim knows how to get a portrait session started by bringing in some tasty single malt Oregon whiskey! Man! Chatoe Rogue single malt whiskey is some smooth stuff!
This shot was 10 seconds at f4.5.
Anyway- This shot required most of the lights I had. I used a black background and two spots behind Jim to provide the rim light around his hat. The Main light was the monstar 3 cfl bank and I used two 105w cfl lights as the fill. The accent light was a 500w omni light set very low to get some light onto his cheek without getting a shadow from his hat- it had a diffuser to soften it a bit. This was the second to last shot out of 6 plates.
The great thing about the Deardorff Studio is the ability to use a full range of movements in the front and back while being able to hold up that 12 pound 18inch cooke portrait lens. Both eyes are in focus thanks to some rear and front swings and front tilt and a flat field anastigmat. I sold my faster petzval type Vitax f3.8 to help pay for my Daguerreotype workshop and I don’t really miss it. It was fast but the Cooke lens is superior in that it allows me a lot of control of the focal plane.
Susan Robb has some amazing eyes and I used a lot of front and rear swing to them both in focus. I shot this with the diffusion set at 3 on the cooke portrait so add that nice glow. I used two cfl softboxes and one 500watt omni.
this shot was 12 seconds at f4.5No Comments
I gave a workshop to Miss Aissa Lopez all the way from Ireland. She is currently living in Vancouver. On Sunday she payed me a visit and I showed her what I knew from one-and-half years of playing around with collodion. We started by shooting some macro shots of her cut paper miniature houses onto black trophy aluminum plates. They were 4 x 5 inch plates and this is what I used to teach her how to pour a plate. They photographed nicely and we got some good shots. We then moved on to shooting portraits with the the big studio Deardorff. I shot a couple portraits of her to show her the procedure and she managed to get a portrait of me.
Her boyfriend came back just in time for Aissa to shoot a couple plates of him. She was able to do the whole procedure start to finish for the last two shots of the day.No Comments
I was invited to show at SOIL this year by Miss Nola Avienne. I have the Hardgrave Rapture Suit ambrotype, the two daguerreians dag, and another composite of two ambrotypes.
DUG: Soil Invitational 2011
- Georgia Bell, Nikki Burch, Daniel Carrillo, Bo Choi, Seth Damm, Dixie Darling, Julia Freeman, Jaimie Healy, Anders Johnson, Lauren Klenow, Katy Krantz, Rumi Koshino, Perri Lynch, Steven Miller, Jenene Nagy, Shaw Osha, Nick Pena, Kevin Woida, Robert Yoder
- April 6–30, 2011
- Opening reception:
Thursday, April 7, 6–8pm
- Artist Talk:
Saturday, April 9, 2pm
The SOIL invitational returns as DUG. Each member of SOIL has invited a guest artist to show their work at the gallery.No Comments
I got the chance to photograph Darren Waterston while he was in town to attend the opening of his show at Greg Kucera.
I shot him with a combination of natural and fluorescent light. Darren was great! Such a nice guy and a great painter. Here are the best of 4 shots with the last shot being the best (in my opinion).
This was the first shot and with Darren facing the window light. The flourescent lights proved to be a bit bright but it still worked out OK. I think this what was 14 seconds.
This was the last shot. This photo was reversed in photoshop to be right facing not a mirror image like the first shot. I managed to get a good ratio of natural and artificial light here. The natural light being much brighter and the artificial light adding just enough fill. I was very loose with the developer so it gave me a wild background and plenty of developer marks.No Comments
This is the first of many hurdles on the road to becoming a daguerreian. I hired Rusty Oliver to create mercury pot for me. It is finished and I just need to pick it up. I can’t wait to see it and I will post some pictures of it as soon as I get it.
The next step is to get a temperature controller for the heating element to keep the mercury at a constant 167 degrees. After that then I will tackle the next hurdles. The iodine and the bromine fuming boxes.
things I will need:
1. temperature controller for merc pot
2. ground flat the top of two pyrex dishes to make a good seal in the fuming boxes
3. make 2 fuming boxes
4. acquire some iodine
5. acquire some bromine
6. make fume hood and vent to outside
7. test fume hood, fuming boxes and mercury pot.
8. get mercury spill kit and get some ammonia
9. make charging jar and charge silica with bromine
10. get abrasives, random orbital sander, buy cotton velvet, and nu-shine.
11. Make two buffing paddles.
12. buy plates, polish plates, and do iodine, bromine, and mercury times tests
13. shoot first official dagguerreotype before the end July or August
lot of stuff to do but well worth it.No Comments
Shortly I discovered wet plate, I discovered a Eric Martens who creates daguerreotypes out of Oakland, California. His studio, The DagLab is one of the very rare daguerreotype portrait studios in the country. His work is incredibly beautiful and shows his grasp of the the complicated craft of creating images on polished silver. At the end of February of this year, I took a class at the Eastman House in Rochester, NY. The teacher was the very accomplished and president of the Daguerreian Society. I had the chance to make three of my own daguerreotypes and learned lots of valuable information.
This is a self portrait shot on the last day. I was wearing a striped shirt so Mike grabbed the table cloth and wrapped me with it.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mark Osterman who is the Process Historian at the Eastman House and was also involved with the workshop. He has a long history with old processes and has taught many current alternative process photographers working today- He taught Sally Mann how to shoot wet plate. Mark makes becquerel developed (no mercury) daguerreotypes on occasion. I took the opportunity to get Mike and Mark on daguerreotype because it was a rare occurrence to get two daguerreians on the same plate.
Here is the my first dagguerreotype ever! It is of Mike
Along with the hands on workshop, we had the opportunity to view some of the very first and some of the finest daguerreotypes ever made. The Eastman House is not only a Museum but a place where conservation and proper storage of priceless photography is carried out. We also got to look at some of the early cameras and equipment.No Comments