March 2010

Monthly Archive

The European Tour

Posted by on 17 Mar 2010 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

The Project Vedos crew (that is Pirkko and Jalo 😉 ) 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.

Lausanne, Switzerland

In Lausanne we visited Musée de l’Elysée, on an attractive site near the Lake Geneva. Links to their exhibitions at the time of our visit:

    La collection s’expose
    Lasting impressions

Musée de l’Elysée, from the lake side.

The entrance to the Musée de l’Elysée.

Vevey, Switzerland

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 föhn wind prevailing.

The Swiss Camera Museum by Grande Place, Vevey.

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.

The entrance to the Camera Museum, Vevey.

Chalon-sur-Saône, France

Musée Nicéphore Niépce is set on a riverbank in Chalon-sur-Saône, province of Burgundy, France. The museum is totally dedicated to photography, its history, its practice and uses.

Nicéphore Niépce has got a statue as the inventor of photography in the town of Chalon-sur-Saône.

A large photograph on canvas, by the Finnish photographer Elina Brotherus, at the Nicéphore Niépce museum.

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 Ludwig, near the Cologne Cathedral.

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…

The Museum Folkwang, Essen.

Brussels, Belgium

We also visited shortly Roger Kockaert‘s Atelier pH7 in Brussels… what a gracious place for fine art photographic printing and alternative processes…

Roger Kockaert, artist and alt-photo printmaker.

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

The Hague Museum of Photofraphy.

Poor Pours

Posted by on 10 Mar 2010 | Tagged as: Ambrotype

Here are my very first ambrotypes ever! Not exactly a great success… I seem to need some more practise in pouring collodion 😉 …

The images look somewhat low in contrast, there may be several reasons for this:

  • overexposure
  • light leaks in the camera (had a hard time removing & inserting the plate holder’s dark slide — the moisture from the dripping plate must have softened it somehow… while twitching it I may have enabled some light leak… the conclusion is that my wooden plate holder will not be good for this, I guess I’ll need to make another one from a modern aluminium/plastic holder)
  • my chemistry and/or developing technique
  • etc…

A pair of shoes (à la van Gogh 😉 ), my first try with the wet plate collodion. The 18x24cm plate was sensitized in silver nitrate for three minutes, exposed in camera for 12 seconds, developed for 15 secons, rinsed, and fixed for one minute.

Same as above, execpt for the 4 minutes silver sensitizing…

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.

The chemistry:
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.

Cleaning Glass

Posted by on 09 Mar 2010 | Tagged as: Ambrotype

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.

Silver Mix

Posted by on 07 Mar 2010 | Tagged as: Ambrotype

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.