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.