Taking Collodion Out in the Wild: Part 1
This summer, maybe even sooner depending on how fast I’m able to fix this, I wish to take the process outside. I’d love to make landscapes with this. Not only will I have to take my camera outside but also the entire darkroom and that’s the fun part. So, currently I’m slowly going through all the options of a portable darkroom/camera/working solution that I can actually carry and set up on my own.
A van would be the most convenient. Also the most expensive per month here with the taxes etc etc. So, no go. I want to attach it to my bike so I can go places. There are blue prints of wooden darkboxes but they’re kind of heavy and lug for the size of plates I’m working with. Of all options one that seems suitable to me is a tent. It’s actually a portable “grow tent” for weed. Here’s one advantage to living in the Netherlands 😉 It’s perfect light tight, has ventilation holes, is very sturdy made (depending on brand of course) and is easy to set up and take apart. I think even I can do that. And you can get in and out very easily via a sort of zipped door. Oh, and the price is very reasonable too! They’re around 120 – 150 euros per tent and their size will be around 120 x 120 x 200 cm.
So, I hope in a not too long a period I will have gotten myself such a tent, a table and some common sense to start manufacturing what I need from it. I’ll need to make some holes in it which I then cover with a red plastic to let in the non-harmful light. I’ll have to find a perfect sized table and a way to keep the tent stable when wind wooshes around it. That happens in these lands. If the tent is too big, i.e. catches too much wind, I’ll simply use half of it which I’ll stick to the table in a way. I’ll make it work!
Next issue is the fixer. I now use Sodium Thiosulfate. Nice fixer, works very well but the plates need a whole lot of water; half an hour of running water. Well, nature just doesn’t have that everywhere. And keeping the plates wet for hours is not such a smart idea and letting them dry to rinse them properly at home isn’t either. So, that kind of forces me to use a different fixer; Potassium Cyanide. That needs hardly any washing time, the fixing process is very fast, it’s just that it’s very poisonous. I can make it work, just have to take extra precautions etc etc like ordering a special fixing box as I now use for my silver bath.
Anyway, that’s how it stands now and I hope the process will work out just fine!