Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Quote: Mark Twain

"The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why."

How To Blacken Clear Glass Ambrotypes?

from Facebook...

I got a shipment of old ambrotypes today. Bought all of them in a bulk buy for $48 USD. My hope is to look into the past to help my future path in wet plate.

One of the biggest questions I have is how to provide the black needed to see a clear glass ambrotype. My goal is to reverse the image and archivally protect it. The look of tintypes is nice as is the look of black glass (unreserved shots) but looking THROUGH the glass at an subject that seems to be captures inside is special, so that is my goal, to do those type images to the best effect. 
The photos from today's buy get the black done in different ways, some modern attempts. They include:
- plate painted with felt pens (modern owner no doubt)
- a separate asphaltumed or painted piece of glass behind the main glass with the varnished colodion image.
- a piece of dark material glued onto the back of the plate.
- asphaltum painted plates on the entire back.
- asphaltum painted on parts of the entire back
- black glass
- One of the plate incorporates 2 paces of clear glass for protection.
It seems many photogs back in the day did things in their own unique way.
My possible options moving forward include:
- black velvet behind the glass, in a frame set up of some kind
- asphaltum painted alone on the collodion (probably not archival)
- asphaltum painted onto the collodion after the plate has been varnished
- using black glass
- Using lampblack powder mixed into the varnish
I think I will probably go with the lampblack or the velvet at this stage or maybe a variation of asphaltum powder mix after varnising (if that will work). I want to make photos that could last several 100 years without degrading. The pics will probably be thrown in the dumpster long before that, but still got to try!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

"The Dude" And The Families

Here is kind of a neat thing. I have always like actor Jeff (The Dude) Bridges panoramic photographs, often shot on movie sets. Through the years I have seen his photographs in 2 or 3 photo mags. Turns out Mr. Bridges is in the Number 8 edition of Silvergrain Classics magazine and THE FAMILIES OF THE DUMP will be in edition 9 (I think!).

Quote: Elie Wiesel (Writer And Holocaust Survivor)

"Always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor never the tormented."

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Just Learning Now About Silvergrain Classics Magazine.

I am a little late to the game here. THE FAMILIES OF THE DUMP photo story is in the next issue/edition of the Silvergrain Classics Magazine. I am just now learning about this wonderful 100 page book qualify like magazine now. Here’s some info:

Note* This is the international English edition of the mag. Will it make it onto magazine shelves worldwide? An international audience for the families?

Silvergrain Classic Magazine, Top End Quality!

The German published SilverGrains Classic magazine looks quite wonderful. Found this link last night of Markus Hofstaetter showing a copy of the magazine with his wetplate photo on the cover. THE FAMILIES OF THE DUMP will not have a cover but will be in the magazine, a beautiful thing.

Check out Markus and the mag here.

Markus Hofstaetter Silvergrain Classics Magazine Video

Check Out Marcus's Wonderful Blog Here 

Friday, October 16, 2020

IIye-IIye Laughing Photo Story, That WIll Be In 'Slivergrain Classics" Magazine

from Facebook...

In the coming issue of "Silvergrain Classics" magazine I wrote a story about a young girl named iiye-iiye who I met in the dump on first day I entered the garbage back in 2013. I wrote how that child helped me grow up and realize I needed to commit to the story of THE FAMILIES OF THE DUMP. Unfortunately I was not able to find the negs I wanted of her. I ended up scanning a different negative for the folks at "Silvergrain". They wanted a smiling picture (not really my thing) and I was able to find one for them to use. 
Here is a story about the making of the pic, and a screen capture from that 6 frame negative strip around the photograph. The photo that will be in the mag is the top left one of iiye-iiye laughing (she was usually always smiling and laughing, what a wonderful child).
In 2003 I took two trips to Thailand. On each of those trips I made numerous (8 or more) trips to the dump to do donation and photo work. As I became better known by the families some of the older woman would give me heck about not wearing a hat (that first year I never wore a hat), they would point at a their hat/ head gear and then at my bear head and SCOLD me in Burmese which I did not understand. After 2 or 3 scoldings you get the gist of what is being said. That is what happened just previous to the iiye-iiye laugh photo. Her mom was being a mom and scolding me for not wearing a hat and then young iiye-iiye took off her dainty white girl hat and put it on my head with a laugh. I took a digital photo of my new look (not sure where that photo is either) then put the hat back on her head. I think the top left photo was made when I showed the LCD photo to iiye-iiye (laughing), and the bottom right photo was taken while wearing the hat (family laughing).
You got to love getting nagged on, and teased by people you photograph. You know then they trust you and are comfortable around you. Being treated like another Burmese friend is always rewarding. One of things that has come up in recent years is teasing me about my weight, how I gained weight from last year in the dump to this year in the dump.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Winterizing Trailer, All Collodion USP And All Ether Used Up

With the coming of winter I am starting to winterize the darkroom trailer. Today I removed all vulnerable chemicals and placed them in the house. I dumped the sinks waste water tank as well.

I also made all my unopened bottles of ether into Quinn’s Quick Clear Iodizer (very long shelf life). And I used up the remaining collodion USP to make “Gerry Collodion”. The ether is now safe.

Note* I used the Indian Cadmium Bromide and the Ammonium Iodide for the first time. I hope these chemicals work!!! 

Quote: Crazy Horse

 “My lands are where my dead are buried.”

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Some Things Done This Weekend

Slept a ton the last three days, probably 10-12 hours each day. Last night managed to send out the files to the next magazine publishing THE FAMILIES OF THE DUMP and tonight will work on making Iodizer. I want to safely neutralize some unopened bottles of ether I have before the snow. Iodizer (the either mixed in) can be stored safely for long periods of time. I will use the first of my new supply of Cadmium Bromide and Ammonium Iodide in this new iodizer.

Note* Ordered some LAMPBLACK powder, will try to mix that in with varnish and use it to back the clear plate ambrotypes I am making now. This is a test to see how it compares to asphaltum.