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Hi all, I have a question about the oldtime wet photography. Is somebody here who could tell me more about it or exists a site about this.

Thank you


-- Martin Kapostas (martin.kapostas@asdo.se), November 21, 2000


First; take yourself a sheet of thin 1/16th inch glass of fine quality, and cut from it a quantity of convenient plates to the size of 6 and one-half inches by 8 and one-half inches.
Then take an ounce of good quality Guncotton, and put it to 3 fluid ounces of medical Ether, the both from which you should quickly obtain a clear and viscous solution. This mixture is the 'collodion', and is the very basis of the the whole process herein described.
The plates of your cut glass should now be hurriedly treated with this mixture, such that the 'collodion' coats the glass in a thin and even manner. Some practise and dexterity will be found to be required to accomplish this task in a repeatable manner, and withiout excessive waste of the precious collodion mixture. The worker should be aware, however of the extremely volatile nature of the mixture, and should refrain from the smoking of cigarettes, pipes or cigars during any phase of the proceedings.
Now leave these collodion coated plates to dry for a short time, which may be anything of the order of a few minutes to half-an-hour, depending on prevailing conditions of climate.
When the coated surface of the collodion has reached a condition which feels dry to the touch, it is then ready for the next stage of making ready the light-sensitive surface. All of the following stages must be carried out in the maximum of darkness that the worker can practically obtain, or by the light of a small oil-lamp shielded by a ruby glass, colloquially known as a 'safe light'.
The plates must now be dipped into the first sensitizing bath of 10 percent of Lunar Caustic solution, nextly into a bath consisting of a mixture of common salt and of Iodide of Potassium, in proprotions which the worker shall determine by experiment to effect the most diminished exposure of the plate.
Now, while the plate is still wet, but not having any excess of surface moisture thereon, it must be speedily transferred to the safety of the camera back, whereupon the exposure should be made within a few minutes.
Thereafter the plate should receive the usual treatment in Pyrogallic acid followed by Hyposulphate of Potash.

The author can humbly commend this process to the adventurous worker in photography, as being a major advancement in the photographic sciences, the resulting prints from this process being, in this humble worker's opinion, far superior to the heretofor commonly used off-the-shelf, or bought film products.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), November 21, 2000.

Beautiful response.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), November 21, 2000.

Not available in QuickLoad then, Pete?

-- dave bulmer (dave.bulmer@bl.uk), November 21, 2000.

"Not available in QuickLoad then, Pete?"

Not yet, but Kodak announced an improvement of the ReadyLoad system. Would this be it?

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), November 21, 2000.

R. J. Szabo, "Wet-Plate Collodion Artist", has a website about civil war photography which has some good information about the wet-plate process: http://www.cwreenactors.com/collodion/index.php

-- Michael Briggs (michaelbriggs@earthlink.net), November 21, 2000.

Of course it's available in Quickload. You just have to hurry up!

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), November 22, 2000.

For those not faint of heart: lunar caustic is silver nitrate, and gun cotton is nitro cellulose. Posibly sold as smokeless powder in parts of the u.s.a.

-- Larry Cuffe (Laurence.Cuffe@ucd.ie), February 21, 2001.

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