Lea’s Landscape #7 Alternate Formula (no additional ether)

I’ve been wanting to try different collodion formulas for quite some time now but never gotten around to it. Having seen a collodion image made with a solution containing 3 salts and seemingly resulting in a wider scale of tonality I figured the time had come to get some tests done with different formulas.

I talked about it with Jeroen, a friend, and he also mentioned a formula containing 4 salts. I was able to borrow some of his salts as buying them required getting a large quantity and resulting in an empty wallet 😉 Today I’ve mixed my first batch of a formula I wanted to try. It’s called: Lea’s Landscape #7 Alternate Formula, leaving out the additional ether and using 4 salts. I’ll post the recipe below and a photo of how it looks freshly mixed. I’ll have to let it sit for a couple of days though before being able to use it. Still waiting for other chemicals to arrive to make the other formulas so no problem!

Stock Alcoholic Bromo-Iodizing Solution:

100mL Ethanol (or grain alcohol or whatever you have at your disposal)
1,5g  Cadmium Bromide
1,3 g Ammonium Bromide
3,4 g Cadmium Iodide
2,6 g Ammonium Iodide

First, dissolve the cadmium bromide in the alcohol. Then, dissolve the ammonium bromide into that solution followed by the other two salts.

Working strength formula:

100 mL Alcoholic Bromo-Iodizing Solution from above
200 mL Ethanol
300 mL USP Collodion

The working collodion should be fully ripened and ready to use within 2-3 days. I’ll post a photo of the solution in a couple of days to see the change in color and luminosity.

Hopefully I’ll receive my other chemicals somewhere this week so I can make the other batches. The ones you can expect are Lea’s Traditional Landscape Formula #7 (with additional ether), John Coffer’s Old Workhorse (fast clear) and Ostermans Formula (no cadmium) . More on the exact formulas later!

As you probably noticed both Lea’s formulas contain two cadmium salts and according to the guiding literature this results in longer storage life and a slightly greater sensitivity than some other formulas but the collodion tends to be more fragile and has the tendency to lift from the plate surface. Subbing the edges with a cotton swab saturated with albumen helps adhere this collodion film to the plate.

Note to self: Make albumen!

Formula for albumen for edging (in case anyone wonders, I know I did);

1 egg white
1000 mL distilled water

Filter through a cheesecloth and ready to use!

N.B. For the ones having read the first formula of albumen I put here…that was the formula for making albumen prints so different than the one used for edging. Sorry for the mix up!

4 responses

  1. Dave Smith

    The albumen formula you have here is for making albumen printing paper. Is that what you want? If you want to sub your plate, use 1 egg white in 1 liter of water, and a splash of ammonia, mix well and its ready to go.

    You can float paper on your albumen, and after its dry, float it on a 20% solution of silver nitrate and print glass plate negatives.


    April 1, 2012 at 22:51

    • Hi Dave,

      I mixed stuff up. I couldn’t remember the formula for edging so looked up albumen in the Book of Photographic Processes. But indeed I looked at the formula for making albumen prints and that’s not what I meant. Already corrected! Thanks for sharing!


      April 2, 2012 at 09:58

  2. Valery

    Hi! Tell me please why don’t you use ether?

    June 22, 2017 at 20:48

    • Hi, Simply because I wanted to use a formula without ether to see if it is differently in handling etc. I normally always use a recipe with additional ether.

      June 23, 2017 at 10:20

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