Shooting today out at New Norfolk.
The light wasn’t really favourable for someone of my amateur nature. I’m not super confident with scenes with such vast tonal ranges.
The light was changing constantly which was quite annoying. In any case I just thought “shutup and pour” so I started making some plates.
After a couple of 8×10 test exposures I still wasn’t entirely 100% confident with the exposure, but the detail on the bark of the tree told me about 64 seconds at f/16 was a good exposure to start with, so that’s what I stuck with. I cannot begin to tell you how much I hate working with clear glass. I bought a few black developing trays in the hope that it will make things a little easier in inspecting plates as they fix in the tray.
Here is the final 11×14 clear glass plate that I came home with.
This is just a photo I took with my DSLR of the plate lying on my black bedsheet, so the quality you see here is quite reduced. In saying that, the actual plate is not very nice by visual standards but I left feeling very very confident and happy with the overall even-ness of the developer. It is flowing more or less to all edges of the plate consistently and evenly which is what has been driving me nuts with this size for quite some time now.
The collodion was a fresh batch of Ether-less Old Reliable that I made last night. (3g Cadmium Bromide, 4g Potassium Iodide, 150mL Alcohol, 120mL USP Collodion), In my experience with this collodion formula, I will get a 1 second exposure in full sunlight at f/5.6 when it is really fresh. It varies a stop or two. We are in the depths of Autumn now, so the sun is low in the sky and the sunlight is not as intense as in the summer.
I was a little too ambitious perhaps with the particular scene that I was shooting. The tonal range is far too great. Lots of blown highlights and crushed blacks. This was 64 seconds exposure with 15 seconds of development. I had originally intended to see what was going to happen with 10 seconds of development but the light was changing so constantly that I just gave up and thought to try with how my developer flowing technique was going.
Here is a photo of the scene I was shooting, as you can see the tonal variance is massive, shooting into the light with shaded tree. Recipe for a hard exposure.
Anyway, as I said I have still come home feeling positive about the developer spreading to all sides of the plate so I have no hesitation now about going out and trying to shoot some landscapes that I am more comfortable or familiar with. I am hoping that my 240mm lens arrives tomorrow, and I am also hoping that it fits into my Copal 3 shutter that I have on the 360mm lens, which will save me the hassle of having to get it mounted into another lens board.
Fun and games!