So.. after the brief Van Dyke tour of course wet plate could not be left behind. Checked the chemistry about a week back and was able to shoot a test plate today to see if all worked accordingly. Cranked open those speakers (a working space without music is like coffee without the coffee, impossible!) and cleaned three 4×5″ plates. Decided to shoot outside as I’m currently still rearranging the studio place. Looked to be dry all day and had a nice flower in mind (skulls are so boring, even for testing).
Collodion batch from 2016 so slow but contrasty. Developer from 2017 so should work together just fine. First plate; dark with some highlight spots as I still had some sun (and wind). But no fogging so chemistry fine, plate merely underexposed. Second plate, changed flower, and just dark because it got darker fast. Third plate; looked like rain was coming after all, so made a bit of a hurry and forgot to put back the slide after exposing…Putain! So, aside from shooting wet plate I also got around testing my wonderful extensive vocabulary lol 😉 All works just fine!
Anyway, too lazy for cleaning a fourth, let alone a fifth plate and having gotten what I wanted in a way, I decided to leave it at that. Next step; pick a decent subject and shoot some actual plates!
Yes, ladies & gentlemen..it’s THAT time again 🙂 I seem to have grown quite fond of building them, so gotta keep up the pace!
I moved again, to a nicer place, and had to set up the darkroom, also again. I planned for it to be on the attic, only the wet table turned out to be too large to get it up the frikkin’ stairs. Remodelling the place to make it go up that stairs is not (yet) an option so decided to take a different approach.
I split up the sections a bit. The wet table and enlarger ended up in a room with the central heating system and washing machine. Already had connections for water and drainage so it took me and my dad a bit of work to fix the piping (cool to do with my dad!) but did a good job.
The living room is part working space, part dining and stuff, the heart of it being a large table measuring 125 x 250 cm. And across the room a large white board of 100 x 200 cm (yes, size does matter at times :p ). And then there’s a walk-in closet room for my clothing and across storage for chemistry bottles, other glassware and this and that (of which there’s a lot).
Works pretty well so far! Not sure if I’m going to keep the enlarger in the place it’s at now, doesn’t get much use these days with the contact printing and can make better use of the space it’s filling up now.
Photos suck, sorry ’bout that. For lack of spirit I made them using my iPhone.
I already used it, better said, I really had a deadline to make. I joined a photo group a while back, and we’re applying for a group exhibition and had to prep an example image of the concept. I will get deeper into the conceptual bit further down the lane somewhere, so don’t ask yet please..
They will be portraits shot digitally (most likely and hopefully using the Monochrome…), making digital negatives of these files and printing them using Van Dyke. Exposure time of the paper was 17 minutes using an UV-light source. I will share the testing with you:
Anyway, that is as it stands a bit for now. More to come soon, and by that I mean not the build of darkroom No. 9, pinky promise 🙂
Well, you won’t believe it but I have moved again recently… cheaper place with more outer space and a nicer workspace…or at least I thought…
It is a truly wonderful place with all the living areas on one floor, and a huge attic covering the entire length of the object, which really is quite fancy I might add. However, when we tried moving the wet table to the top floor, it just would not fit through the opening… The bottom floor does not allow for the creation of a proper working space so I kind of have lost the spirit a little. I will find out a way eventually but all this really is not very accommodating in keeping the spirits high.
I have decided on another matter and that is I will sell of my Hasselblad with three lenses and Leica M6 to fund a …Leica Monochrom :-), preferably the first edition. I’m so tired of developing film, knowing I will never use those negatives again for regular bw printing, I see no point in continuing to work this way. I want to do more with contact printing, as mentioned before, so shooting on film, while really only needing a digital file in the end to make large format negatives, beats the purpose. But, buying a digital camera, besides my Fuji X-T1 I use for assignments, for fun..that is a different matter. I don’t find digital cameras fun. Instead they are utterly boring. Thank god there’s a brand called Leica, and they have put on the market the most ridiculous and obsolete camera of all: the M Monochrom! It shoots only black-and-white.
‘Why’, my boyfriend asked, ‘why would you buy a camera that just shoots black-and-white and costs more than the average digital system with lens while the latter does both, giving you the all the adjustment-and tweaking options for making fine-tuned black-and-white images in post-production?’ Good question 🙂 My answer is that it comes with that fun-factor.
When solely looking at it in a rational manner, surely it’s probably better buying a regular SLR or mirrorless system, and post-process the images. But where’s the fun in that? I don’t like being behind the computer all day, I do enough of that work during my day-job. I love the limitations of this Monochrom. Its superb feel and touch, its slowness, its lack of buttons, its lack of common sense and rationality. I mainly work in black-and-white anyway. And as far as price is concerned, I work in a photo store so I’m hoping for that golden deal one of these days. And if you think the Monochrom is expensive, have a look at its special cousin, the Stealth Edition, which comes at a staggering € 15.000,- ! It’s all about perspective, right 🙂
5 years…..5 YEARS it has been since I last made a Van Dyke…oef…Glad I kept a blog so that I could look at the notes again 🙂
Recently I joined a photo group called “F68” to broaden my horizon and to get back into my own photography more. It’s a foundation that was established in Limburg, the Netherlands, in 1968 and it’s an autonomous photographers collective. I’m very happy to be a part of this group.
For a potential upcoming exhibition we are working on a theme regarding (mass) consumption. I will elaborate more on this later on but I came up with a concept using images made digitally, printing large format negatives and contact-printing them using Van Dyke.
I once got myself the Epson R2880 to print these negatives but has been left on a shelf for so long now I think it’s more dead than alive. However, at work I have a wonderful Epson Stylus Pro 7890 & 9800 at my disposal and a salesman who mentioned they could get me Omnijet Clear Film on roll (!). I received a 43cm wide roll for testing and so far it’s great!
I turned a file from my Fuji camera into a black and white, inverted it into a negative, adjusted the print settings and printed it on this Omnijet transparent film using the 7890. Yesterday I fixed the chemistry, bought some new paper, Hahnemuhle Bamboo Mixed Media (for the concept I was looking for a durable renewable paper), and had a go at Van Dyke again…oh boy was that fun 🙂
The printer settings I’m about to post I took of this website. For more info look there.
Paper used: Hahnemuhle Fineart Bamboo Mixed Media
Single coated paper 36 x 48 cm
Exposure time: 25 minutes
Wash: 2 minutes
Fix: 5 minutes dilution 3% Sodium Thio-sulphate
Final rinse: 20 minutes
Unfortunately I forgot that the drying darkens the image quite a bit so the end result is too darkish, and I have to do more practice with coating the paper (you see strokes) but wauw, where have I been all these years ?! Anyway, good to be back and more to follow soon 🙂
15th of June 2017, 29 degrees celcius. Seemed like the perfect day to finish the build of the darkroom 😊
Going through all the still unopend boxes to make sure I had all the ones with “doka ’17” written on them was quite a bit of work. But hard work always pays off and everything has been installed now except for the glass plates. Good to go!
Took quite a bit more time than anticipated but very happy now!
Yep, it’s that time again 😊
Trying to rebuild my darkroom again. Not going as good and fast as I hoped but it’s slowly getting there… 😊 Moving can be quite demotivating but I know why I’m doing it..
Shoot Amsterdam is a yearly photographic event held in Amsterdam @ Pakhuis de Zwijger. I will be one of the speakers during the “How do they do it” sessions in the Studio at the 5th floor.
I will be talking about the wet plate collodion process, its place in time, so a little history and a little nowadays, accompanied by some visuals on a screen. Needless to say I’m very excited to be participating in this great event and hope to see you there!
Oh…and Sign up; it’s for free and it’s gonna be fun 🙂
It has been awhile, and again, a lot has happened.
In short we got a call on the 26th of January that in four weeks we had to leave our beautiful place in Margraten. 4 weeks to move two large working spaces and a full blown living space… And not only did we have to move in these few weeks, but also to find a place in an even shorter amount of time…
One week later we signed the papers for a new place, lovely place, smaller but very beautiful and still place for a darkroom etc.
And now we have moved 🙂
I was asked by Jorgen Polman to do an interview for Forum Beeldtaal which he runs, and this was recorded the same day I took down the working space. Enjoy the video and I will post more soon!
I love to take my camera out in the field, to make collodion images on location. I prefer that over studio images. The only issue that kept me busy of the last few years? How to transport the camera when traveling. Until now I just put the camera in the car, no protection, and dragged it everywhere I needed it to be. I had seen one photo bag that I figured could hold the camera, the TinkTank Logistics Manager, but it was so expensive I never actually tried it.
As some of you know I work in a photo store in Maastricht, Foto Rembrandt (feel free to chime in and say hello if you’re nearby ;-). and two weeks ago I went with my colleague to a special ‘dealer’ day at one of our suppliers. This specific supplier Transcontinenta has, among other brands such as Leica, Gitzo, Lastolite etc, ThinkTank bags. I decided to take my camera to them to find out if they have a bag that would actually fit my camera.
They did! I ended up with the Video Rig 24, one of their largest bags on wheels. It makes it easy to carry the camera around, fits perfectly, along with some small items such as red light, charger, waterhouse stops and of course the glass plates, camera, lens, back and dark cloth. Needless to say I am really happy! All I need is a new car now as the bag hardly fits in the back 😉