Getting closer

So Monday’s dag was getting there, the process seemed to flow better and it’s getting more promising. 

The polishing was much better with my smooth foam pad, and I also used three grades of micron sandpaper to prepare the silver rather than the usual two, in an attempt to make the surface softer to allow for larger image particles to form.  

  The polished silver was pretty much immaculate and looked quite nice without an image on it.  

I sensitised it over the iodine in complete darkness to avoid any accidental fogging. 

Then the exposure, with exposure times adjusted to take into account previous experiments and some advice from Christopher Brenton West. I’m now calculating them as follows, rather than guessing based on complicated calculations trying to find non-Mercury times based on the previous Mercury dags;

EV: 14 = 3 minutes

EV: 13 = 6 minutes

EV: 12 = 12 minutes

So the EV was 9, which mean a 96 minutes exposure – dramatically longer than I had tested previously. So I spent a long time waiting like this outside BOM.  

 This waiting appeared to have been rewarded however when the plate was developing as a clear and detailed image appeared, which felt really exciting. I used ruby lite rather than the red acrylic here to test the theory that maybe this was causing some fog towards the end of development.  

However, during fixing this fragile image disappeared. I’ll be seeking some more advice on this and trying again next week – I’m wondering if my old Sodium Thiosulphate (hypo) powder might have gone off.  

 Figuring this process out is giving me quite an insight into the excitement and frustration that must have been involved for those pioneers inventing these processes. 


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