Developing view camera photograph on polished silver

Discussion in 'Alternative Techniques & Photo Gallery' started by bultican, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. bultican

    bultican TPF Noob!

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    Is there a way to use polished silver plate instead of glass to develop a photograph with a view camera?

    I have researched dagguereotypes, wet plate collodion methods, and silver gelatin. I want the photograph to have the look of a dagguereotype, with the medium being reflective (like polished silver plates typically used for dagguereotypes), but if I could use an easier process such as some wet plate or silver gelatin practices, that would be ideal, for ease of use, and not dealing with mercury vapors, etc. used in developing dag's.

    Is there any problem with using a wet plate or silver gelatin process, but instead of glass plate to use for photographing/developing, using a polished silver plate? I'm not sure if the emulsion will re-act the same way, although I have heard that you can create wet plate photographs on any material (within reason).

    Or if anyone knows of a way to make quality prints onto polished silver plates, that would be helpful also.

    Thanks
     
  2. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    I can't say that I know how to solve your puzzle, but two things do come to mind:

    1. Using a real silver plate, either solid or plated, will be problematic. The silver will react to any developing agent you use if the actual image process is silver based. You might find that using a silver looking material like stainless steel or chrome plated steel or brass to be less of a problem.

    2. You might find that the ambrotype/tintype process work. These are both the same process chemically. They differ in that the ambrotype is done on clear glass that is backed by black paper or velvet after processing while the tintype is done on black lacquered tinned steel.
     
  3. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  4. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    My first thought was that if you have too much money, you can send some this way. I know quite a few people who could use some more :lol: Just kidding of course. To each his/her own. But it seems like it would get very expensive. Of course, I'm from a generation that started recycling chemicals for silver recovery when the prices of silver went way up.

    My second thought was right along with Dwig's 1st point. But I am not a chemist so who knows...

    If you ever do it however, I would be interested in seeing the results.
     
  5. maris

    maris TPF Noob!

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    Many years ago I saw a gallery exhibition that included some pseudo-daguerrotypes. Yes, they looked a bit like the real thing but were actually black and white positive transparencies mounted emulsion side down on front surface mirrors.

    Only someone with extensive experience of Daguerrotypes would pick the difference.
     
  6. bultican

    bultican TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all for your help. I spoke with a rep at the rocakloid.com website (thanks compur!, great website) and he said liquid light could be used to spread onto a polished plate and it would develop fine. It should look like an ambro- or tintype (sound familiar Dwig? good call) only on a polished sheet instead of glass. I would like an authentic dagguereotype look, but I would also like positive images, so I think this is my safest bet. Maybe I can experiment with how thick the emulsion layer is, or the surface texture of the plate, etc. to get closer to a dag look.

    Oh, and I do wish I had that problem cloudwalker, but in all honesty, these polished silver sheets (usually silver plated copper sheets) are generally not as expensive as a large, stretched canvas, or even some kinds of drawing paper (like Bristol board). Hopefully the plate photos will turn out good so that maybe someday I can have that problem. I will likely not be doing this for a few months as I save up for a good Sinar view camera (now those ARE expensive), but I will be sure to post as soon as I do.

    Thanks everybody.
     

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