The Project Vedos crew (that is Pirkko and Jalo ðŸ˜‰ ) was taveling in Europe for almost two weeks, hoping to visit some museums/collections of alternative photography. Here we have some pictures from that tour via Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, and Holland.
In Lausanne we visited MusÃ©e de l’ElysÃ©e, on an attractive site near the Lake Geneva. Links to their exhibitions at the time of our visit:
We happened to be in Vevey on a day of rain and thunder, in late February, but generally speaking the weather was warm and springlike, due to the gentle fÃ¶hn wind prevailing.
The Swiss Camera Museum (Musee Suisse de l’Appareil Photographique) is a fantastic little museum, with a great collection of cameras, photographic equipment, and photographs made with different techniques.
MusÃ©e NicÃ©phore NiÃ©pce is set on a riverbank in Chalon-sur-SaÃ´ne, province of Burgundy, France. The museum is totally dedicated to photography, its history, its practice and uses.
Cologne and Essen, Germany
In Cologne there are a few interesting places for those wishing to explore vintage photography and photographic prints. During our stay there we visited Rheinisches Bildarchiv, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, and Museum Ludwig.
At the Museum Ludwig there was a new gallery for photography – Masterpieces from the Photographic Collection. We saw some interesting images there, like salted paper portraits from calotype negatives by Hill & Adamson, from 1843-47, and bromoil and oil prints by Hugo Erfurth…
The Museum Folkwang in Essen had just moved to a brand new building (we didn’t very much like its architecture, btw). Except for being one of the most important museums of modern art in Germany, they have a very nice collection of photography and alternative processes. Parts of their collection can be viewed online too…
Amsterdam and The Hague, Holland
In Amsterdam we went to see the exhibitions of the FOAM (Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam) — not any alt-photo prints there, however, but an extensive show of Alexander Rodchenko‘s work…
At the end of the journey we had a visit to the Hague Museum of Photography, and had a chance to see a very nice special collection from the University of Leiden. The university has both the oldest and the largest museum photography collection in the country, telling the whole story of the emergence and development of photography. Some interesting work there, such as Harm Botman‘s large gum prints, Onnes Kurkdjian‘s collodion POP, and photogravures by Edward Curtis and Edward Steichen, carbon prints by Jacob Merkelbach, Berend Zweers and Franz Ziegler…
Here are my very first ambrotypes ever! Not exactly a great success… I seem to need some more practise in pouring collodion ðŸ˜‰ …
The images look somewhat low in contrast, there may be several reasons for this:
The images here were shot with a Tachihara 8×10″ camera and a simple home-made f:6,7/400 mm lens. The lighting was with a Ianebeam 2000W halogen lamp.
Collodion, solution approx. 4%, USP (Sharlab).
Iodizer, 3g cadmium bromide + 4g potassium iodide dissolved in 6ml distilled water — this mixture was added to a solution of 120ml Sinol (denatured alcohol) + 120 ml ether.
Working collodion (for pouring onto plate), Sharlab collodion + iodizer, 1:1.
The silver bath (for sensitizing the plate), 90g silver nitrate to 1000ml distilled water.
The developer, 15g ferrous sulfate + 14ml acetic acid + 18ml Sinol to 355ml distilled water.
The fixer, sodium thiosulfate, 20% solution.
For cleaning and disinfection purposes we have two renowned products in Finland: Vim, a scourer for kitchens & bathrooms, and Sinol, which is basically ~95% ethanol (denatured alcohol). I’m intending to use a mix of these ingredients for cleaning my glass plates.
So, what I do is mix Vim and Sinol 1:1, pour a little pool of the mix on a glass plate, and rub it all over, by circular motions, with a cotton pad. Then comes rubbing with another dry pad, and a third one, until the plate is completely dry and clean. Both sides of the plate are getting similar treatment.
I then store the plates (18 x 24 cm) in a photo paper box, each plate separated by a sheet of paper.
I mixed 90 grams of silver nitrate to 1 liter of distilled water to make the sensitizing solution for wet plates…
Measured its specific gravity (1.08) and determined the pH (around 4 – 5).
I’m keeping the solution in a plastic bottle in a dark and cool place… waiting for the first glass plate to be sensitized.